Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/577/7224
Hands off Lewisham Bridge school!
PARENTS AND other community campaigners around the Defend Education in Lewisham campaign have been occupying the roof of Lewisham Bridge school in south London since 23 April. They have now set up the "Hands off Lewisham Bridge school" group.
Lewisham council, led by Labour mayor Steve Bullock, wants to demolish the existing nursery and primary school and rebuild on the same site a school for three year olds through to 16 year olds.
Their plan is that, while the school is being demolished and rebuilt, the pupils will be taken by bus to a temporary site at a cost of £900 a day. However the council plans hit a snag - the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has declared the building as 'listed'.
The council plans mean parents and children having to get up at least an hour earlier and then return later in the day. Speaking to one parent, after two days of bussing her children to school and getting them up for 6.30am, by Saturday she felt like she was in a war zone with the children being so tired each morning. And the council wants to do this for a further two years.
Campaigners, including some parents, started to occupy the roof on the day the bussing started and began leafleting and petitioning the parents. They demanded that the Lewisham Bridge school should stay as it is and that the council should look for another site to build a much-needed secondary school.
There was overwhelming support amongst parents for the campaign. Campaigners highlighted several alternative sites that the council could use.
On 24 April, whilst the parents were waiting to pick up their children, a successful meeting was held with 100 there. Six Visteon workers from Enfield also spoke at the meeting and then took part in the occupation.
Socialist Party councillors Ian Page and Chris Flood put forward a motion at the recent council AGM to delay the 'decant' proposals, but the motion was not voted through. Socialist Party members have visited, and are involved in, the occupation. This campaign has got a lot of local support. The banners draped over the side of the building have had a big impact.
In The Socialist 29 April 2009:
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis