The Need for Change? Is it 0.35 or 0.25 children per Grandhome house? Let’s start by remembering that according to the council’s own proposal the development at Grandhome is the ONLY need for change to Middleton Park and Glashieburn (section 2.2). We have also continually stated that the Council’s consultation document is riddled with errors, misinformation and disinformation. We asked them about this and asked them to correct them. Their response to this was to quote the Director of Education “There are no errors other than a couple of typos”. Well, unfortunately for the officers this is simply not correct. There are glaring inconsistencies regarding the roll forecasts related to the Grandhome Development.
Very conveniently the officers have used a higher figure of 0.35 children per house when putting forward the argument to close Middleton Park and Glashieburn to form Burst Primary but this figure drops to 0.25 when calculating the necessary capacity to accommodate the same new children from the same development into Danestone School.
So let’s review the proposal document. Graph 6 is used to indicate that Middleton Park will quickly be over capacity when the new housing at Grandhome is built. However, if the officers had used the same 0.25 figure as was done when indicating all the new children could fit into Danestone then there is significant divergence of the graph. We must also remember that the proposal assumes that planning permission would have been submitted but this has been delayed. This delay could push back the rise in children for at least a year if not 2 or 3 years. The latest Draft Land Housing Audit 2013 doesn’t have any houses built at Grandhome until 2017 at the earliest!
With the best case scenario of a minimum 2 year delay in the new housing the council’s own figures clearly demonstrate that Middleton Park will be continue to be able to accommodate the new housing.
Confusion could have been easily avoided if only the officers had used the same figures for both pieces of work that were being done simultaneously. We also need to consider the current economic situation and the effect this is having on construction of new developments. The figures in the proposal document rely on all 450 homes being built, sold and occupied in the period 2016-‐2020. Any sluggish sales in the development and the predicted arrival of addition school children could be beyond the current projections. We must also remember how drastically wrong these roll predictions have been (www.educationorburst.info/rolls.html). What we cannot understand is why the children of Middleton Park and Glashieburn should be forced into Burst Primary to allow development at Grandhome. The council plans to rezone Grandhome to Danestone Primary when people start moving in. Interestingly these figures have Danestone quickly losing its Confucius classroom and being very cramped too. The impact this could have on the community is far from excellent, particularly given the coverage of Danestone and the Confucius classroom in the Aberdeen Citizen on 25/9. In fact if looks very much like Danestone would be over capacity before any new school was built / viable.
Emails made available under the freedom of information act (www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/nmsruntime/saveasdialog.asp?lID=50788&sID=22462) confirm that despite the proposal for closure using the figure of 0.35 children per household the figure for calculating the influx of children to Danestone is 0.25 per household. We are asking for clarity on whether major figures from our consultation document are incorrect? Have the figures been manipulated to suit the officers’ argument?
These excerpts highlight the deception – or have they simply forgotten that it was 0.35 in the school closure consultation document being written at the same time?
We have continually stated that the Council’s consultation document is riddled with errors, misinformation and disinformation. Yet, despite submissions to the consultation process no corrections have been made. This contravenes the ethos of the Consultation.
Therefore yet again the questions on our lips are: • Deception or more blatant errors? • What is the need for change?
Our analysis of the Council's ridiculous need for change statement.