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Hundreds call for Earlham school to get its own playing field

PUBLISHED: 14:07 08 August 2011 | UPDATED: 14:13 08 August 2011

Campaigners battling to get playing fields for Henderson Green Primary School.
Pictured are: Claire Smith, school governor (holding petition), Janet Clay, head teacher, Marcus Hemsley, Green Party county councillor for Wensum Ward; Ruth Makoff, Green Party city councillor for Wensum Ward.
The children are Lauryn Hurn (year 5), Bradley West (year 5), Caitlin Hurn (year 3), Megan-Louise Steward (year 5), Jessica Smith (Reception) and Aaron-Jon Steward (Year 1).

Campaigners battling to get playing fields for Henderson Green Primary School. Pictured are: Claire Smith, school governor (holding petition), Janet Clay, head teacher, Marcus Hemsley, Green Party county councillor for Wensum Ward; Ruth Makoff, Green Party city councillor for Wensum Ward. The children are Lauryn Hurn (year 5), Bradley West (year 5), Caitlin Hurn (year 3), Megan-Louise Steward (year 5), Jessica Smith (Reception) and Aaron-Jon Steward (Year 1).

Submitted

A petition signed by almost 800 people, calling for an Earlham school to be given a new playing field, has been handed to council chiefs.

Governors at Henderson Green Primary School say children only have a small patch of grass at the back of the school, yet next door there is space ripe for transformation into playing fields.

Claire Smith, a governor at the Irstead Road school, today presented a petition signed by 778 people, to Derrick Murphy, leader of Norfolk County Council.

She said: “I understand Norfolk County Council is about to acquire some derelict land next to the school that it intends to turn into a playing field.

“I believe this should be a priority in order for the school to meet statutory requirements for a playing space for Key Stage Two children.”

Councillors acknowledged the lack of a playing field at Henderson Green was “a major matter outstanding” from the reorganisation of the school from a first school to a primary school in September 2007.

Council leader Mr Murphy, said there had been negotiations by council officers to purchase the land from the North Earlham Larkman and Marlpit Development Trust.

But he said: “The concern we have is the cost of bringing it into use, given the extensive need for rememdiation, even before a playing field can be laid out.”

He said he could not give a date when the money might be available, but said he did not want to the see the scheme’s development delayed, so asked for officers to draw up a costed report on options.

Marcus Hemsley, Green county councillor for Wensum ward in Norwich, who has been campaigning for the field, said: “The leader of the council seemed keen to make this issue a priority.

“Now it is on the agenda, we hope action can be taken swiftly to provide adequate facilities for the local children.”

Do you have a story about your school? Call education reporter Victoria Leggett on on 01362 854703 or email
victoria.leggett@archant.co.uk

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