The capacity of schools in Prague 5 is to be filled in two years. Who do you think is responsible for the situation?
Five has long been one of the city districts with the highest annual number of new dwellings started, which naturally brings in a large number of new residents. My predecessors at the town hall opened the door to developers, but how they forgot to impose conditions on them to build adequate civic amenities. Developers are probably minimally involved in the development of public infrastructure in Prague 5. It’s definitely not just our problem. A clear concept for the development of education is lacking throughout Prague.
Does the zoning plan not remember that?
Areas for the construction of new schools are not clearly defined in the prepared metropolitan plan. At the same time, 1,500 new places will be needed in schools in the next ten years alone. It is therefore impossible to point a finger at the wreath. More importantly, since 2018 we have had functional principles for cooperation with investors at the town hall, which we are now following and which also inspired the municipality in the preparation of the Methodology for Investor Participation in the Territory.
How do you plan to rectify the situation?
In the long term, we address the issue of kindergartens and schools with developers through a memorandum of cooperation. The investor undertakes to perform various types of services, whether it is the construction of the school itself, the purchase of land for the school building, or a financial contribution to the construction of the school. We currently have four such memoranda, two more address a park or playground in the area, and several of them are negotiating contributions to other infrastructure. In the medium term, we are preparing the construction of a new pavilion for three hundred pupils in the immediate vicinity of the Nepomucká primary school in Košíře, for which we have completed a volumetric study. A suitable variant could also be a school complex in the streets Na Cibulkách-Na Výši. Here, however, we come across the laxative approach of the municipality, which plays a key role in changing the necessary land. Of course, we also plan other schools and kindergartens in the fast-growing localities in Barrandov or in the newly emerging district of Smíchov City.
You have previously stated that the municipality has the lion’s share of the situation. He allegedly hinders the construction of the school in V Cibulkách Street. His deputies, on the other hand, claim that these statements have damaged the good relations between the two institutions.
Since January 2020, we have been trying to negotiate with Education Councilor Vít Šimral that we would build a new campus on the land where the special school now stands, both for the existing special school and for the new primary school classes. I am convinced that this partially inclusive option would benefit children in both schools and extinguish the need for new first-year benches. In addition to these plots, there is also the SK Uhelné sklady sports ground. We waited ten months for a response from the municipality. It contained a negative opinion, which is processed very vaguely and contains, for example, errors in the evaluation of land use plan documents. That is why we, as members of the Prague 5 City Council, have defined ourselves with such cooperation. After all, critical attitude and factual discussion do not automatically mean damage to good relations. On the contrary. We hope that the representatives of the capital will now be more active in resolving the situation and communicating with us. There are even more partial steps in the right direction.
According to you, many lies are circulating around the whole case.
The whole thing is basically an artificially induced case, which makes the newly formed group Prague 5 visible to itself. Unfortunately, this is how politics is done today. He deliberately spreads a lot of misinformation, such as that there are no more places in schools in Košíře this year or that there will be no places for children in Motol, that there is no loss of places in schools or that the town hall problem is overlooked and not solved. Prague 5 has enough seats until 2023 and we are actively addressing the further development of education.
Critics accuse you of an alleged conflict of interest because you do not want to provide the premises of a grammar school located in the former Plzeňská Primary School, which you own.
On the one hand, the building is not sloping for the onion hill in question, and according to the traffic assessment, it is not suitable for children of the first degree, even from the point of view of safety. It would also have to invest up to 350 million crowns, because it does not even have a gym and you cannot park at it. Even for these reasons, there was no interest in primary school among the parents. When the town hall closed it ten years ago, it was visited by only 40 catchment children.
What evidence do you have that this is not a conflict?
Due to these allegations, I had a legal opinion prepared, which is publicly available on my website renatazajickova.cz and which proves that I am not in a conflict of interest. I do not intend to deal with these attacks any more and they actively address the real problems that plague the inhabitants of Prague 5, such as ensuring safety and cleanliness in the streets and parks.
Can you briefly describe the opinion for those who are not looking for it?
I founded a private grammar school 16 years ago. The building of the former Plzeňská primary school was awarded to the school in a regular selection process in 2013. At that time, I did not even think about politics. As the director of this school, people elected me to the council in 2018 at the City Hall of Prague 5. After taking up the position of mayor, I was moving away from the position of school principal and executive. I could find myself in a conflict of interest only and only when, as a municipal policy, I would decide against the city district in connection with the school building. However, the city district decides collectively – that is, by voting, which, of course, does not participate in such cases.
Conflict of interest or political game?
Last week, the opposition in Prague 5 tried in vain to convene an extraordinary council, where it would solve the problem of lack of school capacity and the alleged conflict of interests of the mayor. But there were no votes for its approval.