Where are we with the #SaveWerringtonFields issue?

Where are we with the #SaveWerringtonFields issue?

In 2020, it was announced that a decent sized piece of recreational area in Werrington, adjacent to and used by Ken Stimpson School (for decades), was set to be fenced off and exclusively used by the School.

Local residents have continued to oppose the plans to close off part of the field in Werrington!
Understandably, as more and more local residents found out about the plans, more and more people got bit upset.
The proposed fence was a 6″ foot job, and essentially would give it a “prison” feel!
Since then, the land that the School wants has now moved, to another part of the field, but they and the Tory controlled Council have continued to push for the cordoning off of some part of the play field.

Where are we now?

Now the position of the City Council is to say, they will look at the matter again, after this years local elections. (See letter sent out below)

Mock-up of how a six foot fence around the recreational area might look!

“As you may be aware, the Council will be holding elections in May. In preparation for this the Council will shortly be entering a period of what is known as Purdah. This places a limit on the things which the Council can do over this period, including with regard to its decision-making processes.

“In recognition of this, the proposal to erect a fence around part of Werrington Fields and to change the use of that area from dual-use with the public, to Education use (the school) with public access being limited to specific times, has been put on hold until after the elections.

“A further update will be issued at that time.”

Hazel Belchamber (Assistant Director: Education Capital & Place Planning, Education Directorate, People & Communities)

What the people say!

Over the last two years residents have been happy to share their thoughts on the plans to fence off a piece of public land ……. from the public.

Fower’s thoughts

There’s no point beating around the bush, I think the school, the Council and the Werrington First councillors for the area, underestimated public opinion.

Ahead of last years local elections, the Tories and their Werrington candidate, were still telling people they cared!

It’s my opinion that, with the desire by the school to become an Academy, fuelled their desire to take a little bit of land with them etc

I think the Council have shown their lack of commitment to education in our city, and any opportunity to delete another responsibility i.e. Ken Stimpson, would be welcomed by them!

Werrington residents of varying backgrounds are opposed to the plans!

Whilst the three Werrington First councillors for the area, have at best been complacent and at worst, complicit in the whole sorry saga!

I mean, how can Cllr John Fox, one minute be sticking his chest out, boasting about working on plans for a new sports centre in the area, and then the next minute, be claiming he had no idea about the school play field plans?

Councillors are like bread, after a certain amount of time, they need replacing!

Updated plans, now show even more land is wanted by the Council and School!

Don’t forget!

The Werrington First councillors have been propping up the Conservative controlled Council in recent years.

The Conservatives locally and nationally, have been cutting education budgets.

In 2019, Bryan Erwin, principal at Ken Stimpson, highlighted the impacts of these cuts. He said he’d already cut back on teaching assistants.

Headteacher, Bryan Erwin of Ken Stimpson Community School in 2019.

This, in my opinion, has fuelled their aim to convert into an academy, as it will free them up from the incompetent local authority.

What about our MP?

As was to be expected, when the protests took place, he was down like a shot, to get some snaps and promise to do what he can to “get a satisfactory conclusion…” – 18 months on, this promises appears to have been utterly empty!

The 5 groups of people to blame for this situation:

It’s actually supa-simple to identify the 5 fuelling factors that has helped create this predicament! It goes in this order:

  1. The Conservative Party locally and nationally.
  2. The people who vote Conservative.
  3. The Werrington First councillors!
  4. The people who vote for them!
  5. The people who do not bother to vote in local elections.

Some Facts for You

  • The original petition on the Change website, received well over 1300 supporters!
  • One of the prices quoted tot erect the fence was £73,236.28!
  • A poll of 171 people directly neighbouring Ken Stimpson school, returned an 84% response indicating the School should now drop the word ‘community’ from their name given the awful treatment of residents!

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