Westminster Life: Let’s save the Werrington Fields
This comes just weeks after they closed three bridges at Cuckoos Hollow, restricting access for local residents, especially those with mobility issues that rely on them.
These closures came as a complete surprise to residents and no consultation took place at all.
No one wants to see safety or safeguarding issues being ignored but these measures are surely a step to far. An enormous fence would not only look hideous - but it would also effectively block residents from accessing the open space.
This issue reared its head a few years ago and it took a massive public outrage and a big campaign against it to force a rethink. A compromise was reached - a smaller area would be fenced ensuring the school could address safeguarding concerns and the public could still enjoy the open space.
Most accepted the compromise, including the council, residents and the school.
However, when the Council went to the Department of Education for the plan to be rubber stamped it was rejected.
Now the Council have just accepted this, and want to apply to fence off the ENTIRE fields.
So this means the Council have meekly accepted an initial judgement from a Whitehall official who has never been to Peterborough, overriding a compromise that most local people were happy with.
This is of course wrong.
I want to work with the Council, I have said this on many occasions, and I want to press for the original compromise that is best for everyone – not erect a huge fence around the whole area.
But there is some good news! This is not a decision made by councillors in other parts of Peterborough.
Local Werrington Councillor John Fox now sits in the cabinet at the Town Hall and has the power to stop this fence going ahead.
I understand that the school have concerns and the safety and safeguarding of pupils is their top priority. No one wants a situation where Ken Stimpson pupils are not playing sport, but the idea that these playing fields can be deprived to the people of Werrington is just unthinkable.
This was one of my first big campaigns I was involved in three years ago and we got a good compromise.
I am determined to see this compromise come to fruition and for residents to be able to use this open space whilst the school has appropriate facilities for students.
So here is my open offer. I have worked with the people of Werrington and Councillor John Fox on this in the past and we can do this again.
Let’s come together and save the Werrington Fields.