Just prior to writing this article I attended the topping out ceremony of two new schools, the Lake Farm Academy in Hayes and the John Locke Academy in Uxbridge.
These schools are part of the £150million investment that we are making in new and expanded primary school facilities across the borough to ensure that every child in Hillingdon has a proper school place as close to their home as possible.
The school at Lake Farm is a fantastic facility for the youngsters of that area, and despite the attempts of a few individuals to prevent the building of such a great facility on this site in Hayes, local children will, as we promised, have the best possible start in their educational life.
The John Locke Academy on the St Andrew’s site (RAF Uxbridge) is also an impressive facility which will serve the children of Uxbridge well for many years to come.
As the primary school expansion programme will be substantially complete by this September, I would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all the staff of the London Borough of Hillingdon who have worked so hard over the past four years to ensure its success: an extremely large and complex programme which is coming in on time and on budget, ensuring that as each September has passed, all Hillingdon children have a decent school place.
I would also like to thank my colleagues in the Conservative administration, in particular Councillor David Simmonds, cabinet member for education and children’s services, who has led on the delivery of the programme.
There is no doubt at all that only this Conservative administration in Hillingdon could have delivered this programme, particularly in Hayes where we have insisted that children there have the same facilities as the rest of the borough.
I can still recall asking at a council meeting for the Labour group – who were objecting to the new school in Hayes – to provide a viable alternative, or by September 2014 they would have failed Hayes children. I am still waiting, but in the meantime the new school will be open in September as promised.
The first meeting of council saw the new Labour group in full Monty Python, ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’ mode, trying to peddle their north-south divide agenda.
“Well, yes, apart from the leisure facilities, the roads, the schools, the parks, the libraries, the council tax freeze”, etc. etc.
Labour accused the Conservative administration of making themselves look good with all the achievements that have occurred in Hillingdon.
It is not hard to look good against this opposition – but things can only get better.