You may be aware that the new consultation is underway and the deadline for submissions is the 8th October.
Our planning group is studying the new documentation on the Council website and is in the process of preparing our response. Once this is finalised we will publish the results here on the website and will also email residents who are on our email list. This will provide some guidance to those who wish to submit their own response, which we encourage you to do.
As you may be aware a second and very important issue has arisen regarding the much needed provision of a new secondary school in the area.
This featured on the front page of the Guardian of 17th September. Also the following letter from Cllr Dean (Dundonald Ward) featured in the same edition.
Councillor Dean has taken a keen interest in this matter and seems to feel that, like many residents, the Council had not given proper consideration to a new school on the stadium site, because they had already predetermined that they would put their efforts into putting AFC Wimbledon there. As a result they did not offer the Govt all the options. What Councillor Dean says about who pays for the school is very interesting.
Another school based in South Wimbledon or wherever speculation at the moment puts it, does not in any way solve the serious problem of a lack of secondary education in the Northern part of the borough. Once again we on the Northern edge are being ignored.
This is a quote from the article:
‘In a full council meeting on Wednesday, September 9, cabinet member for education Councillor Martin Whelton said: “The Wimbledon Park Greyhound stadium was actually considered for the site of a new school in the Capita Symonds report back in 2013.
“It was rejected because it’s not financially viable, it’s not affordable and it would also prevent the return of AFC Wimbledon to the borough.
“We have a big issue to address in school expansion and Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium is not the answer.”
However, Councillor David Dean has accused the council of not proposing the site to the Government.
He said: “The council didn’t offer the Government all the options. The site itself is designated for sport. Not housing, sport. And schools do sport.
“If the Council had any knowledge, they would say ‘let’s put a football stadium and a school’.
“Why on earth would the Council not offer the site to the school? It’s common sense.”
He also disagreed with Councillor Whelton’s concerns about the cost of the site, adding: “The council isn’t paying for it. Central Government and the tax-payer are offering to pay for the site and the running of the school.
“Merton Council would save £40 million if they supported a school. The Government would be buying and building the school and run the school. It’s brilliant for the Merton tax payer.
“People are concerned about the places going to Wandsworth kids. I believe those kids are human beings.
“This is central tax-payers’ money. We shouldn’t be so concerned about our borders and we should be worried about children and their education.”
There is a growing demand, particularly from the stadium end of the Ward, for a meeting of residents to discuss this matter and obtain guidance from the WPRA on the new stadium consultation.
We are presently contemplating a meeting and further information on this will be made available shortly. This will be the last opportunity for residents to have an open discussion and formulate their views before the consultation period ends.
More to come…………………………..