Darren Cooper on the shame of Michael Gove

People in my borough of Sandwell will never forget that week in July when schools secretary, Michael Gove, first announced that our schools had survived his BSF axe – and then cruelly reversed his decision.

Parents, pupils and teachers won’t soon forget his refusal to listen to reason and give our community the school building projects it so desperately needs. And we certainly won’t forget his refusal to come to Sandwell and explain his decision.

This morning, Michael Gove appeared on our local radio station, BBC WM, and offered nothing more than excuses. For five minutes he failed to offer a single genuine reason why he couldn’t take the ten minute journey from Tory conference in Birmingham to visit the schools in Sandwell whose hopes he so callously dashed this summer. The audio is here.

At 12:00 today I’ll be on BBC WM myself to explain why Sandwell council has taken the decision to call for a judicial review. You can listen here.

I have announced today that we are taking legal action because the government’s decision is irrational, unfair and shortsighted.

Why did they chose 1 January as the cut off date? Was it just plucked out of the air? If we had been told that was the deadline we would have met it.

Instead, we did what we were told and spent money on preparatory work in good faith. Given the circumstances, we believe that we have no alternative but to mount a legal challenge.

We need to fight this injustice every step of the way. In Sandwell, we will never give up on our children, even if it feels like this government has.

Darren Cooper is leader of Sandwell Council.

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One Response to “Darren Cooper on the shame of Michael Gove”

  1. Cait says:

    Really good stuff.

    I’ll be watching and sending all positive energies your way.

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