Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/581/7349
Lewisham Bridge primary
THE TWO Socialist Party councillors on Lewisham council, Ian Page and myself, put a motion to the 20 May council meeting to delay the move of pupils from Lewisham Bridge primary school, which is threatened with closure.
Chris Flood, Socialist Party councillor
Planning permission for the new school building on the same site had not yet been awarded and there were many outstanding concerns. Thames Water think there may not be sufficient water for the new proposed school for 4-16 year olds.
There were also concerns about the land possibly being contaminated. With all these uncertainties unsolved, why move the children?
Our earlier council motion said that this early decant to another site, presumably to allow the council to demolish the building, was totally unnecessary and disruptive.
However the Greens, New Labour and the Tories in the council chamber made sure then that our item was not discussed.
Only days later English Heritage 'listed' the Lewisham Bridge school building, adding further delay to the council's proposed plans. Scandalously the Cabinet and Mayor knew of English Heritage's intention but didn't share this with either the council or the public in case our council motion went through!
The embarrassed Greens now say they are not happy either with the lack of information volunteered to them. But they failed to redeem themselves at the 20 May meeting. Ian and myself argued that the uncertainties could lead to the children being in a temporary school site for years. Surely it would be better to move the children back to the old site until a clear decision could be made?
Only the Socialist Party supported this. All the other parties now want a new school at any cost, even if it is an overcrowded PFI-built school, on contaminated land, with an inadequate water supply!
The Socialist Party is the only party in the council chamber to argue consistently for the needs of pupils, parents and staff in Lewisham. Clearly the public gallery agreed. Some very upset parents heckled the New Labour administration so much that the council meeting had to be adjourned for a period.
In The Socialist 27 May 2009:
Youth fight for jobs
Construction workers feature
International socialist news and analysis
PCS conference and workplace news
Socialist Party campaigning news