Veronica German

Liberal Democrat Counillor for Llanyrafon North Learn more

Croesyceilioig School response to protest against fence

by veronicagerman on 6 August, 2010

This is a response from the headteacher and Chair of Governors giving their reasons for the fence.

I have asked for them to meet up with the protest group founders to discuss the issue but as yet have had no response to that request but I was sent this response below.

Croesyceiliog School has made a decision to enclose its playing fields and wooded areas with secure fencing in order to strengthen health and safety arrangements on the school site.

The area that is being enclosed by the fencing includes playing fields and wooded areas owned and maintained by the school. These areas are used by pupils as they take part in games and science lessons. The fields are also used by pupils for recreation at lunch and break time and for sports fixtures after school. With the arrival of the new Crownbridge School on part of the Croesyceiliog School grounds these playing fields will be used more frequently for lessons. Sadly, the open nature of these areas has led to daily problems regarding the exercising of dogs and the disruption of lessons by members of the public. Motor bikes are also driven through the woods and across the playing fields during the school day. All this happens despite the fact there is no public right of way through the school’s grounds. The erection of the fence is therefore necessary to improve the school’s arrangements for safeguarding children, and for maintaining standards of education.

When considering the position and nature of the fencing the school consulted with Torfaen Council and were given advice on the position of the fence and how far it should be from the public footpath which runs alongside the river. The decision to erect the fencing well within the actual boundary of the school’s property was taken after discussion with the planning department. We also asked about the kind of fencing that would be appropriate and were advised to use the mesh fencing that has been used in similar sites around the borough.

The school grounds and other facilities are used by a number of clubs and community groups after school hours and in the holidays. These include an archery club, youth club and rugby club. This is something that we wish to develop further. What we cannot accept, however, is the open access to all members of the public with the health and safety risks inherent in this and the negative impact on the delivery of lessons.

   6 Comments

6 Responses

  1. Martyn Brain says:

    It only came to the attention of the llanyravon residence in the last few days that Croesyceiliog School is erecting an 8ft fence around the perimeter. which in the letter sent to one of the adjacent residence it states that this will be ‘established around part of the grounds and the wooded area’ but we have now found out that they will be fencing off the entire school fields up to the path running along side the river. The timing of the letters was deliberately done so that any protest would be difficult as the school the broke up for the summer holidaymaking it very difficult for us to express concerns.

    We live within 50 yards of the school fields in Miskin Green and along with out many neighbours are very upset by this planned fence. A large number of us have children and use this field for recreation especially though the summer months and this will prevent us from enjoying this large outdoor space. We our selves use it everyday with our children and now they are older use it as a way of giving them some independence, knowing that they are a few yards away and this outdoor space is what keeps us in the area.

    We understand the reasons set out in a brief letter from the school (which was only sent to a few residence) that this is an aid to keep pupils in and unwanted visitors out during the building of the Crown bridge School but this could be achieved by moving the fence closer to the school but never says 7th METAL fence around all the fields!!!!. This fence will only cause at least 8 football pitches worth of land to be unusable to the local community who use it daily all year around. this area once fenced off will not only cause the whole area to be prison like, but will cause a very large and beautiful local recreation area to only be use for a few school hours a day and not be used at all during the school holidays. This is a waste of our area especially when all the small grass areas in llanyravon have ‘no ball games allowed’ signs on them. In a time where we are trying to encourage our children to be fit and healthy this is a waste!

    also by building this fence the river path which is use by hundreds each day will be come very enclosed with the river and undergrowth one side and a 7th metal fence just a meter or so on the other. Making a lot of people feel venerable and unsafe due to the enclosed result. In a meeting with local Police officers this week my they themselves agree that this area will be un-safe for the public using it and also said that the school never reports this so called disruption and the unwanted visitors they have such problems with!!…….also this area is a flood plain and if and when the river comes over (it does at least once a year) and traps rubbish etc will cause the water to run to the houses!!!!

    I speak for many of my neighbours on this matter and hope you can tell us is there is anyway that this issue can be looked into or if there is someone we can talk to, to ask for a change in the planned area the fence will surround.

    Most evenings many poeple use the field to play football and rugby with our children, yesterday on the other side of the field a football team were training and some teenaged were sitting on the grass enjoying the evening, this will all stop if the fence is put up in the planned area.

    The complains about Motorcycles, dog mess etc this is untrue. If one or two motorcycles a year ride across these fields that would be the most. As for dog mess myself and five others walked across the fields yesterday after going to see the current size of the fence and not one did we see any evidence of this as most of us are responsible enough to clean up after our dogs.

    We held a rushed public meeting on Saturday the 31st of July were around 80 local residents joined us along with Veronica German AM to discus a way of fighting this issue. The South Wales Argus came and we are today 3rd Aug in the paper. Our Face book Group has now over 400 members and the petition over 600 names and we are constantly looking for advice and help from other areas such as Ramblers association, Village Green Society and local historians to prove that this area has been used by the public for over 50years, long before the school was built!!

    We now have the support of our MP Mr David Davies who met with us at the site and agreed with all our points especialy the lack of contact with the local community. He then wrote to Ms A Ward chief Exc of Torfaen requesting that work stop so the issue can be discussed properly. A request that has been ignored as at midday today (6.6.10) the fence was being erected and at very ‘rushed’ pace.

    Who is supporting us? We votes the council in! we pay our taxes! But we are ignored and treated like fools!!

  2. Croesyceiliog School Pupil says:

    Sadly, I dont think your reasons are valid here Martyn.
    I attend Croesyceliog School and my fellow classmates and I are thrilled that the fence is in use.
    My question to you is: What gives you the right to use private property for the reasons you have given? Surley, it is a criminal offence!

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