Saturday, 18 April 2009

Kid gloves, but made with real kids.

The Shhh! The Top Secret Film Society headed off to Henley to see "In The Loop". Fans of "The Thick of It" will know what to expect, with enough swearing to make Peter Jones rest happy in his bed.

There were a few occasions that saw the front row going solo with giggling. Quite possibly because, whilst it might have been a Westminster-Washington satire, you couldn't help yourself from comparing these ludicrous characters and their comments to some of our local politicians.

Jo Lovelock:
"I am not a monster"

Rik "Desk Jockey" Willis:
"Have you actually ever killed anyone?"
"What you fell asleep on them, that doesn't count."

Peter "Sweary Mary" Jones:
"Those are curse words right?"
"Kiss my sweaty balls, you fat f***"

Andrew Cumpsty [on making a decision]:
"We have a saying in England: 'difficult difficult, lemon difficult'"
...or when he's speaking in full council:
"You're lobsterising. Can anyone smell bisque?"

You may be seeing more of this in the coming days on a satirical web site near you!

And if anyone turns up today at the Katesgrove councillors' surgery today with a problem with a wall... I'm out of there!


Tyler said...


Open Letter sent today.

To: Michael Coughlin, CEO, Reading Borough Council
CC: Jo Lovelock, Leader of the Council
Greath Epps, Liberal Democrat Group Leader
Andrew Cumpsty, Conservative, Group Leader
Rob Wilson, MP

Dear Sir,

I write with regard to the latest independent report on Children’ Services with findings released on Friday 17th April. It would seem that the wider facts relating to how the Children’s Services Dept at Reading Borough Council is run and indeed managed need to be brought to your attention and made public.

May 2006: Ms Anna Wright, Present Director of Children’s Services and Education takes her post at RBC.

Previously: Ms Wright was employed by Surrey County Council as Director of Schools for approximately 2 years.

Previous to that: Ms Wright headed the Educational Psychology Dept. for that very same Local Authority.

As has been reported recently in several national newspapers and Legal Journals, during her tenure as Director of Schools for Surrey County Council, Ms Wright presided over a dedicated & highly experienced Head Teacher being hounded from her job, causing her serious Post Dramatic Stress Disorder . At the subsequent High Court case:, )

A judgment was made on 19th March this year ordering Surrey County Council to pay in the region of half million pounds damages to this Head Teacher.

In short the Head Teacher in question was the victim, of a campaign to remover her by two of her school governors.

Allegations of a racial nature where made against her, which proved to be totally unfounded.

During this period the court determined that the Surrey LEA headed by Ms Wright did nothing to support the Head Teacher or in any way protect her from what became a campaign of hate.

The essence of the Judges views on the case are detailed below, further reporting from the Independent Newspaper can be found at:

“LEA officers appear to have realised this. Certainly they ought to have done so. But, by excessive tolerance, they failed to keep such activities in check.

“The lack of timely intervention meant that Mr Martin’s and Mr Saleem’s conduct had the effect of tearing apart the governing body and these matters, together with poor response by the defendants, had as their effect two years of anxiety and low morale for the school staff, stress leading to the need for early retirement in some staff and the claimant and disruption in the local community with, on the evidence, little, if anything, positive to show for it.”

Judge Williams went on: “Many jobs are stressful. Many thrive on stress. But stress may also be a precursor of psychiatric injury and therefore knowledge of stress is something which should put an alert and reasonable employer on notice of the possibility of psychiatric injury making that employer more alert than he otherwise need be for the health of the stressed employee.”

He described Surrey County Council’s director of schools, Anna Wright, as more concerned with “appeasing” Martin and Saleem than considering the welfare of the school and its staff.

Martyn McLeish, barrister at Cloisters, which acted for Connor, said: “Surrey County Council flouted its legal duties to its employee Erica Connor. They did this despite repeated warnings which were extensively documented that her mental health was being placed at serious risk by the activities of certain governors and by its own inaction on her complaints and those of other staff and governors.

“As the judge found, this caused her significant and lasting psychiatric injury, ending her teaching career and causing her very substantial financial losses.”

In Dec 08, the following article

names and shames 8 authorities deemed “inadequate” in various parts of the JAR reports, in the whole of the country. Two are associated with Ms Wright, one as a previous employer, one as a current employer, the key section reading as follows::

This year there are three local authorities graded overall as outstanding for children’s services: Gateshead; Kensington and Chelsea; and York. There are four local authorities graded as inadequate overall for children’s services: Doncaster; Haringey; Milton Keynes and Surrey. Eight local authorities have been assessed as inadequate for the ‘staying safe’ outcome area: Birmingham; Doncaster; Essex; Haringey; Reading; Surrey; West Sussex; and Wokingham.

In light of the foregoing, I am sure that you like me will now have very serious concerns relating to the competence of the current Director of Children’s Services & Education employed by this Local Authority.

Yours Sincerely

W Tyler

Was said...

Worthy of a post in its own right. coming soon!