Weekly Waste Watch- 82

Flashy new buildings fail to improve school

In the news this week:

£25m Blair "super-school" heading for closure- "A pioneering £25million "super-school", opened by ex-PM Tony Blair, has been put into special measures by school inspectors. Bishops Park College, built five years ago to mop up a predicted boom in demand for school places, was hailed as an innovative new venture. But now the state-of-the-art facility in Clacton, Essex, which has 900 places but only 560 pupils, is threatened with closure. The report is the latest blow for the beleaguered school in which inspectors said standards in maths and English were "exceptionally low". Teachers were also judged to have "too low" expectations of what the children could achieve academically." (Telegraph 1.12.07)

£150,000 on unneeded Whitehall survey- "They say you shouldn't ask a question unless you're ready for the answer. Perhaps that's something Whitehall officials should have borne in mind when they spent £150,000 on a survey into public attitudes to migration. They had hoped to produce reassuring data to comfort ministers wrestling with the shambles of Labour's asylum and immigration policy. Instead, an overwhelming majority of the population said there were too many immigrants in Britain and strict quotas should be imposed on the numbers entering." (Mail 1.12.07)

£200,000 for left-wing propaganda- "A glossy 'voter's guide' for teenagers backed by the Commons Speaker Michael Martin has been accused of political bias. The pamphlets, called Voting Times, and sent to 600,000 households a year to remind young people to register to vote when they turn 18, cost more than £200,000 to produce. But they were at the centre of a row last night after critics complained they offered a list of "Left-leaning causes" under the title "Identify the issues that matter". Produced in the style of a glossy magazine complete with a picture casebook telling the story of one politically motivated young man, the pamphlet reads: "Identify the issues that matter. Your unique experiences in life mean that you have a unique view of the world. "Global poverty, the environment, healthcare, education, training and jobs are just a few of the issues facing Britain." (Mail on Sunday 2.12.07)

£83 grand expenses for another high-rolling cop- "The police chief tipped as the next Scotland Yard Commissioner is facing scrutiny after running up expenses of more than £83,000 over the past three years. Sir Hugh Orde, the £130,000-a-year head of the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI), has spent the cash on flights and hotels in the UK and the US since 2004. The figure is higher than any other UK Chief Constable - but Sir Hugh, 48, has denied using taxpayers' cash to meet his long-term mistress Denise Weston." (Mail on Sunday 2.12.07)

Total for week- £25,433,000
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