Council responds to Save Elliott School campaigners
In response to the recent comment from Save Elliott School A spokesman for the council told PutneySW15.com:
"If people think that Elliott School is selling its playing fields they are mistaken.
The school desperately needs a multi-million pound investment to provide the kind of school building and facilities that will allow its pupils to thrive. Unfortunately there is no magic pot of money available to pay for this.
Our proposals, which do not involve the loss of any playing fields, have the full backing of Elliott's headteacher, governors and local parents and are designed to give local children the 21st century school they deserve.
The land in question is not used by the school for organised team sports. Much of it is hard-standing and some of it is used as a car park. Part of it is occupied by redundant buildings like the caretaker's old cottage. There is some grassed space included, but it is sloped and therefore not suitable for team sports - and not actually used as playing fields by the school.
When the children do play organised team sports like football, rugby, cricket etc they use the sports pitches in nearby Dover House Road - just a few minutes walk away.
All schools in the borough are also able to use the excellent sporting facilities at Barn Elms. This already offers space for rugby, football, cricket and rounders as well as
specialist facilities such as archery, athletics, field events, a gym and boathouse for rowing and sailing. It also has artificial surfaces offering tennis, netball and hockey.
Just last week it was announced that Barn Elms is to receive the sand from the Olympic beach volleyball courts so that it can become a regional centre of excellence for this sport.
If the refurbishment plans for Elliott are approved then the school's sports facilities would be enhanced and the external space landscaped to provide informal play
areas and new sports courts.
We believe these plans offer the best chance of keeping the school viable and ensuring it remains the choice of parents in Putney for decades to come.
People can debate the rights and wrongs of selling off playing fields, but they would be utterly mistaken to include Elliott in that debate."
August 14, 2012