Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Councils' land speculation at the John Roan School

If your a council in need of money how do you go about filling a few funding gaps, well you look to sell off the family silver, or better still someone else's family silver if you can get hold of it. What could we mean, well following on from Greenwich Phantom's post we're talking about the Council's little plans to forcibly take the John Roan Foundation's prized land next to Greenwich Park and swap it for a polluted waste land on the Greenwich Peninsula? Well that's what looks like to be happening and a few days ago there were more moves towards this with the Board of Governors voting in favour of the move.

But surely if governors of a school want to go along with the Council's plans then they should be allowed, right, well maybe not, given that of the governors who were able to make an awkwardly scheduled meeting are in some way connected with their Labour Party paymasters it might not be? See the list of Governors here.

It should be remembered that David Gardner used to be a Labour Councillor and the Chair E Gardiner used to be Nick Raynsford's Assistant.

Now this is where it gets really interesting as the John Roan is a foundation school and this means that as well as having a governing body it also has the charitable foundation, which owns the land of the smaller of the two school sites and the schools playing fields, the other school site is owned by the Council.

So who gets to decide? According to the Council it is the Governing body as they are easier to handle, what with all those Labour connections. But with the Foundation owning the land, what are they to do, well it looks like there is an impending legal battle about to commence to decide if the council can take the foundation's land and forcibly swap it with other land.

The council seems to think that as "school is, however, fully funded by the London Borough of Greenwich Education Authority" it can therefore take the land away that the foundation allows the council to use. The governors vote resulted in four of the governors resigning, 2 parent governors and 2 from the foundation.

We have of course reported before about how the peninsula might not be the best site to located an expanded school. Due to the pollution and size, as well as transport difficulties.

None of this matters really if you offset poor little kiddies failing to get an education against a council which sees the prime residential development potential on land next to the green Greenwich Park. So looks like the lucky residents around Greenwich Park are set to see a new development along the lines of the new Ferrier development, shoebox flats here we come!

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Community Governor Jean Bloch was an unsuccessful Labour candidate in Blackheath/Westcombe ward in the 2006 elections

2:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Paul Wheeler (one of two LEA Governors... along with David Gardner) is active in the Labour Party. He also a former constituency agent for them.

That makes for four apparatchiks.

Any others?

4:13 pm  
Anonymous Simon said...

Just think...how many more issues of Greenwich Time could Chris Roberts produce if he got the money from selling-off that land?

5:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was the rubbish, but now it looks like the stink is coming from somewhere else.
Priorities, priorities, priorities..

Apologies to T. Blair.

6:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This week's Mercury carries a story about 4 governors resigning in the wake of the Governing Body at Roan voting to support the move to the Peninsula.

The Council declined to comment on the piece. Before the Governing Body voted the Council seemed to have a fair bit to say. Now that they've got what they wanted from their shills on the GB, they've fallen silent.

I expect that this will turn out to be a pretty effective stitch-up of the GB and its naively accommodating chair, along the lines of "Don't blame the impartial Council: it was the governors who wanted to move."

10:58 am  

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