Sunday 12 January 2014

How Cross-Community Support for The Heights Can Also Protect Mapledurham Playing Fields

Protect Mapledurham Playing Fields by supporting The Heights
As stated before, I’m working for both community projects: The Heights and the Mapledurham Pavilion fund raising group.  If supporters of each did too, the aims of both could be secured.  The way to protect the open space at Mapledurham Playing Fields (MPF) and ensure the school goes elsewhere, is for the whole community to support delivery of The Heights school for this September.  To find out why, read on.

I know that Tuesday night's meeting failed to answer some residents’ concerns about the protection of the open space at MPF.  A misquote in the hard copy of Friday’s GetReading has added unnecessarily to those concerns. 

Parents wanting to send their children to The Heights and supporters of rebuilding Mapledurham Pavilion whilst protecting the open space in the MPF, should see they have a common goal because timing is key

The location for the new school needs to be finalised as soon as possible so buildings, subject to planning permission, can be put in place for September. Since the MPF are not available for delivering the new school within time-scale (due to convoluted legal reasons as well as staunch public opposition) the Education Funding Agency (EFA) must put the school elsewhere.

Therefore if you support either community project, support Rob Wilson MP arguing the case in Westminster, by writing to him at: stating:
·         the urgency for the EFA to finalise a site for The Heights acknowledging the proven need for the school to open this September
·         that the site cannot be on the MPF, reasons including
(i)                 lengthy legal logistics with an uncertain outcome and unknown cost to the public purse
(ii)               staunch public objection to the loss of open space

Our community and the Council desperately need the primary school places The Heights is planned to deliver this September and over the years to come.  This Wednesday (15 January) is the submission deadline for primary school admission application forms for places this September. This leaves enough, though not a lot, of time to get The Heights ready for the forthcoming academic year.

The open space at MPF is treasured by not just our local community but also the public at large as people across Reading enjoy various activities such as football, dog walking and events like the summer fete here.  This is a once in a life-time opportunity to sort out the long-standing shortage of primary places for our community.  However the school should not be delivered at the expense of the MPF.

I am very happy to talk to local residents further about any aspect. Please email me at: or ring me on:  07717 292003. Do bear in mind that I have a full-time job (I work for Rob Wilson MP in his constituency office) as well as my councillor and school governor commitments which take up much of my evenings and weekends, so in the first instance it is best to write to me.

For anyone interested, my children are too old to benefit from an education at The Heights.  My family however will benefit when Mapledurham Pavilion is rebuilt.