Conservatives have accused the Green and Labour Groups on Brighton & Hove City Council of hypocrisy after they joined together to vote down proposals for a new 3 form entry Primary School on part of the Council’s main HQ – King’s House – which is shortly to be marketed to housing developers.
There is a pressing need for new school places in Hove which the Conservative proposal for King’s House sought to address. The South/Central Hove zone is currently short of 168 reception places and nearby infant and primary schools are heavily oversubscribed. In addition, the projected shortfall in places in Hove takes no account of the 400 new homes earmarked in the City Plan for a redeveloped King Alfred Centre, the 600 new homes allocated to the area around Hove Station and the proposed new flats at King’s House.
During yesterday’s Policy & Resources Committee meeting, both Labour and Green councillors suggested that children from central Hove should be bussed to schools at Moulsecoomb and Portslade which still have spare places.
Conservative Group Leader, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, said: “The Conservative Group has been positive and tried to deliver a much needed new school to serve the families of Goldsmid, Brunswick & Adelaide and Central Hove. We are at a loss to know why the Labour Group joined with the Greens to oppose it, particularly when they have both campaigned strongly for a new primary school in exactly this part of the city. They now need to be open and honest with local parents and explain to them why they think that they should put their children on buses to travel half way across the city to get to school.”
Group Schools Spokesman, Andrew Wealls, who has been working on the proposal since early July said: “If any resident of Brighton & Hove gets a flyer, or reads a quote from either the Green or their Labour party colleagues campaigning for new schools, they will know this is empty electioneering. We have had the chance to deliver over 600 school places exactly where they are in dire short supply. For reasons completely beyond any sane person, they’ve opted to refurbish Hove Town Hall instead. I cannot believe families will ever forgive them”