Absolute Scandal At Redbridge Council London

News from Redbridge CVS

Concern at Downshall Centre Closure, Petition Launched

17 March 2011

Voluntary and community groups are deeply concerned about the closure of the Downshall Centre.

The Centre is owned by the Council and is used by over a dozen groups for a wide range of activities. Now the Council plans to close it so that they can use the building for a "free school". Most of the community groups using the centre say they will not be able to afford space elsewhere and will have nowhere to go.

Read More of Report from Redbridge CVS

HumanRightsTV have become involved in this story because we work with Arthritis Self-help, an amazing charity which does crucial work in the London Borough of Redbridge. The main driving force of that charity, Diane Wynne-Fitzgerald, contacted us this week to say that the Council had decided to close down a centre used by vulnerable people and turn it into a Free School.

We don't want to debate the value of Free Schools which provide preferential education and substantial middle class voting support because that is not the issue at hand here. The point here is that the groups who support vulnerable people that use the centre only heard about this move a week before the council have decided to vote on it.

In other words the councillors have decided that people with learning and physical disabilities, people with crippling arthritis and other equally vulnerable groups, are simply not worth consulting before having their facility closed down.

This is absolutely shockingly arrogant behaviour by the councillors involved. What were they thinking? That people who are vulnerable can just be shifted to one side for a facility they have decided they want? Are they not in tune with modern society and The Age of Transparency. Do they think that vulnerable people will not be supported and that their actions would not be challenged?

Maybe ten years ago that was the case but today we have control of our own media and if councillors think they can act in such a high handed manner and deny proper consultation to people with learning disabilities then they are dinosaurs and the question is, really, do you want them representing you?

No matter where you are in the world this small issue of local politics is about you and your society. Make your voice heard, stop letting these self serving politicians rip away from you the rights of consultation.

This video is from Rainee, someone who has benefited from the work of Arthritis Self-help and represents a voice ignored.

Remember Pastor Neimoller, this may seem an extreme statement on such a small event but there are people with learning disabilities involved here and they can't speak out:

First they came for the communists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.