CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Blackout! Now Carlton governor Peter Ptashko says he won’t speak to the CNJ

Secrecy claims over what will happen to closed down site

24 May, 2021 — By Harry Taylor

Carlton Primary School

THE CO-CHAIR of a council-backed body set up to examine the future of the Carlton Primary School site has said he will not speak to the New Journal about the plans.

The school near Queen’s Crescent is being closed and merged with nearby Rhyl Primary School. Peter Ptashko, a governor at both schools, briefed members of the Gospel Oak Labour Party about what a new “community hub” could look like on the Carlton site last week, although the information has not been shared publicly – a point which led to claims of secrecy and criticism from Camden’s opposition Conservative group.

Mr Ptashko co-leads a group set up by the council to work on what will go into the “hub”. While the membership of the group has not been published, the New Journal understands that members of the “Save Carlton Primary School” action group had requests to join rejected.

Mr Ptashko is a Labour Party member and has previously tried to be selected as a candidate in council elections.

Mr Ptashko told us this week: “Sadly I now feel that your coverage of the intent to introduce community services and provision into the new merged school has become personal in nature to me.

“I am not prepared to speak to you further while this distracts from the important work that everyone at both Carlton and Rhyl schools are doing for both the children and the wider community.”

Mick Farrant, a former chair of governors at Carlton, said he had been told he could not join the group. “It is far from clear what authority Mr Ptashko has to run a group composed almost entirely of council officers and exclude individuals from it without giving any reason.”

Tory leader Councillor Oliver Cooper said: “It is an astroturf group: pretending to be grassroots, but being entirely fake to stage-manage the closure of Carlton for the benefit of the Labour Party.”

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