On Friday May 1st Alderman Luder sent to all members of the Court of Common Council an email to justify work continuing on COLPAI during lockdown. ColPai. A brief reply to Common Councillors Pearson and Harrower
It’s disappointing that the resumption of work continues to be justified by the need for the social housing or the delay to opening the school.
This disregards the needs of the existing social housing tenants who, confined to their homes during lockdown, live within 6m of the COLPAI site’s continuous noise in flats that had not been maintained by the Corporation for years and still have their original single glazed windows.
Or that the COLPAI school children will have to stay in another temporary (already financed) location for up to a term longer because the Corporation opened a school before it had even submitted a planning application.
Quite rightly parents have a choice and in choosing COLPAI they chose a school that was not built but with a promise that it would be completed by September this year, a promise that has already been broken.
This was my reply:
Subject: A brief reply to Alderman Luder 8.57pm Friday 1st May
Dear Alderman Luder,
I addressed your justification for work continuing on COLPAI during lockdown in my blog CITY CORPORATION FAILS TO SHOW LEADERSHIP IN THIS TIME OF CRISIS This is what I wrote:
"No-one opposes the provision of more social housing or another primary school. They will be built. All that is required is a delay of a few weeks in a three year project. Not delaying will harm the welfare of the City’s social housing tenants, who comprise half the population of Golden Lane estate, and a number of primary school children, who are at home on the estate during the lockdown.”
Putting that statement into the context of the figures you quote:-
Why is providing 33 social housing units to people on the City’s waiting list a few weeks sooner in the first quarter of 2022 than if work were suspended during lockdown more important than protecting the welfare of scores of the City’s existing residents, including many social housing tenants?
Those people on the waiting list cannot move into currently vacant properties, because the Corporation is not letting them during lockdown, as its staff are working from home.
Why is the school moving to its permanent site by a certain date more important than protecting school children who live within sight and sound of the construction work from having their lives blighted during lockdown? Some of these children are already pupils in COLPAI.
The cost of the upgrade of the school to a temporary location for a further year is already accounted for.
If the school does not open on its permanent site in January 2021 as currently scheduled, that will be due more to the Corporation’s historical poor planning and management of this project than a suspension of work during lockdown.
I suggest that those who think the Corporation is right to allow construction on the COLPAI site to continue during lockdown should:
- read the comments made by a couple of residents at the foot of the blog CITY CORPORATION CONTINUES TO FAIL RESIDENTS and
- answer the questions raised in the blogs, including why the Corporation is clinging to government guidance during this crisis instead of showing moral leadership, especially on one of its own developments for the benefit of its own residents.
bcc: All members
Common Councilman Cripplegate Ward
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