Tuesday 3 June 2014

The Sulivan Primary School Statement

Yesterday at Sulivan Primary School
Here's the BBC London News report and here is the official council statement below about the future of Sulivan Primary School:

"Hammersmith & Fulham Council has announced its intention to review the decisions, taken in February, to close Sulivan by effectively merging it with a newly-expanded New King's School. It now intends to publish proposals to revoke those decisions.

This follows the new Administration’s intended change to its housing policy that could see demand for primary school places rise in the local area.

The change in housing policy, signalled in the new Administration’s manifesto, places a greater emphasis on the need for new affordable homes to rent which could have a particular impact on the South Fulham Riverside development where 1,000 extra homes are being built.

A decision to merge the two schools was taken in January in order to reduce the number of surplus places across the two schools by 15 per year group. A significant change in housing policy could mean those places are now needed.

Council officers will be reassessing the likely future demand for school places and a decision paper on whether to publish proposals for the two schools to stay open is likely to be presented to the next Cabinet meeting on June 23.

If proposals are published, all affected parties and the wider community will have the opportunity to make comments in response".

Sunday 1 June 2014

Thank You - Now The Work Begins

Charing Cross Hospital opened on the 22nd May 1973.
Exactly forty one years later people voted to send the
Prime Minister a very clear message that it needs to
stay open. The government now needs to listen.
Having had very little sleep and a maelstrom of activity during the last week it is beginning to dawn on me that it’s true – the residents of Hammersmith and Fulham really did elect my colleagues and me into office on Thursday, 22nd May.

It may be a cliché but it is genuinely humbling to find myself in this position. Thank you.

In the run up to Election Day I lost count of the numbers of people who told me they usually vote Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Green or even don't usually vote but this time were all intending to vote Labour - many for the first time in their lives. I recognise that along with the thousands of Labour voters who always support my party there is an alliance of local people who have come together and hired us to deliver The Change We Need to see in this borough.

My colleagues and I will officially assume office at the council’s annual general meeting on 16th June.

Top of our list of priorities is defending Charing Cross Hospital. On 15th May David Cameron came to Hammersmith and Fulham to urge voters to back the Conservatives’ awful and dishonest hospitals plan. I understand Mr. Cameron was also telephone canvassing local residents pleading with them to vote to re-elect his favourite council on both the Election Day and the night before. They did the opposite. In fact, over 60% of the residents that voted rejected the Prime Minister’s appeals and with 22,163 votes Labour beat the Conservatives in the borough's popular vote for the first time since the 1990s. The people have spoken and if Mr. Cameron is a democrat he needs to back away from these life threatening hospital plans and listen to what the voters have said. If he refuses, I believe the consequences for his reputation, his government and the bureaucrats serving it will be dire.

Shortly after the results were announced on Friday morning I formally sent the Council’s Chief Executive our manifesto and instructed him to have his officials start work on its implementation. The due process of its delivery will form the council’s programme over the next four years. I will detail more as and when we deliver on our promises.

But we have already set much in play over the last week. That includes establishing a new council Hospital Unit to defend Charing Cross and its A&E, closing down hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of unnecessary council magazines and glossy propaganda that had been planned by the former Conservative administration and banning councillors from taking hospitality from those seeking benefit from their elected positions.

We want this new Labour administration to be one that works with residents so we have set about re-structuring the council’s processes to make them more open and democratic.

Prior to the election we carried out an extensive manifesto consultation. Hundreds of people read our manifesto which was emailed out to voters across the borough. That was the only manifesto produced by any political party that had a chance of winning the Hammersmith and Fulham council elections. The Conservatives told me they hadn't produced one because "people know what they'll get" – it turned out they were absolutely right.
We live in a time when politics is a dirty word for too many and too many people use voting just to protest - having given up on voting to change anything. My colleagues and I really hope we might be able to do things differently here in Hammersmith and Fulham. We will work with residents from all political persuasions and do our very best to make this the better borough we all want it to be.