Editor’s comment: DfE’s impunity over BSix is outrageous
- Credit: Archant
It is outrageous to see BSix denied more than £2million, and Hackney denied more affordable housing, thanks to what looks very much like bullying by the Department for Education.
I mean this as no slight on the Olive School – but for a free school with minimal public involvement to be given preferential treatment over a housing association in the name of keeping resources in public hands is absurd.
London is facing a housing crisis, and Hackney has a waiting list of thousands. The Olive School already has a building – the old police station, a piece of public land costing the DfE millions of pounds (and, by all accounts, millions of pounds too much when a more affordable site could have been obtained).
Meg Hillier is right to challenge the government over its use of public funds and the way it has treated the college, and I look forward to seeing the DfE forced to say something more meaningful than “we want to provide good value for the taxpayer”.
• It was a delight to see three community heroes and heroines receive civic awards at Hackney Town Hall on Wednesday night. I’m proud and honoured to have been invited to help judge them.
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(It was even more of a delight that, unlike Islington – whose civic awards I also help judge every year – Hackney doesn’t require me to give a speech, which will have made the evening about 100 per cent better for everyone, even though there are other parts of the council AGM that are almost as eye-wateringly tedious as me.)
We can get carried away reporting bad news, but local journalism is about celebrating the best of our borough, too – about inspiring gratitude and championing those too modest to blow their own trumpets. I’m thrilled to have been asked to play a part.
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For a free school to be given preferential treatment over a housing association in the name of keeping resources in public hands is absurd