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You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

More on the outside space in schools debacle. I'm still livid

Following on from my earlier post on the loosening on the rules over provision of open space in State Schools by the DoE, there has been some clarification.

It seems the rules on selling playing fields remain unchanged (good) but rather, the 'loosening' applies to the provision of play areas and the like.

Which I don't think think is really a lot better.

For example, in my children's school, the playing field is part of the playground. We have an area for chickens, a gardening area with a thriving gardening club, a fantastic wildlife garden (opened by David Attenborough no less), and terrific play and climbing areas.

It would be awful if schools were encouraged to minimise these areas in order to sell land for investment. And we must not allow it.

I now hear Labour are to force a vote on this measure in The House (though I see Tom Watson erroneously refers to playing fields). And that this measure is the brainchild of Michael Gove and Lord Hill of Oareford (C). ie. No Lib Dem involvement.

We would do well to support the Labour motion. Children need more areas to play in. Not less.


  1. Meanwhile, other residents in Ham are opposing new sports facilities next to the youth centre.

  2. ah - received this from the HPA the other day on where that's at - hope it helps:

    We are writing to update you on where things stand in relation to the proposed Multi-use games area (MUGA) for Ham. Back in 2008 the council initiated a borough-wide consultation with residents of Ham on improvements to local amenities. The outcome was that the majority of young residents wanted a MUGA in Ham and funding was allocated. Following the change in administration, funding was suspended then reinstated, hence the recent planning application.

    On this basis, and in line with our aim of enhancing local environment and amenities, the HPA supported the idea. It was widely talked about with the local community who attended the Police Liaison Group in Ham in connection with ways to engage the local youth and mitigate problems related to ASB in the area, with other local community groups and our Councillors.

    The initial proposed site of the car park in front of the youth centre seemed suitable and did not attract adverse comments or objections locally at the time. We still see the MUGA as an important amenity for the local youth, as the area for which it is intended is a designated area of deprivation. However, in light of the many objections we have received to the proposed site on Ham Green, we are currently having discussions with residents, Councillors and LBRUT with a view to finding a solution which is acceptable to the community. We are holding a committee meeting to discuss this issue early next week and would welcome the thoughts of all HPA members on this issue. You can contact us on admin@hamandpetersham.com. We will keep you updated on developments.