THE Conservative education spokesman has reacted to Labour Councillor Oliver Gerrish’s resignation as cabinet member for education.
Homesteads Councillor James Halden said “Oliver has always been extremely polite and earnest in his dealings with me, and I did send him a short message last week to personally wish him well.”
When asked what this means for the department, Cllr Halden said “In the last three months we have seen a director go, and a cabinet member go. Both of whom insisted that we were on the way up. This is to the backdrop of multimillion pound overspends, and the 3rd worst ratings for access to good primary schools in the nation. The only way to improve a problem to admit a problem exists.
Former Labour Home Secretary John Reid said this when he acknowledged that the home office was “not fit for purpose”. I’ve said it for over a year now and I’m saying it again, Thurrock needs a new start and accept the state this department is in. It needs a new education revolution and start freeing schools from the red tape of this council.”
Looking ahead, Cllr Halden said “While I’m sure there will still be disagreements to be had, I will work with whoever takes on the mantle on the Labour benches to achieve the cross party target of having every school as good or better. This will start as I prepare to give evidence to the Thurrock education commission next week, where I will be repeating my policy – shrink the council, release money to the schools, and help foster independence from this big brother council.”