Friday, 30 April 2010

Dr Elisabeth Leedham-Green's Remarks

Madam Deputy Vice-Chancellor,
Statute A.VIII.5 requires that ‘Any proposal to be placed before the Regent House or the Senate for approval shall be in the form of a Grace’. It is my hope that we shall be offered one on this Report. Or is the Council of the opinion that a proposal not to do something is somehow not a proposal? Better still, let the original ‘fifty-member’ grace be put to the Regent House.
The response of the Council (with no fewer than five dissenters) to this ‘fifty-member’ grace was that as £240,000 had been spent in installing the odious life and that an additional £100,000 or so further would need to be spent in uninstalling it, the Grace would not be put. The argument had been that anything costing as little as £240,000 was a ‘minor work’ and therefore did not require the assent of the Regent House.
I know a man who knows a man who knows a man who has a mate with a ball and chain who for less than that would probably be prepared to demolish this Senate House (though not perhaps to clear up afterwards), and he, no doubt, has a mate who could supply a range of Nissen huts in the style of the neighbouring Waterhouse façade of Caius, with full video conferencing facilities (allowing the Old Schools to actually employ wheelchair-users in the offices on all three floors (which at present, and with the intruded lift, they still cannot)), a centrally located Disability Centre and a tea room (which might actually be open for tea).
I join with others present in undertaking to request a ballot if the Grace on this Report, as it should be, be put.

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