Oor Sandy (Highland Council Convener Sandy Park, that is, if you are not a regular here) got a bit of a grilling this evening at the Nairn River CC meeting. Members wanted to know where the decision to cut all 334 Classroom Assistant posts had come from. To those present it seemed as if it had come completely out of the blue as it hadn’t shown up in any shape or form in the consultations.
In his replies to the constant questions Sandy meandered somewhat, one is never sure with Sandy whether this is a wily tactic to avoid giving a headline making response or simply the normal stream of his consciousness finding expression. He did indicate that it had come up in consultations concerning Education but did admit: “There wasn’t really a big deal of consultation specifically of classroom assistants. "
Again he was asked if it could not have been said at the time that this cut was one of the possible outcomes. He said it was very difficult to consult about specific jobs and indicated that teaching and management were all taking a hit.
Sandy said that with the budget process: “You’ve got to keep going back to the directors and back to the directors and saying look, we’re still no there. Like down south, they’re talking about a four day week for education. OK that was thrown out. Keep putting in and saying the only other place we can go now is here, less staff, less provision. So that’s basically what we’re asking, every director had to come back with more and more because we were asking for more and more cuts.”
That’s it from the horse’s mouth Gurnites, looks like the whip was cracked at the Directors then? Whatever, it is all coming to a head on Thursday and there is ever likelihood that there will be a rather large demonstration at Glenurquhart Road to lobby Sandy and his administration colleagues as they arrive for the cuts meeting, planned to start at 10.30 a.m.
More from the River CC meeting soon, including the latest on the First Steps nursery funding plus houses for Nairn South?