On the 28th of April 2016, Mrs Helen Budge, Director of Children’s Services and Mr Mark Clarke, Project Director from Morrison Construction came to the Janet Courtney Halls of Residence. All the residents, available house parents and managerial staff were asked to attend a meeting in our conference room. The meeting focused on the progress of the construction of the new school and hostel but swiftly shifted onto discussion over bedroom sizes, en suite facilities and the naming of the halls.
Mrs Budge spoke at length about how our involvement in this process was indispensable, the process of voting was explained and she proceeded to hand out small leaflets with the web address of where we could put forward our suggestions for the new title. Mr Clarke then gave details of how he would award prize money to the person who first suggested the winning name. This greatly appealed to younger residents however in conversation later that evening, older residents came to the conclusion this could be an unreliable offer, which has now proved to be a true assumption.
Since the proposed name “Anderson High School Halls” was made public and details from the vote, where a majority (44 of 80) suggestions were for the “George McGhee Halls of Residence,” current members of the hostel have spoken out about feeling ignored, lied to and that their chance to leave their footprint in the new hostel was ruined.
This opportunity was deeply valued by long term residents as they know once the doors of the current hostel are locked they will have nothing to return to of what was a home from home for so many years. We understand that the name will most likely not be changed as councillors have made their decision. However, due to pure ignorance from councillors, the residents of the Janet Courtney hostel (2015-17) would like an apology for the unfair decision that was made.
Scott Andrew Johnson
Janet Courtney Hostel,