Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Council's backup strategy for the John Roan School

Some may remember that the Council is trying to force the school to move from its location by Greenwich Park to filthy toxic piece of waste ground on the Greenwich Peninsula with no local amenities which acts purely as a thoroughfare for us poor sods that have to use the pathetic public transport system to get the hell out of Dodge.

We have just learned that the Council is still trying to play dirty tricks in getting what it wants on this matter. Officially, if you go to the Council now and ask about the John Roan School the line is that the move is not the Council's to decide but the school's and the John Roan Foundation.

Sounds simple and honest doesn't it? Well it would be if we were not dealing with a Council that will use any means to get what it wants and trample over the views of local people. Especially as the John Roan plans are part of the Government's "Building Schools for the Future" scheme and the Council is way behind on its target because of its own incompetence.

Instead we have learned that the Council has now deliberately stalled the process whereby the John Roan Foundation was going to make a decision citing "legal considerations". What might these legal considerations be? Well (and this is the really devious bit), the Council is trying to take legal ownership of the name "The John Roan School".

This way - no matter what happens - the Council will be able to open its new school and close the other. The new school will have no outside space for the kids, and the air quality will be blighted by a deliberately clogged up dual carriageway. The Council can then flog off the land where the old school was to one of its "preferred" developers.

Whilst we're on the subject of outside space, ponder on this little thought for a moment. The Council started compulsory purchase procedures in order to take land that would provide outside space for Plumstead Manor School. Meanwhile, the John Roan is being forced to move by whatever means to a school with no outdoor space other than the roof.

Now take a look at the Governor make-up of the two schools and note the influence of the Council's controlling group in the former but not in the latter. In fact, look at the entire Phase One of the Council "Building Schools for the Future" and see how, with the exception of Plumstead Manor which is getting more playing fields - all the schools seem to be those where the elected officials of the Council have no political stake in the school's redevelopment success.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous The Council Baiter said...

Thanks again for unravelling the devious means by which this Council operates!

Our council - is it in complete denial/ have they lost their minds/or are they simply completely overtaken by their own egos and personal agendas? I have never lived anywhere were so many people are so unhappy with the behaviour (or lack of it) and actions of the council. The Council would be well advised to start listening to the residents - but perhaps best if they don't...as it will utimately lead to their own downfall. Champagne all round on that day.

I believe a roof top playground has been suggested for the new John Roan school. How ridiculous and you can predict that it will be a complete failure if it goes ahead. Placing a school so near to the Blackwall Tunnel and the chemical factories will be great for asthma enducing emissions - oh but wait: if they put the school there it will give them more justification to introduce congestion fees to Greenwich!

Yes, the council really want to give our children a good start in Greenwich. In fact they are committed to it, along with a totalitarian regime up at the ranch in Woolwich!

11:04 am  
Anonymous t said...

Regarding Plumstead Manor School, its worth noting that besides the debacle over the cpo with the church accusing the council of maladministration, and the council labelling a pub it wants to demolish a local landmark (they really don't have a clue do they), the only reason Plumstead Manor is getting more space is because there's a few quid in it for the council from the government.

Its funny that the council decided that Plumstead Manor needs more space as Plumstead Common is right outside the school with football and rugby pitches already marked out.

And for the PR companies picking up on the comments here, try this: Greenwich Council = corruption, nepotism, insensitivity, idiocy, greed, selfishness, carelessness and no morals. Why we tolerate the 'rule without regard' from this stagnant collection of human garbage I have no idea?

11:37 am  
Blogger Barbara said...

Greenwich council are a constant embarrassment to the tax payers in this borough. I wonder if they realise how disappointed their mothers must be with their offspring!

10:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a long standing inhabitant of what is now termed as Greenwich, and term after term i have voted against the incumbent council, but still they get in. Being a house owner and having worked my whole live i have found little incentive to vote for this lot. I hope the council baiter is right in thinking the voters may rebel, but for several reasons i doubt it.

7:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a shameful disclosure. What's sad and telling is that I'm not terribly surprised.

From what I heard recently, the planned Silvertown Link, if it gets built, will appear alongside the Blackwall Tunnel approach... so it will make the existing dual-lane carriageway seem like a country lane in comparison. And, supposedly, it may come with a toll plaza too. Extra cars queued at tollbooths? Virtual suffocation for the poor kids who are forced into to go to the Council's John Roan School!

8:41 am  
Anonymous Indigo said...

Would a responsible council build a new school on a flood plain? Of course not. The insurance premiums - if they can get insurance - will be higher than if it were not built on a flood plain. Until the second Thames Barrier is built.

I'd like the Council to publish its plans for evacuating the Peninsula in the event of a catastrophic flood. How are they going to get vulnerable children out, when everyone else will be on the roads trying to escape to higher ground? While parents try to drive *against* the fleeing crowds to rescue their own children.

9:59 am  
Anonymous greezy pimp said...

Anonymous is right this council, like those before it know that local people won't vote them out because "my family have always voted labour" or "Look what Thatcher did all those years ago". Until people forget voting on party lines and think about their vote and what an individual stands for nothing will change in this rotten borough.

10:36 am  
Anonymous The Council Baiter said...

Anonymous house owner - have faith :) many people are working hard to crush the spin and present the truth. Politically they are at their most vulnerable and they know it. Why else would a PR company be browsing blog sites for criticism of the 'regime'? Sweet joy ;)

The 'regime' at the ranch could change considerably in the future......

1:40 pm  
Anonymous Barb said...

Indigo - there are no plans to build a second Thames Barrier - it would cost billions! No one wants to pay the hike in Council Tax needed to fund the flood defences, personally I think if you live in flood plain (Thames Gateway) it should be up to you to pay the extra, not the rest of the population, & while I don't live in flood plain I work in it & yes I do know my escape route in the same way I also know where the fire exits are!

12:40 am  
Blogger Charlton Average said...

Barb, there certainly are plans for a new flood barrier across the Thames. Nothing's been decided but various options are being looked at. Apparently there might have to be a decision on it next year. Have a look at these sites:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6964281.stm
http://environment.independent.co.uk/climate_change/article2898456.ece

11:45 am  
Anonymous The Council Baiter said...

I think the developers and Tilfen etc should be paying for flood defences if they wish to continue building on the flood plains in the Greenwich area. It is ridiculous that the government are just allowing them to build and run with the money without putting long term measures in place.

Home owners are being charged high prices to live in those areas - despite them supposedly being 'affordable'mixed housing to plug the gap in a shortage of affordable housing. In addition the council is getting at least 4000 extra council taxes from the developments I have seen in the Woolwich, W.Thamesmead area - I think it's quite clear where the responsibility lies to pay for flood defences.

3:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What b**** you print at times! Why should developers pat for flood barrier? They already pay huge significant sums to the Council for 'infrastructure', what the Council does /doesn't do with it is not the responsibility of the developer! House prices in Thamesmead are amongst the lowest in London, developers exist to make some profit (or they go bust) if they do not build the land stays empty andthere are no houses for people to live in - makes a lot of sense doesn't it?
As for the desolute pollutes penninsula?!!! Has nobody noticed the North Greenwich station, the O2 etc? And what about the primary schoolthat is already there - the children are happy and not dead from fume inhalation.
You are also a bit confused on your Politics - if you check the giverning body of John Roab you will find one David gardner, ex Cllr and active Labour Party Member, and Liz Gardiner, Chair of Governors, who worked for Nick Raynsford.

10:44 pm  
Blogger greenwich.watch said...

"House prices in Thamesmead are amongst the lowest in London"

And falling with people in negative equity. Why? Because the place is littered with mass Nigerian fraud and crime. There is nothing to proud about the low house prices in Thamesmead. It's the only place in London where prices have fallen while the rest of London has gone up.

We didn't say the peninsula was desolate, we said it was a polluted shit hole. Which it is. Regarding being confused on our politics, it would appear you are the one a bit confused on your reading comprehension. We didn't mention party politics, and we were not talking about party politics. We were talking about Councillors, sitting councillors. Read back and look, we said "all the schools seem to be those where the elected officials of the Council have no political stake in the school's redevelopment success". An ex-councillor and a pen pushing MPs researcher were not "elected officials of the Council" the last time we looked.

So far from us publishing bullshit, it's you that is has the aforementioned bovine fecal matter for brains. We did however enjoy the ranting nature of your comment. Brightened up our morning to be honest.

8:22 am  
Anonymous The Council Baiter said...

Anonymous - if you just looked at how the developers have turned over the home owners - and yes also the Council (because they are completely incompetent) in the regeneration areas you might just see the error of your comments. But you are not informed about any of the events down in the land of Gallions Reach Urban Village are you? The council do try to pretend it isn't there I know - much as they do the whole of Thamesmead so I feel for your lack of knowledge. It's the land that time forgot..because it just keeps going wrong due to crap management from the planning and enforcement at the ranch.

It seems to me you are quite happy for contemporary ghettos to be built in the Thames Gateway whilst developers and the other self interested organisations involved line their pockets with gold above and beyond what you would expect. You overlook one major point - ALL NEW developments are supposed to be SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES - the select committee, the Mayor and also the Thames Gateway crew have all admitted that the new builds in W.Thamesmead are not that at all.

Tilfen are at the crux of this - and it escalates upwards from there to a selection of developers, public departments and the useless Greenwich Council.

In fact the prices in the west thamesmead flats built along the river were the highest in the borough byt as GW quite rightly says these home owners you have so little sympathy for now have minimum negative equity of £30,000 - some as much as £60,000 due to crime.

Little attention was paid to building on flood plains - because it would have made the properties unsellable if residents new the truth about it.

Ever thought of running for councillor down in Thamesmead Moorings? I'm sure you would make it even easier for developers to rape the area than our current lot already have.

12:25 pm  
Anonymous MountCalm said...

Anonymous:

Why don't YOU look at the primary school? And when you do, notice how it only has 400 (primary school-sized) children on more space than is being given to 1600 (secondary school-sized) pupils and their couple hundred (adult-sized) staff.

Also, the 400 unsad and undead kids, when they go outside, have their own grounds to go to. The 1600 do not. But also contemplate the asthma issues they're likely to face ten or twenty years hence... will they be quite so happy and alive then?

And, of course the Peninsula is polluted. That's why the secondary school is being built on piles. That way, the piles pierce the 15cm skim separating the surface from contaminants such as heavy metals buried underneath. And when (not if) there's flooding, one has to have some concern for what will leach to the surface through all the punctures.

Certainly somebody should be paying for the flood defences. And perhaps it should be the developers. All they would have to do is reflect the cost of the defences in their prices. Then, if that makes the houses too expensive and nobody buys them, then that will prove that the development is uneconomic in the first place. The environmental cost of building on a flood plain will be ultimately be borne by somebody... so why not the developers? Otherwise, it's us... but that's OK I suppose? As long as the developers (and the councillors) have already banked their profits.

9:29 am  

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