Sunday, February 20, 2005

Groomsport Parish Church

I called on the NDBC to support me in writing once again to the Planning Appeals Commission asking that appeal hearings should be as they always were until recently held in North Down. Particularly, I asked that the latest letter should be supporting Groomsport Parish Church in their call to have the PAC hearing in North Down and I was delighted that my call was supported unanimously.

The PAC decided that hearings should be held in Park House Gt Victoria Street Belfast. Not a convenient place if you are retired, cannot drive, or even convenient for many, if you do drive. The procedure is for some intimidating and fraught. The commissioner's rule is law, it appears it cannot be questioned, even if it is against deputations from residents, the support of the local Council and more importantly even with the support of the Planning Service. This one man can overturn all.

Residents in North Down have enough to face at a PAC hearing they should be allowed to do so in their own area.

It's pretty simple - "NO"

Once again people were queuing up on Saturday to sign North Down Borough Council's petition against the proposed water charges and once again, many thanks to everyone for their support and encouraging comments.
I was heartened by the many people who said the proposed scheme was unfair and unjust. The Minister cannot ignore what the people of not just North Down but Northern Ireland are saying, to these proposed charges - it's pretty simple and should be easily understood.... "NO".

Monday, February 07, 2005

Are you bored or confused?

The Department of Education appears to boring grammar schools into accepting their controversial proposals about post primary school re-organization. Just read their LATEST discussion document "New Admission Arrangements for Post Primary Schools" issued in January(500 pages). The papers was promised 1 year ago.

The whole reorganization debate is now becoming ludicrous. The Department has taken 6 years, 2 major reports, 4 consultation exercises - that I can recall!

I suggest if you are interested in education, take time, read this boring document, and you may agree that the Department has yet to come up with a satisfactory alternative, based on the general principle that it is necessary to have a system which makes some attempt to match the aptitude and ability of pupils with what is being provided by individual schools to which they are applying. The model being proposed by the Department falls well short of that requirement.