Campaigners opposing fence stage protest near Peterborough school

Campaigners are hopeful a way forward can be found after a protest against the planned fence around land outside of Ken Stimpson school.

Friday, 23rd October 2020, 2:42 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd October 2020, 4:26 pm
Protesters at Werrington fields today

Today (October 23) protesters gathered in the fields, surrounding Ken Stimpson Community School, that they are fighting to protect.

The fields have been shared between the school and the community for decades but plans have now been approved for a 2.4m weldmesh high fence to surround the 46,000 square metres of land after the school raised safeguarding concerns.

Residents are unhappy at this and in response the ‘Save the Werrington Fields’ group held a formal protest today. As part of this, Peterboorugh MP Paul Bristow brokered a meeting between leading members of the campaigners, Ken Stimpson Principal Bryan Erwin and Peterborough City Council.

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Protesters at Werrington fields today

Following the meeting, campaigners say that they are ‘cautiously optmistic’ about the future ahead.

Campaigner Nyree Ambarchian said: “I was blown away by the attendance, it was great to see so many people championing the cause and I think it went really well.

“There has been a real outpouring of emotion on this. We haven’t left the meeting with any guarantees but they are going to look at the options.

“The talks were open and honest, Paul was quite tough on both parties, he recognises both perspectives and knows that it is not good for the local community for this to carry on. Both sides were willing to listen though and I think the meeting has really achieved something.

Protesters at Werrington fields today

“We spoke about the area, the height, how far back from the tree line it will be and the impact this will have on the area.

“They have agreed to take another look at the issues, which I know isn’t a guarantee of anything but I’m cautiously optimistic as I think we will be able to talk more effectively in the future. I think this protest was a real positive sign of community power.”

Mr Bristow added: “I fully understand the strength of feeling on the issue and that is why I went and spoke with the protestors. I don’t want to see a community school in conflict with the community so I organised a meeting between some of the protest leaders and those at the school.

“The meeting was respectful and productive. Getting everyone round the table will hopefully mean people can find a way forward.”

Protesters at Werrington fields today