|Pressure Group Calls Rethink of Plans For Putney Hospital Site|
As Wandsworth Council releases new primary school projections for Thamesfield
New estimates of the need for primary school places in Wandsworth have been released by the Council (ref Paper No 14-11). The projections and the planned response from the Council will be discussed by the Education and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the 16 of January, the Finance and Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the 21 January and the Executive on the 27 January 2014.
These predictions of demand for primary school places are particularly important in the Thamesfield Ward where the Council are according to FofPC "trying to impose the building of a huge 2FE school and 24 luxury flats on the old Putney Hospital site, facilitated by the building of access roads on Putney Common, against considerable opposition from local residents". There are currently two legal challenges to the Council’s plans.
Friends of Putney Common (FofPC) Spokesman Nicholas Evans said today,“The Council have been exaggerating the demand for primary places in Thamesfield to justify the over-intensive plans for the old Putney Hospital site. By spinning the non-existent “urgent need” for new primary places they had hoped to hide from residents the real situation. The birth rate is dropping, there are enough primary school places already, the new school is neither wanted or needed, as their own figures now demonstrate.”
The new Council estimates show that the 2013 projections in Thamesfield ward were completely inaccurate. The following chart shows the discrepancy between the predictions made in 2013 and 2014, and also the declining birth rate.
FofPC calls for a statement from Councillor Kathy Tracey, Cabinet member for Education
FofPC believe that Wandsworth’s own projection data over a number of years has been wildly inaccurate. Comparisons between actual and numbers on a school roll and the annual projections show this to be the case consistently over a number of years. The demand used to justify the building of a new 2FE Primary school at the old Putney Hospital site has now been halved to a maximum need of just 1FE, with a reception class of 30.
A spokesman for the council responded: "The facts on school numbers are very simple and are laid out very clearly in the report. From next September there will be 208 reception class places available in Thamesfield, if the temporary expansion of Brandlehow is included, but of these only 130 are available to parents who do not attend a local church.
January 17, 2014