Thursday, 22 September 2011

Etz Chaim Latest - Open letter from the governors to the Mill Hill Action Group

Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School,
Dear Mr Coleman and the Mill Hill Action Group,
On the 5th September 2011, we received a copy of your letter indicating your intention to start judicial review proceedings against the London Borough of Barnet. The decision you wish to review is their consideration of our planning application in light of the Equalities Act 2010 and in particular your concerns regarding the elderly and disabled in the community. We confirm that the School is an interested party but not formerly a party to litigation.
The timeframe and the manner in which the London Borough of Barnet respond to your letter is a matter for them.
As a direct result of your letter the Trustees have been reluctantly forced to retain legal representation and this letter should not be considered as a formal response to the contents of your letter.
This open letter in sent in good faith to be a constructive bridge building exercise. Throughout all of your literature and discussions with us you have repeated that you recognise the need for extra school places in the Mill Hill and support the School just not the location as set out in your slogan ‘Yes to Education, No to Location.’
The Garden Centre and the Aquatic Centre have now closed. Wyevale Garden Centre took the commercial decision to sell the site to us. We have been aware as to how unpopular, Wyevale’s decision to close and sell the site has been for many local residents.
As from 3rd October 2011 the School Trust will be moving onto the site in preparation for developing it in readiness for September 2012. The School will not (and cannot under the terms of the contract it has signed with the Secretary of State sell the lease.
Any legal action that you bring against Barnet will directly threaten 80 local children’s education next year, something you have previously declared you do not seek to do.
As direct result of your actions you have already forced the local authority to use public money on litigation as opposed to public services.
At present it appears that your remaining motivation is simply to delay the opening of the main site.
You are aware as are the wider community that our planning application included opening up the site for some community use beyond the education of children.
We hope that you will now take a moment to consider withdrawing the threat of litigation and communicate this without delay to the London Borough of Barnet and to us. If you wish to explore what Barnet, the community and the School can deliver together then we would welcome a dialogue with you.
Whatever you decide to do, as we approach the Jewish New Year next week, we wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.

The Trustees and Governors of Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School
This letter has been reproduced in full and without editing. The Barnet Eye will be happy to publish any response from the Action Group. The Barnet Eye is happy to publish any such communications from any groups in Barnet which are relevant to local issues, as long as they are legal, decent and address a genuine local issue.

1 comment:

Jim Bob said...

I am not sure what the action group's aim is with all of this. Sounds like sour grapes to me and I think that it is quite disgraceful that the action group seem to be willing to put the education of 80 children in this school at risk over what now seems to be a vendetta against this school, especially given that the school has said it will open up the facilities to the wider community which appeared to be a cornerstone of the action group's campaign.

I think it is time to move on and focus on community cohesion rather than being petty.