I, and the other Shaftesbury ward councillors, recently wrote to residents whose homes back onto the Elsley School about the security arrangements in place there.
The school was closed following last year’s flooding and re-located to the Nightingale School site. While this was necessary because of the flooding damage, it also made good educational sense. The two schools are federated and share management, and both specialise in teaching children with emotional and behavioural disorders. I served as a governor at Elsley School for several years before they federated and, frankly, the Victorian building was not suitable for a 21st century school.
However this has left a vacant building which has its own needs and neighbours were concerned about security. We asked the Children’s Services department to look into it. As a result:
- the school has had a security audit, and potential access points made more secure
- surplus equipment and tools have been removed from the site
- the Children’s Services department are undertaking regular inspections of the site
- the council’s Parks Police service now include the site in their rota of security visits.
If you live in Elsley Road or Gideon Road and see anything happening on the site that concerns you can call the Parks Police control room on 020 8871 7532. Of course, if a crime is in progress you should call 999 immediately.