Ecclesall Green Peter Gilbert calls for improved engagement between Mercia school and the community over plans for the school car-park and wider issues

Like many residents I’ve been dismayed at the failure of Mercia to really engage with the local community on the issue of fencing around Mercia school car park. We have three great secondary schools in our area, but it’s vital they work hand-in-hand with the communities they are part of.

It is reasonable that the school has concerns about how its car park is being used. It is also reasonable that local residents ask to discuss options on the car-park, rather than just getting a choice of fencing it all off or leaving it as is. For example, making an area more, rather than less, welcoming as a community space is often effective at controlling anti-social behaviour.

Carterknowle and Millhouses Community Group have been asking to engage with the school. We hope that Mercia School and Mercia Learning Trust can start a discussion with the local community that builds better bridges going forward and continues to explore options around this community space.