An affront to democracy; unelected Church nominees on Council Education Committees in Scotland (and England)

Primate's Progress

A question for your Holyrood candidates

I will be asking my Scottish parliamentary candidates how, in their view, Council Education Committees ought to be selected.  Should they simply consist of elected councillors, plus others (e.g. teachers) that they vote to co-opt? If not, what arrangement would the candidate prefer? And readers may also want to ask about this; I would love to hear the candidates’ answers. Why I am asking this strange question? Because of these strange facts:

The scandal

By pre-devolution law, all Council Education Committees must include three individuals nominated by Churches. One nominee is from the Catholic Church, and one from the Church of Scotland. The third is from a religious body selected by the Council, having regard to local demographics. The elected councillors themselves have no further say in the matter, nor do those they represent. Non-believers, and members of any other than the three…

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A damehood for Margaret Whitehead

Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead From

Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead

This is good news for the public health and environmental health communities. The Crewe Chronicle reported last month (I’ve only just spotted this) that Professor Margaret Whitehead was awarded a Damehood in the New Year’s Honours List. Professor Whitehead is head of the University of Liverpool’s department of public health and policy and was recognised for her outstanding contribution to society’s understanding of health inequalities, with a significant influence on public health internationally.

Students of environmental health will recognise the Dahlgren and Whitehead model of the determinants of health which suggests the relationships between the individual, their environment and health outcomes.

It’s always nice to put a face to a name.

And if you’re interested, the model is visually represented thus:

Social determinants of health - Dahlgren and Whitehead 1991

A year of Tinkerbell

Tinkerbell has been with us one year today. Here are her appearances on this blog since then. Click to embiggen.