Sunday, 2 May 2010

Learning Trust has "disgusting" attitude says Mayor

Mayor Jules Pipe said that the Learning Trust's treatment of Hackney nurseries, parents and elected politicians was "disgusting" at a hustings organised by the North London Muslim Centre (on Sunday).

The Learning Trust delivers education for more than 27,000 pupils in Hackney.

The Mayor made the criticism despite denying claims that the Learning Trust will cut funding for nurseries in the borough. Pipe said that he had very recently been told that funding had actually increased but that it was now being re-allocated to where it was needed.

It was, he said, the Learning Trust's failure to communicate this with parents and elected officials like himself that he found "disgusting".

However the 're-allocation' claims sound similar to those that sparked a class war over sure-start centres in March.

The newer concerns over nurseries were reported here by NurseryWorld and apparently there was a hustings on this issue on Thursday last week - does anyone know what happened there?

Is this open hostility between the Learning Trust and the Labour administration something new?

According to other audience members it is. After the hustings Andrew Boff, Conservative Mayoral candidate, told Blood and Property that he'd not heard Mayor Pipe being so rude about the Learning Trust before and said: "You've got to realise that that the majority of improvements to schools in the borough are down to educational institutions outside of the council's control."

I spoke briefly to all three mayoral candidates, the briefest of all was Jules Pipe who refused to talk to me once he knew I wrote this blog. All he said was "no", and "Pale, male, stale" probably in relation to this story: Jules Pipe: pale, male, stale apparatchik of New Labour? back on February 12 (The words were George Galloway's).

It was an odd grudge to hold considering he managed to answer an extensive list of Blood and Property questions in March: Jules Pipe answers Blood and Property questions. I was hoping to ask him if he approved of moves made by the Labour Party in Haringey to allow large families to build extensions on their properties: Will Jules Pipe back-track on ultra orthodox planning rules?

I lost my notes and can't remember the details of the rest of the hustings. But the event was filmed for the Islam Channel. Candidates: Andrew Boff, Mischa Borris, Jules Pipe - Diane Abbott, Keith Angus, Matt Sellwood and Darren Caplan said pretty much what you'd expect. All were impressive in their various ways. (For a proper report on the event try Hackney Citizen's report which covers pretty much everything.)

Caplan stood his ground on Iraq and Afghanistan. The hustings organisers were spotted coaxing a couple of angry men away from him after the meeting. The audience heard that Diane Abbott had actually been to Afghanistan


  1. so if I ran into Jules, would he say, "no" and "moron"?

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