Parents accused H&F Tories of “putting residents last” yesterday evening when Conservative councillors voted to close Peterborough Primary School during a chaotic cabinet meeting.
The packed public meeting was stunned when cabinet members seemed unaware of the issues relating to the school closure and started to question their own officials during the meeting. Cllr. Mark Loveday, (Con) the Cabinet Member for Strategy said “Excess places is an issue that furnishes our thinking” and went on to question how many excess places Peterborough Primary School had. He then voted to close the school, despite being told that it had very few and one of the lowest percentages of empty places in the borough.
However, the schools closure falls into Cllr. Antony Lillis’ (Con) brief. He told local residents - who had taken the trouble to turn up to the meeting - that he had made his mind up before the meeting started and “there is nothing that anyone can say tonight to make me change it”. Cllr. Lillis admitted that he had begun negotiations with the French Government to sell off the land the school sits on while the consultation process was still running.
During the last year Cllr. Lillis has been responsible for trying to close Hurlingham and Chelsea Secondary School, increasing meals-on-wheels charges by £200.75, ending home care for 550 elderly, sick and disabled local residents, closing down community centres in the poorest areas, trying to close two primary schools, closing down and selling off youth facilities, introducing telephone interviews to deny elderly people services, cutting legal support for the underprivileged, ending funding to key local charities and successfully closing Peterborough Primary School last night. He has developed a reputation as the most unpopular Tory in the borough.