Growth in London Population (Supplementary) [16]

Session date: 
March 27, 2002
Question By: 
John Biggs
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


And I'd like to hear more from you, obviously not now but over the coming months, about how you are going to work with those adjoining areas which very much have our objectives in common. I think that's very important for Londoners.

Could I ask one other question then, which is about the schools issue and open space? I have a feeling, and again this is something where a Mayor of London might be able to offer leadership, that there is a real problem with public assets which have been disposed of too readily in the past and which are part of the legacy for our future. Local authorities sell off redundant school buildings and then find themselves without land when they need to provide land. I was wondering whether you could provide leadership in London to help take that debate forward?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Growth in London Population (Supplementary) [16]

Answer for Growth in London Population (Supplementary) [16]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The problem would be getting the land back, and we don't have the money for that. There are other areas though. Anybody considering disposing of school playing fields or school sites at the moment should stop and put that on hold until we've had a proper assessment of London's needs. I think also we've got to look at some other assumptions. I am told by everybody in this field, that you can no longer build a school more than two storeys high, that it becomes unmanageable, ungovernable. I think this is absolute nonsense for those of us who grew up in all these several storey Victorian buildings and, given the pressures on London, I'm not certain we should simply continue to accept the educational strictures that you can't have a school more than two storeys high. I think we've got to seriously think about that. I was in a secondary school which had eight storeys, there were management problems but they should be soluble.