A petition signed by more than 600 people against the sale of the Brixton Hill campus of Lambeth college will be handed over to the council at their meeting tonight in a lobby of the campaign group.
The “Brixton needs a college” campaign calls upon Lambeth council and the Lambeth College board of Governors to hold a public hearing where Brixton students, staff and residents get an opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the sale.
Lambeth College management announced earlier this year that it is considering either selling a large part of the college on Brixton Hill to private developers and investing in the remaining part, or to sell it completely and relocate to another location in Brixton.
Alex Owolade, the chair of the Movement for Justice and one of the initiators of the campaign, said: “Lambeth has a long history where the workers in the community have always been strong. We want the board [of Lambeth College] to come to a public hearing where they can explain their proposals and we can feedback.”
According to the college, the Brixton centre is “underused, in poor condition and expensive to maintain.”
Mark Silverman, Principal and Chief Executive of Lambeth College, said: “Against a backdrop of public spending reductions, the redevelopment of our Brixton campus offers us a great opportunity to generate the necessary resources to maintain our presence in Brixton and secure the long-term future of Lambeth College as a whole.
“This approach will meet the needs of the community, improve the quality of our offer and secure the long-term sustainability of the college.”
However, the move is being criticized by the campaigners for not consulting the community about their needs first.
They call into question the decision of the Lambeth College management to make a multi-million pound investment in their Clapham centre while reducing the educational services provided at the Brixton centre for financial reasons.
The aim is to get 1000 signatures on the petition before they hand it over at a lobby at the council meeting next Wednesday.
But, Mr Owolade added: “Whatever the council decides on Wednesday, it doesn’t matter. The decision of that council meeting is not the end of the issue for us.”
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With any luck they’ll sell off the prison next.
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