Report of the Lobby on Wednesday 30 January
Over 40 people gathered outside Lewisham Townhall on Wednesday 23 January to tell Lewisham Councillors that we won’t stand for their preposal to hand over Monson Primary school to Haberdashers Askes Hatcham Academy.
Parents heckled councillors who claimed that the proposal had wide support. Many parents had failed to receive consulation papers. Despite the fact that many were excluded, the consultation report revealed that over 57% rejected the proposal. However the Council have decided to ignore this and are hell bent on continuing with their policy of handing over state schools to unaccountable private organisations.
A motion put forward by Socialist Party Councillors Ian Page and Chris Flood calling on the Council to ballot parents in the area was rejected.
Lewisham Council loves privatisation
Lewisham Council don’t like ballots and anything resembling local democracy. They recently lost the ballot in New Cross when council tennants voted to reject the recommendation by Lewisham that Hyde Housing Association take control of council housing in the area. Lewisham residents know what privatisation means – handing over valuable assets to private organisations that have no interest in serving the community has spelt disaster for working class communities.
We also heard at the meeting that a consulation paper on health provision in the area proposes that the A & E, the Childrens Hospital and Maternity Services are to be axed at Lewisham Hospital. These cuts are directly linked to the debts incurred in neighbouring hospitals in Greenwich and Bromley who are struggling to meet the payments demanded by the PFI contractors. So who pays for this? We do – by cuts in our local health provision.
Defend Education in Lewisham, who organised the lobby are determined to keep up the pressure. We will be organising stalls and protests across Lewisham to ensure that we mobilise parents, teachers and the local community to stop these disasterous policies.
While local trade unions have lent their support they have so far been unable to turn discontent and opposition into action. A key task in the coming weeks is for these campaigns to link up with trade unions and to start organising workers action to stop these attacks on public services.