Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Skateboard-ban councillor sorry over Wight Trash name row

John Cattle Image copyright Wight Trash
Image caption John Cattle had been told the name Wight Trash would have to be removed from all branding

A councillor who blocked a skateboarding group from giving free lessons to children because he disliked its name has apologised.

John Cattle gives the lessons at parks in the Isle of Wight through his skate company Wight Trash.

But he was banned from running sessions in East Cowes unless the name was removed from branding.

Councillor Karl Love has now apologised and agreed to help reverse the town council's motion at the next meeting.

Mr Love, an independent, had previously said the name had "negative connotations" and was "inappropriate in this day and age", according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Image copyright Wight Trash
Image caption The free skate lessons are organised at local parks during the summer holidays by John Cattle (in the green shirt)

The group's sessions are funded by local town and parish councils but when applying for a grant from East Cowes Town Council, it hit a snag.

In a letter, the council said there was concern that the name was not "politically correct and that it might give out the wrong impression, especially if portrayed badly in the press".

Mr Cattle said removing the branding would not be possible as the name appeared on all its skateboards.

"We have never had any problems or issues with the name until now," he said.

"I am really proud of our name and what we have achieved and what we do for the community."

Mr Love has now backtracked on his decision, saying: "I  humbly apologise for misjudging this situation."

He said while he had endorsed the service provided by Wight Trash, he had disagreed with the name.

Mr Love added: "I had not realised the the town council vote would effectively block the activity, and for this I also apologise for my part.

"It was never my intention to cause harm to young people or our community which I deeply care for and work for the better good.

"We all make mistakes and I did on this occasion."

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