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Post from the Chair

From the pen of Simon Carter, Chair of Welford on Avon Parish Council

I moved into this lovely village nearly 30 years ago and one of my children went to Welford Primary School. We’ve enjoyed everything about this village for years and when the children were younger the park on Headland Road was a regular destination.

I’ve been on the Parish Council for many years now and when l was asked “why do you want to be a Parish Councillor?” My answer came immediately and without thinking, that it was my opportunity to help the community. The village, its residents and, most important to me, to ensure that all in our community will reflect on their time in Welford on Avon with fond memories.

I admit now I wasn’t thinking back to my own time as a child meeting my friends at the local park for a chat, play football or just to ‘hang’ out somewhere together. Reflecting now that’s exactly what I was remembering but with my children. And it is those very memories that we are about to lose. Those memories that one day they might reflect on and encourage our children and grandchildren to return here with their children to relive those memories. My two children are doing exactly that and moving back into the village.

My focus and that of all your Parish Councillors has always been to make our village the best it can be. For it to be a safe and enjoyable place to live. Listening to your concerns and aspirations is our primary role as a Parish Councillors. We’re all volunteers and have a part time clerk, so can be quite frustrating when trying to persuade statutory authorities to do something! But let me assure you that our focus has and always will be – Our village, Our community, Our school and Our playing field.

As a parent and grandparent myself, it is so sad to read the experiences of so many villagers, parents and grandparents, are like mine at the moment – explaining to our children / grandchildren why on a warm summer’s day that they can’t go and play on the village playing field.

Why it’s locked to all children and not just them. Why, despite the play equipment that they see through the fencing cannot be used – it’s not wet but the gate is locked by the school. The very school, in some cases, they attend. How confusing it must be for them?

As adults the logic behind the decision to shut the playing field is nonsensical. The school won’t clearly say what needs to be done to open the playing field and have said the matter is closed, refusing to communicate with us.

We only instructed solicitors because we needed legal advice and don’t have any expertise on the Council, not because we wanted to litigate against the school.

Their decision lacks empathy and compassion for villagers and thoughtlessly dismisses the social, emotional and physical needs of the very children they teach.

Our beautiful village and its residents are quite rightly angry. At present we are trying to get a meeting to discuss the park with the School and WCC. We just want common sense to prevail.. no more letters back and forth.. let’s just meet and work it out!!

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