§ Mr. Michael Jopling (Westmorland and Lonsdale)
You will recall, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that I intended to 292 present a petition to the House last Friday, but that, in view of the other business before the House and the multitude of other petitions which were to be presented, I explained that I would present it at some other early date. That day is today, although it is now 1.45 am.
The background to the petition is a strong feeling in my constituency about the proposal to close a school in Coniston in the Lake District. It is a correctly, carefully and beautifully drafted petition which is addressed thus:To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.The Humble Petition of the Governing Body of John Ruskin High School situated at Coniston in the County of Cumbria and the Parish Councillors of Coniston, Broughton in Furness, Blawith, Claife, Hawkshead, Lowick, Torver, Satterthwaite, Skelwith, and Kirkby in Furness, in the said County of Cumbria, Sheweth;That the inhabitants of High Furness whose children attend John Ruskin School are eminently satisfied with the efficiency, viability and educational standards of the School which is the only Secondary School in the High Furness Area. The School at the present time is occupied to 86 per cent of its capacity and is attractive to parents from well outside its formal catchment area.Your petitioners feel strongly that any move to close John Ruskin High School would have severe detrimental effects on the social structure of our area and would furthermore remove any real possibility of parental choice in the field of secondary education.Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House will support the continuance of this exceptional and much loved school by opposing the proposal of Cumbria County Council to close the said John Ruskin High School.And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.
The petition has my warmest support. I have previously brought this matter to the House and it concerns a battle which I believe must be won. I hope that the House will support my constituents in the sentiments expressed in their petition.
§ To lie upon the Table.