School protest gathers pace
AN ONLINE petition against plans to create two new primary schools in Portishead is gathering momentum with more than 130 signatures already on the list.
Scores of residents have said they are against the proposals to turn High Down infant and junior schools into two separate, 420-place schools for educational, road safety and congestion reasons.
Numerous comments against the scheme, which will increase the overall intake by 210 pupils, have been left on the online page, with people questioning the move which would see children from areas such as the Village Quarter having to travel to the Down Road site each day.
Other comments accuse planners of making mistakes and also say the proposals are just a cost-cutting venture.
Parent and former High Down Junior School governor Judith Upton posted on the web page: “Planners are trying to rectify the huge mistake they made when they made Trinity Primary School (in the Village Quarter) too small and now they are trying to solve the problem by simply dumping seven classrooms on the High Down schools.”
A consultation process is in progress but residents say they need more information from North Somerset Council. It was also noted no local councillors attended two consultation meetings held at the schools in July.
Councillor David Pasley said: “North Somerset Council failed to notify Portishead councillors about the meetings. It has been agreed another meeting will take place. We will be extending the consultation period beyond September 24. The range of options North Somerset councillors want considered include building a new school or converting potentially suitable empty commercial buildings, disused pubs or public buildings.”
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A Village Quarter parents group has been set up to take action on the need for school places. It will hold a meeting tonight (Wed) at The Albion pub in Bristol Road at 6.30pm. To contact the group email Daveagee@hotmail.com
The online petition can be found at http://tinyurl.com/HDPetition;
The High Down action group can be contacted by emailing email@example.com
There is also a hard copy of the petition available at 1 The Deans.