Martin Horwood MP stands in for me for the first hour of the Police and Justice Bill in Parliament as I am going with the governors and Head of Fortismere School to present their case for funding. The school has a buildings crisis looming since Haringey Council allocated only £1.61 million out of the borough’s £165 million to Fortismere.
They present the case well – but the Government’s line was that they needed to work with the council on getting a fair share for their school. Well – they tried that didn’t they – and it didn’t work. There is a pretty underhand pressure being applied so that Fortismere will be forced to sell off grounds or assets. Whilst we all applaud funding being given with a bias towards helping areas with high deprivation – it goes too far when practically new schools are getting great dollops of cash and Fortismere – with buildings containing rooms that are actually unusable – is neglected.
Rush back to Parliament to take over from Martin on the Police and Justice Bill. The Government has changed diddly squat during Committee – and now at Report and Third Reading are similarly immoveable.
So the sweeping forced mergers of police forces against their will is still there. So much for local policing! They are bunging in the Prison Inspectorate with four others – a move condemned by all (except the Government); they are increasing summary justice without any judicial checks and balances; they refuse to go back and renegotiate our unfair and unequal extradition arrangements with the USA and they are centralising power into the hands of the Home Secretary – who will be able to direct the work of the police and police authorities throughout the land without appropriate safeguards.