John Cattle’s Skate Club – a not-for-profit- Community Interest Company – has been successfully engaging Islanders of all ages for over eight years. With the support of local councils around the Island they offer free skating sessions for young people during school holidays.
East Cowes Town Council, who have previously supported the sessions, advised this week that although the sessions would be supported again this year, due to the objection of some councillors, there should not be any Wight Trash branding used in “any way, shape or form”.
“Not be politically correct”
The reason why? Because they say there was,
“Concern expressed that this may not be politically correct and that it might give out the wrong impression, especially if portrayed badly in the press “
The East Cowes Town Council said they would support the free sessions for kids in their town but only after,
“Written reassurances from you that the name “Wight Trash” would not be used in any way, shape or form in connection with any grant given by the Town Council or at any event held here in East Cowes or in any publicity or reports to the press.”
Can’t meet the demands
Zoe Thompson from the Skate Club told OnTheWight,
“As we replied to the East Cowes Town Clerk yesterday, we were really surprised at the conditions put with the agreement to run these sessions.
“Particularly as we have run them before with a great deal of support from East Cowes Town Council.
“Our skate lessons are run through our not-for-profit CIC, however we could not guarantee that there would be no mention “in any way, shape or form” of Wight Trash – as our equipment is branded and it’s likely some of the children who take part will have our boards and clothing!”
Positive response from community
She went on to say,
“What is really worrying is that over the 15 years we have been a skateboard businesses, that the councillors clearly have no idea about the work that we do, and the positive response we have from the community.”
Cattle: Hope ECTC change their minds
Skateboarding legend, John Cattle of Wight Trash, told OnTheWight,
“All we want to do is get people skating. We hope that the council will understand the link with Wight Trash – and that we are well known, and well supported, and change their mind about the conditions.
“We’d welcome councillors along to the sessions – they can have a go, sounds like they need some fun in their lives, and skating certainly does that.”
Last year several hundred children and young people took part in the free summer lessons and on average they teach about 300 children and adults a week.
Hendry: Looking to get motion rescinded back on agenda
East Cowes town councillor, Stephen Hendry, told OnTheWight today,
“I am very disappointed to find out Cllr Paler and Cllr Love voted against a motion to provide free skateboarding lessons in East Cowes during the summer holidays.
“East Cowes Town Council did pass the motion to provide the lessons but to placate the issue regarding the potential use of some the branding “Wight Trash”. However the motions still mean the lessons cannot take place.
“I will be looking at getting this motion rescinded and back on the agenda for the next full Town Council meeting.
“In previous summers free skateboarding has been provided. We missed out last year and I don’t want East Cowes to miss out again.”
Love: “Not acceptable to me on so many equality fronts”
Cllr Karl Love confirmed he was one of those objecting to the branding of Wight Trash. Replying to Cllr Hendry on Facebook he said,
“I’m not against the service provided to young people but the organisational name interpretation is not acceptable to me on so many equality fronts.
“I object to the negative connotations of the organisational name and because there are other providers who might like to deliver this service though a transparent tendering process.”
Paler: “Asked for more information”
In response, Cllr Paler told OnTheWight,
“The questions that I asked is how many skateboard sessions would take place. There was not an answer so asked for more information.
“The vote was taken in favour of having the session.
“Since the meeting this has all kicked off to information given to Stephen.
“I have never seen anything about John Cattle skateboard sessions. I have spoken to John today and will be tomorrow after seeing town clerk.”
15.30: Comment from Cllr Paler added