Many people have been dismayed that the gate leading to the fields at St George’s School has been locked. How have we come to this? A former headteacher, Mrs Knight, treated public access to the fields as sacrosanct. In 2007, the school added a gate, build a short length of fence out across the footpath and registered a claim under the Highways Act 1980, Section 31 (6) that “No ways over the Property have been dedicated as highways”. Nothing much happened until, in 2014, the police locked the gate for a couple of months because of nuisance from motorbikes and mini-motos. The spell was broken, the final step had become easier. On September 8th, there was a meeting of Councillor Bob Painton, Valerie Laurent, our Leaside Way street rep, and PCSO David Scott with Mr Habberley, Assistant Headteacher. He assured them that the gate is to remain locked. To improve the security for the children, it is proposed to instal new electrically operated school gates. These will be in the original position, further out than the existing ones, and so enclosing the gate to the fields. They were told that, in the fullness of time, the school grounds will be fully enclosed, as finance permits. There was no give and take here.

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