Letter: Gunthorpe: Is there a need for fence? - 29/07/09

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As one of the residents of Elter Walk concerned about the reasons given for the sudden need to erect a fence more suited to a prison or other high security area, I have been trying very hard to understand the reasons given by the school for this decision.

As one of the residents of Elter Walk concerned about the reasons given for the sudden need to erect a fence more suited to a prison or other high security area, I have been trying very hard to understand the reasons given by the school for this decision.The existing low fence is in bad repair and does need replacing, especially as at least one gate cannot be closed. There are no notices informing people that it is school property, asking them not to bring dogs into the area or to keep out at any time, even in school hours.

Yes, horses have been left in the field, on the last occasion they were driven there by the police as they were wandering around the nearby dual carriageway and at risk of causing injury to themselves or to motorists. On previous occasions concerned passers-by had taken similar action.

Many local residents are happy to take toddlers onto the field to play, but if dog faeces and needles were a problem, they would not do this.

Not many people exercise their dogs in the field, most dog owners use another free space a little further away from the school but newcomers would not be aware that it was a school field and that dogs were not welcome.

Related:

'Don't fence us out' plea from unhappy Gunthorpe residents, 27 July 2009.

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For a brief period drug taking did take place, not on the open field but within a few feet of the school buildings, and thanks to prompt action by the local neighbourhood watch this activity was discouraged and has not been seen for the last 15 years. No requests to remove needles have been received by Street Cleansing and Refuse Help Desk to collect needles from the open area.

While broken glass is often found on Elter Walk itself (and is usually quickly cleared up by residents to prevent injury to children and pets) most of the litter in the field consists of sweet and crisp wrappers, plastic drink bottles and empty cans of pop. The provision of more litter bins would help alleviate the problem.

I would also query that Norwood School is unique in having no barrier between passers by and areas used for physical education. Longthorpe School also has a large open area, complete with running tracks, adjacent to the main playground.

Meanwhile the school does not take even the elementary precaution of locking gates leading to the school buildings or the main play area that is shielded from view by high hedges.

Why fence an open field enjoyed by all ages but not protect the school itself?

AN ELTER WALK RESIDENT,

Name supplied.