Labour most misleading leaflet ever?

From Spencer Drury, PPC for Greenwich & Woolwich

Spencer writes “As February draws to a close, the Labour Party in Greenwich and Woolwich have clearly decided they ought to deliver the odd leaflet just to look like they might be interested in the electorate with an election in the near future. Each leaflet contains a range of distortions and misleading statements, but one that is being scattered around Blackheath Westcombe ward does take some beating for a completely distorted view of reality.


I thought I would try to take it one story at a time over the next few weeks, starting with the main one, entitled “Bright future for John Roan”. This story suggests that Labour have in some way contributed to a positive future for the John Roan School when nothing could be further from the truth.


The facts are that Labour decided some years ago to move the John Roan School to a smaller site on the Greenwich Peninsula. A positive way of viewing this would be that a new school was needed there; however, a cynic might suggest that the property values for the site on Maze Hill were substantially greater than those on the Peninsula, so there was a substantial profit to be made from this move.


In addition, Labour decided that increasing the size of the school would be a great benefit to everyone, even though the site on the Peninsula was smaller that the two current sites put together. So when the design came through, it was for a 5 storey tall school, with a playground on the roof. At the time Labour claimed that the Peninsula site was the same distance from the school playing fields (which are adjacent to the Ferrier Estate) as the Maze Hill one, so people should not worry about this extra journey time. 


Now unfortunately, Labour was held up in its plans as various people with the John Roan governing body and the John Roan Foundation were not convinced by the plan. Their views delayed the decision and then the Health and Safety Executive decided that the school should not be built next to a large gas holder (one having just exploded elsewhere in the country). 


This put the whole project on hold, where it remained until just before Christmas, when the John Roan governing body finally gave up and decided they wanted to stay where they were and would try to push for the money which had been allocated to the new school to be put to refurbishing the Maze Hill site and rebuilding the Westcombe Park site. The Council played no part in this decision.


So to suggest that this chaos has been anything other than an unmitigated disaster for the Labour Council’s planning for education is laughable – the original deadline for completing the new Building Schools for the Future schools was September 2009. They have presided over a shambles and their interference has failed to improve this school one iota. 


I recently visited the school and was shocked to see a bucket on the floor in the gym where water was coming through the roof and tents outside where student now ate as there was not enough space in the hall as the numbers had been pushed up so much by the Council.


I hope that the John Roan School does indeed have a bright future, but I suspect that the chances of this happening will be much improved under a Conservative Council. The confusion over the John Roan move to the Peninsula is a mess of Labour's making, not a success and Labour’s inability to face up to the reality of the situation and apologise to students, parents and teachers is one of the reasons why they deserve to lose power.”