An Isle of Wight Conservative councillor has been criticised for declaring which West Wight primary school ‘must close’, before the possibility of any school closing has even gone for formal consideration.
An online petition calling for support to keep All Saints CE Primary School open has been launched and overnight attracted more than 150 signatures.
Whitehouse declared All Saints ‘must close’
This surfaced after it was revealed a council officer was to suggest the closure of one of the West Wight primary schools, as they say there are falling pupil numbers in the area. Cllr Paul Brading is due to consider this in March.
A few days later, Cllr Chris Whitehouse, is reported to have written to the Catholic leader of Portsmouth Diocese, saying he believed All Saints ‘must close’. He suggested the local catholic school, St Saviours RC Primary School, should offer places to the pupils from the Church of England school.
However, Island residents have expressed their disapproval of Cllr Whitehouse, a councillor for Newport West, for getting involved.
Student: Whitehouse “has no capacity in Cabinet”
Cameron Palin, Youth and Students Officer for the Isle of Wight Green Party, told OnTheWight,
“In my view Cllr Whitehouse is an arrogant, ignorant, trouble-making Conservative politician who should know better than to interfere with local schools.
“He has no capacity in the Isle of Wight council Cabinet to make such a decision and he act if he does.”
Cameron went on to add,
“Last time he spoke this way was about Carisbrooke College: everyone stood together, fought back – and we still have our school. Please sign the petition and keep our village school in Freshwater.”
Those who wish to support the petition – if it reaches over 2,500 signatures it can be presented to the Isle of Wight council for debate – can head over to Change.org