Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Please pass this on.

This was spotted on ARRSE after landing there following a google search for something relating to the previous post.

It's true, it's real and it's more than mean - and it needs publicity, so if you do read this please mention it in your own blog, or to your friends and neighbours if you don't have a site of your own.

Copied from the forum :-
Apologies if I'm stepping on any toes, but I've come accross a case which could really do with our help.

WO1 Mac McGearey is serving with 1 RTR. His daughter, Ciara, desperately needs specialist care, but the family has been shafted by Edinburgh Council who are taking them to court.

When Ciara was 3 days old, she contracted meningitis, leaving her blind, unable to speak and suffering from a number of other disabilities. Since she was 6 months old, she's been receiving specialist treatment from the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh.

However, Mac was posted to England and she obviously had to move schools. Ciara went to a non-specialist school and didn't receive the level of care she needed, so when an opportunity came up for an Edinburgh posting, Mac took it and moved his family back. However, the council refused to fund her place at the Royal Blind School and instead offered a place at another non-specialist school.

An indepdent tribunal concluded unanimously that the Royal Blind School was Ciara's best option, and that had Mac not been in the Army, she would still be attending. They then ordered that Edinburgh Council make funding available immediately.

Rather than comply, Edinburgh council elected to take the case to court at a cost of up to £160,000 in legal fees (Ciara's education at the RBS would be approx. £38k per year).

Mac's walking 500 miles to raise the money needed to keep Ciara in school until the court case.

If you can spare even a couple of quid, please make a donation or sponsor Mac's walk. The appeal is being run by the Scottish Poppy Appeal, and there's more info - pics and the story in Mac's own words - on the links.
There is more to read within the forum thread here and also in reports from the Scotsman and a piece by Alex Massie in the Spectator.

Here are a couple of snippets from the Scotsman :-
15th Jan 2010
A tribunal, which was set up under the Additional Support for Learning Act, ruled in November that the Blind School was the best option for Ciara.

However, bailiffs arrived at Ciara's home on Friday to issue a summons to the Court of Session, after the council lodged an appeal against the decision.
and 29th Jan 2010.
The council's education department wants Ciara, who lost her sight when she was only three days old after suffering meningitis, to go to the council-run Oaklands Special School, which does not specialise in blindness.

A tribunal, which was set up under the Additional Support for Learning Act, ruled in November that the Blind School was the best option for Ciara.

Calls for the council to withdraw its appeal against the ruling were yesterday rejected.

A motion was submitted in private to the full council meeting by Councillor Jason Rust asking the council to withdraw its appeal.

It was backed by his fellow Tory councillors, along with the Greens and Labour, but the administration voted in favour of continuing the appeal and it won on the casting vote of Lord Provost George Grubb.
Sometimes we Rigbys think we are going through tough times, but nothing like this

According to an ARRSE poster :-
This Warrent Officer Class 1 has turned down a Queen's Commission (and its pay and pension!) so his daughter can get the best education she can. That's love and nails for you!

Shame on you Edinburgh Council, shame on you!
Yep, that about sums it up!

 PoppyScotland link to sponsor Mac's walk is here

A "section leader within Edinburgh City Council's finance department"  was, incidentally, in the news only yesterday, for something quite different.

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