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Lib Dems left out of Richmond's academy governor roles
Liberal Democrat councillors have been snubbed in recent appointments to school governor positions, having voted against the academies policy.
There was outrage among members of the education and children’s overview and scrutiny committee at a meeting in York House on Tuesday, January 15.
The change of most schools in Richmond to academies has reduced the number of council representatives on each governing board from three to one, with new appointments being made.
Councillor Paul Hodgins, cabinet members for schools, appointed only Conservative councillors to school governing bodies in recent appointments.
He said: “If we have these major changes and the opposition has argued against these I don’t see an argument to say that they can be productive within these links.
“My recommendation is not going to be that’s the perfect person that is going to be linked back to that school."
Councillor Malcolm Eady, Liberal Democrat spokesman for education and schools, claimed decision making was “behind closed doors”.
Committee member and Lib Dem councillor Suzette Nicholson said: “I don’t like to see the arrangements of governors become a political football.”
Responding to Coun Hodgins, co-opted member of the committee and parent governor Rowan Woodward said: “From what you have just been saying the process of being a local authority governor is being deliberately political.
“From my experience of having a local authority governor on the board is that they are not political at all and I’m quite shocked to even think there could be.
“I expect it to be factually based and that’s all that I would expect them to bring to the table.”
Coun Nicholson and Coun Eady had requested a call-in over the decision, but Coun Hodgins' decision was approved by the committee.