A FORMER leader of Dudley Council has embarked on a mission to try to save Stourbridge College from closure.

Councillor Pete Lowe says he has been inundated with calls from worried parents and students over Birmingham Metropolitan College's hastily announced plan to close the Hagley Road college this summer.

The Lye and Stourbridge North Labour councillor has branded the decision by BMet bosses to axe the college as an "asset strip from our community" and he said he plans to meet with trade union representatives in the coming days.

He has also submitted a motion to Dudley Council which will call on the authority to urge BMet to immediately cease the planned closure and reconsider its options, to commit to maintain current educational provision at Stourbridge College and to engage with the council and the community regarding FE and vocational provision in Stourbridge.

He said: "It is my belief we should fight this decision by BMet to close Stourbridge College and hold those accountable for putting at risk our education in Stourbridge. We should stand shoulder to shoulder with students, tutors, unions, community activists and demand this decision is overturned."

In the motion he urges the council to acknowledge the "negative impact" the loss of the college would have on educational provision in Stourbridge and describes it as a vital component of community and economic prosperity in the town.

College bosses say all students at Stourbridge College will be eligible to transfer to Dudley or Halesowen Colleges and BMet principal Cliff Hill has said the decision to close the long-standing college had "not been taken lightly" and that the proposed changes would be "in the best interests" of students.