Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The John Roan Campaign

It appears we are not alone in our distrust towards the Council. As some will know, the Council is currently trying to get the John Roan school to move to a location on Greenwich peninsula so that it can flog the land off and build lots of expensive flats. Then all the parents will have to take their kids to school through the congestion zone - clever huh?

Anyways, we've been informed of a website that has been set-up to stop this happening called The John Roan Campaign which holds some interesting facts about the place the Council wishes to move the school too.
  • The air is so polluted that it will be filtered on its way into the building
  • The site is so small that the only available play space is a caged area on the roof
  • The school will be in the middle of an isolated construction site for 10 years or more
  • The location is directly opposite the gasholder works, on land that the HSE believes is unfit for housing and schools
  • Four other schools in Greenwich are being rebuilt on site: why not The John Roan?
Coincidentally, local councillor Mary Mills has recently sent out a mail to her mailing list telling everyone that the pollution isn't a problem "honest guv". Why the need for filters then Councillor?

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Blogger CharltonParker said...

Oh dear, when can we deem air pollution as a problem? If we look at the London Air Quality Network and check out the two closest pollution monitoring stations, GMV and Woolwich Flyover. Although GMV is on the peninsula, it is too far away from the A102 to give a comparable results (look at the site details it mentions no roads). The Woolwich flyover is measuring the roadside pollution, this can be seen to fail in the past 2 years (since starting) and this year is not looking too good! So how bad does it need to get for pollution to be a problem?


Also we complain about having roads congested due to commuting children? How are kids meant to get to school? Its not exactly a heavily built up area with lots of children who can walk to school? Can we get the councillors to walk there from their homes or cycle underneath the A102M when there are huge tailbacks in the morning?

And don't get me started on the fact that they wanted a Super Casino just down the road from the school!

12:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just air pollution which is an issue down there - I understand that all the trees are planted in steel cages thanks to the heavy pollution in the subsoil which has not been remedied and the ecology park is planted on a large membrane. So who knows what that's storing up for the future...

It's good to see that our local politicians have learnt from those in government - just vehemently deny something which doesn't fit with your agenda. There's no point providing any data to back up an argument or engaging in a debate which you might lose, after all... Dumbing-down pervades all parts of Britain.

11:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry I have a professional background in environmental management and much drivel is being written about air pollution in the area.

Sadly air pollution is highish across all of London and it matters little statistically if you are close to a road or in the leafy suburbs of Blackheath; the risks are virtually identical.

I wonder if all the residents who oppose the move are willing to give up their 4x4s or other motor vehicles.

As to contaminated land; the whole borough is peppered with contamination.

However if we are talking about relative risk, i imagine the additional risk in moving to peninsular is less than spending a week on holiday in some Third World destination.

Some perspective on this debate would be useful would be useful.

I do work for the Council and my child does go to John Roan now and not in some idyll of yesteryear.

Something needs to be done; the existing site is far from ideal and does not serve the whole community.

I just wonder if quite a few people have just bought a house in Blackheath and would now have to have little prince/princess to be driven down to the Peninsula?

The Council proposal is pretty thorough (though not properly communicated) and deserves propery democratic debate not hysterical ranting.

I could be swayed either way but not by the level of arguement at the moment.

I would recommend however those quoting air pollution stats to get an A Level in Biology first...

Last thought; most pupils i have talked to support the move.

11:15 am  
Blogger greenwich.watch said...

Thanks for adding your comments, always useful for people to hear others views. Having said this we notice that you've set out your stall from a starting premise which is also a perfect example of an ad verecundiam argument.

12:00 pm  
Blogger CharltonParker said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:58 pm  
Blogger CharltonParker said...


An old article on how diesel fumes COULD increase risk of particles penetrating into children’s lungs! But until I carry out my own investigation and put a couple of children into a room full of fumes I cannot be sure of this. Any parents wanting to volunteer their children? I must also point out that the article found that there is a high correlation of children with higher levels of these particles and living on a main road.

Quote: “Sadly air pollution is highish across all of London and it matters little statistically if you are close to a road or in the leafy suburbs of Blackheath; the risks are virtually identical” Anonymous, Professional Environmental Management Person, I’m sure even with an A-Level in Biology I will still fail to understand this statement? The two monitoring stations are both on the peninsula, one has consistently failed the government set targets for air quality (the one closest to the school) and the other has not.

Ok I confess, it’s not just diesel vehicles that use the blackwall tunnel. Petrol emissions has less soot and more carbon monoxide, according to the HSE.


But this is my humble opinion, I don't think I draw any conclusions (until I get some volunteers) but provide material for debate or ranting and raving?

4:36 pm  
Blogger Eeyore said...

One piece of reality in these comments at least please...!

Over the years I have been to a number of meetings held at John Roan School in which the line, at least from senior management in the school, has been all in favour of a move to the Peninsula. All the facts.. whether true or false about pollution were known about then, so what's new?

The reality of this is that the Junior School at least, built by the old ILEA, has always been far from 'fit for purpose', indeed as I have reported to the Bexley Times it was actually built back to front, with the main entrance at the back of the building as seen from Westcombe Park Road instead of on the road side. The orientation of windows in the building is therefore also all wrong in relation to its compass alignment and consequent light/heat levels.

John Roan was always designed as a relatively small 'local' secondary school. Over recent years, owing to their being only limited secondary school provision in the Charlton/Woolwich area, its catchment area has changed significantly, and I suspect that most objections to the re-siting are coming from parents/pupils who are already experiencing issues travelling to the present site. Although the number of bus services feeding the Peninsula is set to increase further, at present it can be quite a difficult place to reach, existing traffic jams permitting, let alone those now being caused by the cessation of the tidal flow system.

9:14 am  

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