Open gates at Llanfyllin High School after school hours and at weekends

Open gates at Llanfyllin High School after school hours and at weekends

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Sian Walters started this petition to Powys Schools and Education Service and

The Llanfyllin High School site is at the heart of Llanfyllin life and the school grounds have always been open to the community. In 2020 fences were installed which are for safeguarding purposes at the school, which has been raised as a concern by ESTYN. I totally understand the need to safeguard pupils however I feel the safety of children in the community has now been seriously affected. 

There is no longer access across the school as the gates are kept locked at the entrance opposite Station Road and the Brook Street access road. I have two small children and have regularly used the school site to safely walk to the park and to let the kids run around as I don’t have a garden in which they can do this. It is now of great concern to me that I have to walk to the other end of town with them along the main road. There are lots of crossing points and narrow pavements so they are always close to the traffic on what is a busy road. Before they could freely ride their bikes and walk and explore. Now it’s a constant stream of telling them to be careful and heart-thumping moments as you walk to get to the park. I find it strange that the site is still completely accessible from one end but won’t allow for safe through fare. I’m not the only one who is saddened by the decision to try and exclude the community from having access. Many in the town share my thoughts and concerns.

I call on Powys County Council Schools and Education Department / Llanfyllin High School to leave the gates located opposite Station Road and the Brook Street entrance unlocked after school hours and at weekends to continue to allow safe access for people in Llanfyllin.

There have been a number of schemes that have been funded in the past with the community in mind, which is what makes the locked gates all the more disappointing:

  • In 2017 (I understood 80K was spent) a community route through the school was installed to enable safe passage, promote active travel and allow people to safely cycle through the town - funded by Welsh Government’s Safe Routes in Communities grant and opened by Powys County Council (https://www.mywelshpool.co.uk/viewernews/ArticleId/13173 and yet the access to this is now being denied
  • There are other leisure facilities - tennis courts / MUGA etc. that were built with the community in mind (https://mywelshpool.co.uk/viewersport/ArticleId/720 which although not inaccessible does involve walking all along the main road instead of through the school and applies to people living at each end of town depending on which they want to access

The open space and activities available within the school grounds are an amazing community asset and it would be a shame to lose it when it is a lifeline (never more so than during lockdown) and such a fantastic space for families, particularly those with young children.

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