The letters in the South London Press are getting increasingly interesting, I’m preparing to some kind of response to my one that was published in the paper version of the SLP last Friday.
LEWISHAM Mayor Steve Bullock came to power promising a new secondary school for the north of the borough.
Eight years have passed and this mayor has not only been unable to deliver on that promise, he also created an even worse gap at primary school level for the whole of the borough!
The news that this year there are 543 more applications for reception at Lewisham’s primary schools than available places is just shocking (“‘Crisis’ after applications for reception places soar”, South London Press, March 26).
All of our primaries will be overcrowded and hundreds of children will have to be crammed into portable buildings, music rooms and who knows what other unsuitable venue.
This was avoidable. The number of children in a borough varies over the years but we always know exactly how many are born in each year and can therefore make a fairly accurate ballpark estimate of the needs five years ahead.
Warnings about sharp increases in numbers had indeed been issued and decisive action was therefore required.
Reading the council’s schools strategy papers, one can find no trace of any meaningful effort to try to provide enough school places for those numbers of children.
That’s why we are where we are.
As a community campaigner who has been long aware of the shortcomings of this administration I am not surprised, but as a father of a child about to start school in Lewisham I feel a special kind of anger at this news.
Lewisham Central candidate