in the Southern League Central Division game v Chalfont St.Peter on
Saturday 18th January 2014. We won 5-1 in front of 269
I feel down about our club every playing in Slough again, I think of
Maidstone United. The old club went bust in the Football league in
1992 with a new Maidstone quickly re-born and playing in the Kent
County League Division Four! It took 20 years for them to get their
new ground, with numerous legal disputes and even a colony of Great
Crested Newts looking to scupper their plans. When permission was
finally given it still took 8 years to kick the first ball there.
But now look at them go at the top of the Ryman Premier. Playing in
their new state of the art 3G pitch their crowds went up a staggering
450% in their first season of their new ground, averaging 1,698 in
the Ryman South! They are now spending £50,000 on expanding the
stadium after just one season to accommodate more fans.
we move to a new ground, we need to get it right with mixed
facilities that build a long term future for the club. I have every
faith in our chairman and management committee to get this right but
over Arbour Vale does no-one any favours.
with the news that South Bucks conservative councillors decided to
reject the Sikh school staying at Pioneer House what now for Arbour
Vale? Under free school rules, the school was allowed to move to an
empty Pioneer House for a year without planning permission. That time
will be up in July. So will they appeal or look for a new home and
will the government say that their new home should be Arbour Vale?
And will the council take the government to court if that happens?
course the local Tories are being hypocritical – the free school
free for all is their own governments flagship programme. But of
course they don't like it when these national decisions come to bite
them on the bum on their own doorstep. Especially when we all know
what the elephant in the room really is. Just ask yourself this –
would the genteel folk of Stoke Poges be so up in arms if it was a
Catholic free school?
government has told a load of old flannel about devolving powers and
letting local people decide what's best for their area. Forget that
free schools can over-ride educational authorities and planning laws.
Schools can be handed to a private company even if most parents don't
want it and schools can be plonked where they want and bugger the
consequences. And as the National Audit Office pointed out, they
aren't exactly value for money either.
only that, but free schools have been rocked by forced closures,
heads under investigation for financial mismanagement,
female teachers being forced to wear the hijab, schools teaching
creationism, and able to employ people who aren't trained as
teachers. Every week it seems there's another sorry story to tell.
But its the segregation of children on religious grounds that worries
me most and in Slough every free school seems to for a specific
religion. Now you just need to look at Northern Ireland to see what a
successful policy of separating
children by religion turned out to be.
the meantime our club gets used as a political football; which is
kind of ironic really when if built, it will be one of the few places
in the town that has the potential to bring all of Sloughs
multi-cultural population together.
for us ageing rag-tag dads rebel army, we have to keep calm and carry
on. In between sucking on our oxygen masks, we must continue to cheer
on the team and try to remember how to chant S L O U G H T O W N But
maybe now its time to dust out that old classic we had hoped to have
binned 'All we want is a football ground in Slough.'