You might remember last year it was sadly reported in the local media, that a motorcyclist had died following a crash along Gunthorpe Road on Friday, July 28.
This is not the first fatality on this particular stretch of road.
At a meeting of Full Council last year, I stood up (once more) and raised my concerns about Gunthorpe Road, and asked Tory Councillor Peter Hiller, Cabinet Member for Growth, Planning, Housing and Economic Development, the following question:
“I have been contacted by local residents about the issue of speeding along Gunthorpe Road. Could the relevant Cabinet Member tell me if:
Did you know it’s been 6 years since the Norwood School fence issue was finally settled? Initially, things were running smoothly, but that now seems to have changed?
Since the initial voluntary key holders were no longer able to continue locking and unlocking the gates at the weekends, the school has done nothing to ensure that the gates, as per the agreement and signage that hangs on the fence, are open to members of public, outside of school hours.
I’ve since been contacted by local residents, and in response I stood up and raised the issue at a meeting of Full Council.
I asked Cllr John Holdich, Tory leader of Peterborough City Council, if he could provide me, and residents, with a response as to what they can do to make sure that the school does unlock the gates outside of school hours, to benefit local children, enabling them to play safely, make the land accessible to wheelchair users, and encourage the use of this green open space for a range of leisure activities?
Map of Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Fr8hhVJ3epu
Councillor Holdich responded:
“Initially and for the first few years of the use of the field, the school caretaker was opening the school field at around 4.15 after school clubs finished, and then the 21 members of the community were locking the gates at dusk to prevent access during dark and prevent unwanted use. This was the agreement for community use. There have been several different community key holders over this period.
“Unfortunately the community failed in locking the gates in the evening and so the gates remained open all night. As a matter of safeguarding and preventing night time use the school decided to leave the gates locked. This has appeared to have been no problem whatsoever as far as the school is aware no complaints to the school made in the last two of years and therefore the gates have remained locked.”
Do you agree with Tory Cllr Holdich that the “community failed” on this?
Do you think its strange that land owned by local people and tax payers, is inaccessible despite an agreement to make it so, that wheelchair users specifically are affected, and why a school that employs a caretaker to open up and lock the other gates at the front of the school, can’t afford the time to do the same for the ones on the field?
Following concerns raised by local residents, about the play field to the rear of Norwood School and that it had been consistently locked, the City Council have now confirmed that they will be unlocked for the remainder of the Summer holidays, allowing members of the community to access it, instead of jumping over the fence.
Commenting, local LIB DEM ward councillor, Darren Fower said:
“I received several queries as to why the gates had been consistently locked, despite the good weather and that the holidays are on, a time when young people are looking for somewhere to go and kick a football about etc
“It seems, having looked into this, that there has been something of a communication breakdown, but this has now been resolved. The school have agreed they will leave the gates open for the remainder of the holidays and the Council have said they’ll ask for a report on how things have gone from the school after that.
“Obviously it’s impossible to guarantee that they’ll be no problems, but the field is there for the community outside of school hours and therefore they should at least be able to access it and make use of the clean, green area for a bit of fun!”
Cllr Darren Fower tells us that he’s asked that the City Council copy him in on the subsequent report and hopes that a solution during school term can also be secured, adding that “… the School is part of the community and in reflection the community must be there for the school.”
What do you think? Please leave comments below.