Thursday, 2 July 2009

Plans for the old Lilian Baylis School

Monday, 29th June 2009

Jo Negrini

Divisional Director of Enterprise & Regeneration

Lambeth Council

Hambrook House

Porden Road

London SW2 5RW

Dear Jo

Plans for the old Lilian Baylis School

For those organisations like ours, who have worked hard to develop Lilian Baylis for the benefit of local people here in Kennington, we were greatly encouraged by the supportive pledges made by all the candidates in the recent Princes Ward Bye-Election.

A week or so ago a glossy leaflet appeared in our Library highlighting a partnership between Lambeth Council and All Nations Apostolic Church. The leaflet indicated that the Council is giving the Church the role of dominant partner for a Community Hub making the Lilian Baylis a centre for all its many activities, including education and nursery provision. As All Nations is a very wealthy organisation, we assume that it would be providing the project with a substantial financial backing or the Council with a capital sum for the lease.

The All Nations Church is recognised in our community for serving a significant number of Christians within and outside of our part of North Lambeth. However, the stated beliefs of All Nations are based on a very literal reading of the Bible and include the statement “[We believe in] the utter depravity of human nature, the necessity of Repentance and Regeneration and the Eternal Doom of the finally impenitent. These beliefs will not lead them to engender a sense of worth amongst young people (and Kennington has a significant number!) who are disaffected and need to feel encouraged and loved, not “evil” and “sinful”. And we are concerned about potential intolerance to minorities, such as gays and lesbians.

As such, it would be wholly inappropriate for All Nations to have governance and/or responsibilities for a community project that seeks to be inclusive and open to people of all sexual orientation, all faiths and those of none. It would also be ironic if, whilst Lambeth is striving to improve the quality of its educational provision, it entered into a partnership with a religious body that expounds creationism.

We would greatly appreciate your early response to our concerns; it is important that the future of the site for local community use is secured for the long term and we greatly value and support the excellent work that the Sports Action Zone is doing. What we do need however is some immediate reassurance that the All Nations Apostolic Church will neither be allowed to lease this site nor monopolise plans for its future. If this were to happen it would totally undermine the Council’s policies on inclusion and diversity, and would also seriously jeopardise the long-term future of this precious community resource.

Yours sincerely

Anna Tapsell


Kennington Association


Kate Hoey MP

Simon Hughes MP

Cllr Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council

Cllr Lorna Campbell, Princes Ward

Cllr Mark Harrison, Princes Ward

Cllr Stephen Morgan, Princes Ward

Cllr Robert Banks, Oval Ward

Cllr Faye Gray, Oval Ward

Cllr Andrew Sawdon, Oval Ward

Cllr Diana Braithwaite, Bishops Ward

Cllr Gavin Dodsworth, Bishops Ward

Cllr Peter Truesdale, Bishops Ward

Phyllis Dunipace, Executive Director of Children & Young People's Services

Ethelred Nursery School & Children's Centre

Kennington, Oval & Vauxhall (KOV) Forum

Ethelred TMO

Philip Moore, Chair, RCDT

Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Fund