Anti-school campaigners hand petition to Welwyn Hatfield MP

MEMBERS of a campaign group to stop a new secondary school being built in their village have handed over a petition to the MP for Welwyn Hatfield.

The Save Woolmer Green (SWG) committee presented a list of more than 2,000 signatures to Grant Shapps on Friday, opposing plans by the We Need A School Campaign (WNAS) to build a Free School somewhere between their village and Knebworth.

The group also gave a presentation making the case against the 800-pupil school – which has been given approval to create a business plan by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

A spokesman for SWG said: “They [residents] now realise that, with the unchecked advancement of the WNAS proposal, it represents a very serious threat to their villages with the traffic chaos, loss of countryside, and disturbance of village life as a whole.

“We are extremely grateful to Grant for taking the time to come and visit us, accepting the petition, and to listen to our case against the new school which represents a significant proportion of the electorate of the potentially affected villages within his constituency.”

But a WNAS spokesman accused the group of “scaremongering”.

“Save Woolmer Green’s campaign seems designed solely to spur fear of the unknown among residents,” he said. “We have told them several times our preferred sites are not fields.

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“We have also vowed the school will not spoil people’s views and we have very strong evidence that it won’t cause a significant traffic increase.”

The spokesman added: “For some reason, they continue to publish their disinformation which amounts to nothing but scaremongering.”