Dulwich Hamlet Junior School in the centre of Dulwich Village had these signs and placards attached to its railings this morning.
The Government is cutting funding for schools in London. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), the funding cuts particularly hit inner London schools. Already facing cash cuts of 2.5% per pupil before 2020, the further cuts amount to a 7% reduction for many schools.
The spending reductions come on top of a projected 6.5 per cent real terms cut for all schools between now and 2020, as a result of increasing pupil numbers, a rise in the minimum wage, the apprenticeship levy and higher employer contributions to national insurance and pensions. (Financial Times 22 March 2017)
The Dulwich Village primary schools are popular with our families. Cutting their funds as we embark on new competitive world relationships is counter what would be expected.
MPs have launched a “super inquiry” into Britain’s toxic air scandal to force the Government to dramatically step up action to tackle the health threat to millions of people.
In an unprecedented move, four Commons committees are to grill ministers and air quality experts on the dangers from filthy air in London and other cities.
The hearings by the health committee, transport committee, environmental audit committee and environment, food and rural affairs committee will be held as the Government draws up its latest plans to deal with toxic air.
Labour MP Mary Creagh, who chairs the environmental audit committee, said: “Ministers will face unprecedented scrutiny in Parliament to ensure they finally step up to the mark to ensure adults, and children in particular, do not have their health damaged by filthy air.
Ministers have been forced to draw up new proposals to cut air pollution after judges backed environmental lawyers ClientEarth in two high-profile cases that the Government was failing to do enough to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels.
The draft new plans are due to be published on April 24 and the MPs want to ensure they not only meet legal requirements but also deliver maximum health and environmental benefits.
Source: London Evening Standard 20.03.2017
We may think of kerbsides as just space on the public highway next to the pavement. But they are more than that. Kerbsides include footpaths by the kerb and which might be widened for tree planting and street seating. They include the white posts and green verges we love in Dulwich.
There is great competition for the kerbsides from vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, house occupants, push-chairs, etc. etc. We know only too well how busy our kerbsides are at times and how they are hazardous for the unwary, the reckless and those of us who are a unsteady because of age, youth or illness.
Southwark Council recognises the need for a sensible management of kerbsides and is consulting on a ‘Kerbside Strategy’. Southwark’s Kerbside strategy_Feb’17
The Council makes some important points for us to think about. Among them are:
Air quality: According to the 2015 King’s College University report, up to 9,500 deaths in London each year can be linked to air pollution. Southwark’s road transport emissions are amongst the highest in London. There are a number of sites that exceed legal levels of NO2 (Southwark Air Quality Action Plan, 2013). At peak traffic periods, Dulwich Village experiences poor air quality, right by the primary schools.
There are many competing demands which we are making and are set out in the Council’s draft strategy. The council wants our views.
The consultation period on Southwark’s Kerbside Strategy has just started and closes on 28 April.
This may come across as a curious question and you may wonder whether it matters. It is a question that is troubling some locals as they are being asked to decide one or the other.
This all comes about because the Government is insisting that local neighbourhoods are defined and that they are to have neighbourhood plans setting local guidelines and policies.
Government guidance explains what factors need to be considered in drawing up a boundary for neighbourhoods but the main point about being in one area or another is money. Neighbourhoods with approved plans are entitled to twice the amount of money from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) than if there were no plan. The sum of money is unknown. It may not be much – especially if there is little development.
Each borough has its own CIL policy. Herne Hill is shared between Lambeth and Southwark councils.