Lambeth’s Women’s Project – Public meeting
13 June 2012
Minutes [download as word doc]
The situation so far
For an update of the history of LWP and the relationship with Stockwell Primary School, please refer to minutes from 10 June 2012. The latest updates since the last meeting are:
- A volunteer from LWP phoned SPS who confirmed ‘nothing would happen’ until Friday 15 June
- A local resident who has also volunteered at LWP emailed two local Herne Hill Ward counsellors (Carol Boucher and Leanne Targett-Parker) who did not respond but redirected the query to Cllr Paul McGlone (based in Ferndale Ward, former governor of SBS) who responded with incorrect information about the issue, shared personal information by copying in SBS head Janet Mulholland and Eddy Grant and instructed the resident to contact the school directly in future.
- LWP have had a meeting with Lambeth Commissioning officer who confirmed that they did not see a role in the issue and recommend independent mediation. LWP emailed SBS on 13.6.12 to propose mediation and received a response agreeing to consider this and questioning who would be present and who would pay.
- SPS are refusing to invoice for the outstanding ‘service charge’ money, even though they will get the money anyway if LWP are evicted
- SPS have written to parents, advising them about changes to entry points in the building
- SPS have made access to the building difficult, changing the key pad password on the side door as well as adding a new lock to LWP’s door without passing on new codes or keys
- SPS and Lambeth Council have prepared two press statements about the issue. These focus on a) the ‘rent’ issue and b) lack of Charity Commission status. (Lambeth Council seemed surprised that the issue is public knowledge when a radio station rang to get the statements).
- As a result of all these issues commissioning services is in limbo meaning that there are no wages or other support coming in from the council
- Awareness raising has been going well – approx. 250 leaflets were given away during Tuesday’s pot banging demonstration (the 9th demo staged since the letter arrived). There’s been Facebook and Twitter activity and videos of the demonstration and of women around LWP have had a lot of viewers. Also had several pieces published online
- LWP had a session on Resonance FM where they focussed on the impact of the loss of service on women and girls in Lambeth
The rest of these minutes group the action points around three key areas: Legal, media and immediate plans. The working group will pick up Legal and media, another action group will focus on immediate plans.
LWP are still contacting lawyers and case workers and have signed up to iprobono (an organisation that matches solicitors with cases). Urgent advice is required around:
- Relief from forfeiture (property law)
- Whether the SPS letter has the same legal authority as an eviction notice
- Whether the three years remaining on the LWP lease undermines the threat of eviction
- Advise on data protection regarding SPS moving LWP goods, particularly as goods involve personal data
- Confirmation that under the above circumstances, that goods taken out of the building by contractors would count as an act of theft
This legal advice will help LWP prepare a response to SPS.
Action: As there is a question in what area of law the issue falls (and because of the short timescale) contact CAB or Liberty to discuss the issues ASAP (source lease to help the call). Gemma gave out contact details.
Action: Linda to help sort out old emails, including those from the old email address to start to pull together the case history
Action: Working group to produce press release to be ready by Friday and to be with supportive organisations (Red Pepper, F Word etc) as soon as SPS and Lambeth press releases are issued
Action: Working group to produce a leaflet to target parents as they pick up their children, so that parents understand what is happening
NB: Whoever will be picking up media appearances will require some media training
LWP have been advised by a barrister to protect their property. LWP does not hold money but their equipment is very valuable.