Matter referred to GONW by DCLG and Cabinet Office

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Government Office for the North West

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

This request has been withdrawn by the person who made it. There may be an explanation in the correspondence below.

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended)

Dear Government Office for the North West,

I am very interested in the previous request:-

"Dear Government Office for the North West,

Please could you explain your remit. Do you have a role in:

1. Ensuring that local government do not abuse their powers?
2. Ensuring that local Government do not abuse the child protection
3. Ensuring that local Government behave within the confines set by
the law?
4. Ensuring that Local Government do not misappropriate public

This is exactly the problem I have tried to raise with Andrew Stunell Local Govt Minister, who couldn't have cared any less, Eric Pickles and Francis Maude and incidentally GONW in the past, who couldn't have cared less either. The Audit Commission is being disbanded and we are supposed to act as armchair auditors. Well, we are being blocked from doing that.

I believe the case I refer to about the school deliberately to be built on unremediated toxic waste at Harcourt Street, North Reddish, Stockport, with financial irregularities of both £4 million and circa £250,000 and which is not even big enough for the children who need to attend, has been referred to GONW by Eric Pickles' and Francis Maude's departments.

Please may I see the letter referring this matter to GONW and details of any action taken to date to date.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Sheila Oliver

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended)

Dear Government Office for the North West,

Eric Pickles is getting rid of the Audit Commission and we are supposed to be becoming armchair auditors and are told by him to "look under the bonnet of local government" How can we if rogue councils like Stockport clam up when questioned about financial and other irregularities?

Is Eric Pickles a complete sham with regards to this or are you going to respond? Otherwise, I shall go back to Secretary of State Pickles pointing out he is talking hogwash.

Yours faithfully,

Sheila Oliver

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

We see from text below that the birth rate in the area is rising sharply:-


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From: "FOI Officer" <>
To: "sheilaoliver"
"Donna Sager" <> Sent: 21 September 2007 10:11 Subject: FW: FOI/EIR Ref 718 Size of proposed School
Our Reference: FOI/EIR 718
Dear Mrs Oliver,
Freedom of Information - Size of the proposed school
I am writing in response to your request for information dated 8"1 September 2007 detail below.
1) The size of the whole site is on the planning application form. For information 2.97
2) The new school is designed for 525 children with 50 fulltime children's centre places.
3) At This stage it is building costs and some equipment. The Council is still waiting for
final figures regarding exact land costs.
4) The Total internal floor area of the building is 3184m2 including the children's centre
and changing rooms.
If you are unhappy with our response or the way we have handled your request you are entitled to ask us to conduct an internal review. Any internal review will be carried out by a senior member of staff who was not involved with your original request. To request an internal review please email in the first instance or write to:
FOI Officer Town Hall Edward Street Stockport SK13XE
If you are unhappy with the outcome of any internal review you can complain to the Information Commissioner. To do so please contact-Information Commissioner's Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF 01625 545745 Yours sincerely,
Andy McAIpine

We see from the evidence below that the school was never big enough for the children who needed to attend:-


New Primary School - Harcourt Street, Reddish Design Sub Group

Notes from meeting held 28" April 2006 at 1.30pm

Jill Jones Judith Dawson Sharon Connolly David Mellor Gail Ellams Colin Manning Ruth Ashton Chris Woolard Andy Mackenzie
Phil Beswick Sue Johnson
AJM outlined the clarification to the brief following the last Project Board meeting. The decision is that the project must follow the DfES BB99 guidelines for a 2.5FE primary school plus a wholly integrated Children's Centre as briefed. This building will therefore be designed to teach 525 children with an entry of 75 per annum.
CM produced C&YPD's projections of 563 children if all children currently at Firtree and North Reddish are offered places. This produced the following options (with comments) for a decision by the Project Board. It was noted also that the projections were for an intake in the first year of 81. Clearly 6 children will be allocated places elsewhere. This should be noted when nursery places are allocated it was felt.
Note, following the meeting CK advised that the latest projection was 555.
1. Restrict numbers to 525 by offering some children places at other existing schools
Advantages. Achieves target figure at no extra cost to the building Disadvantages. Breaks the promise of a place for every child

Comment. The group didn't necessarily want to go back on a previously written promise.
2. Provide temporary classroom until roll drops to around 525
Advantages. Allows every child a place. Keeps class sizes to the normal levels. Cheap build cost compared to new build. Building could be removed when numbers fall. Disadvantages. Could lack inclusion if not suitably designed. Planning permission may be problematic. Comment. This option was the favourite of the group, subject to funding.
3. Increase class sizes and mix year groups
Advantages. A no-cost solution.
Disadvantages. Whilst suggested by CM as possible he felt that cramming children in would be unacceptable from an education standpoint.
Comment. Hastily withdrawn as an option by the teaching contingent but accepted by
the Building team. Further discussion required. It was also discussed that the ICT
suite could be used as teaching space for the first couple of years with ICT networked
into the classrooms. This was discounted by the teaching staff.
4. (additional) New build classroom to accommodate extra children
Advantages. All children offered a place accommodated in inclusive classrooms.
Disadvantages. Exceeds brief. Very expensive. Will be left with surplus
Comment. Accepted as unlikely to be considered further.
CW tabled the two current options. One single storey, the other two storeys. Both schemes were debated and comments (particularly office accommodation - cellular opposed to open plan). The group to consider their comments for the next meeting.
CM stated his concern over the 57m2 classrooms. Agreed that BB99 will be applied (57m2).
CM asked CW to summarise the reductions from the previous scheme to the current BB99 proposal.
The group asked CW to investigate a roof terrace as part of the two story scheme. AJM stated this will not be funded as it was outside of the brief the group asked for a design that could be adapted at a later time.
The placing of the school on the site was discussed and the possible restrictions noted. AJM outlined the right of way restrictions, particularly from the rear of every property backing onto the field. This did not concern the group as they felt the landscape team would be sympathetic with the non-school land.

Why did they build a school which wasn't ever big enough?

More evidence to follow.

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I think the Government Office for the North West has been shut down by Eric Pickles as part of the cuts to public services.