THE NEWLY formed Westgate-on-Sea Socialist Alliance last week helped win an important victory. Kent County Council had sent letters to the parents of three pupils at St Crispin's infants school telling them they could not be offered a place at the local junior school, St Saviour's, because of lack of resources. The parents had approached their local councillor and their Tory MP for support but heard nothing more.
Their initial appeals were refused. Alison, mother of Harry, turned to the Socialist Alliance to support her final appeal, which happened on Tuesday of last week.
Westgate Socialist Alliance members produced a leaflet with Alison's help and distributed 500 copies to parents outside the infants and primary schools. Last Tuesday a lobby was held at the appeal. The education authority claimed that the reason Harry had been refused a place was because 'St Saviour's was a Church of England school and he didn't go to church'.
When asked if the 79 kids who had already been offered places at the school attended church, the council officials had no answer. All three boys were offered places at St Saviour's within an hour of the appeal. Alison, who has joined the Socialist Alliance, said, 'I'd like to thank the Socialist Alliance for helping Harry get a place. I've learnt an important lesson. Taking direct action has achieved what I couldn't achieve by going through politicians and official channels.'
This victory has given the Socialist Alliance a tremendous profile in Westgate. The BNP stood here in the local elections and got 280 votes. Now a real Socialist alternative to New Labour, the Tories and the BNP is on offer.
MORE THAN 100 people packed the Hackney Environment Forum public meeting on Thursday of last week on the impact of the Olympics on Hackney. There were assurances by mayor Ken Livingstone's special adviser, Neil Coleman, that the Greater London Assembly is committed to a programme of public consultation. But it became clear that we would not be involved until after the master plan had been completed.
Important questions about funding, housing, jobs, transport, corporate sponsorship and protection of our open spaces were so unconvincingly answered that only 11 people voted in favour of hosting the Olympics at the end of the meeting. The Hackney Socialist Alliance leaflet was enthusiastically taken up.