As discussed previously
, the Hammersmith and Fulham Council free sheed H & F News declined to place our advertisement praising local primary schools. Despite our requests nobody at the Council responded to our questions about why it didn't print. Adam Courtney, at the Fulham Chronicle discovered why
The long and short is that the Council was concerned that if they ran the ad, they’d possibly be backing an ‘anti political’ group, and that the new Local Authority publicity code legally prohibited them from running it.
Passing quickly over the fact that there’s no legal requirement to follow the new Code...they were worried that we were an ‘anti-political’ group...I’m pretty dumbfounded…
As an individual, I find it an offensive consideration. Since I hit legal voting age I have voted in nearly every local and governmental election for which I have been eligible. I have always considered political participation a responsibility and a pleasure. I’ve never particularly been a ‘campaign person’. I’m quite shy by nature and I dislike confrontation.
The initial situation in our local area charged up the protective mother in me – the mother who valued the opportunity her son had found in his richly diverse and academically sound state primary school. I feel what the local schools all offer is worth applauding and protecting. I have a strong desire to support and promote these local schools, and that has been the underpinning of our efforts.
For the group, I consider it a bit laughable. We’ve objected to precisely one free school. We have asked some questions. We have concerns about education funding and we are trying to learn what we can about that and its potential impact on our children. A few of our supporters went to the peaceful march on 26 March where we marched alongside mums with buggies before heading home before 4pm.
And our main headline on the front page this week has been to remind people to collect their school vouchers when in Tescos. Very exciting stuff!!
I laughed so hard when I read the reasoning that I thought I’d never stand upright again. I wasn't sure if I should cry. It seems to me a rather implausible, extreme and 'low' way to ‘justify’ not running an advert.