Hundreds turn out for Rokeby Field protest

Protesters at Monday's demonstration
Protesters at Monday's demonstration
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Nearly 200 people gathered at Rokeby Field on Monday night as part of protests over plans for two new schools.

The residents were protesting specifically against proposals from Warwickshire County Council to give the valued recreational land to the Education Funding Agency for the building of the new schools.

Protesters at Monday's demonstration

Protesters at Monday's demonstration

Organiser Michelle Lines, of Long Furlong, said: “I am delighted that so many people answered our call to action.

“If we have to chain ourselves to the goal posts to stop this scheme going ahead then that is exactly what we will do.

“Rugby does need a new secondary school but the demand is in the north of the town where all the new housing is being built”.

Protests have been led by the group SHARE (Sustainable Hillside and Rokeby Education) which is also part of the new umbrella group formed to fight developments in the latest version of Rugby Borough Council’s Local Plan, called About Turn.

Protesters at Monday's demonstration

Protesters at Monday's demonstration

The Rugby Free Secondary School proposed for Rokeby is being built by the Knowledge School Trust.

It already has funding approved but had to hold a ‘further, specific consultation in relation to the siting of Rugby Free Secondary School in Rokeby’ in July. The results of that consultation are not yet known.

A new secondary school has already been earmarked for the Rugby Radio Mast Site development and SHARE is saying that any further secondary school needs to be the north of the town to fit in with planned developments, and not in Rokeby.

SHARE said it had offered to hire a hall and organise an event where the Education Funding Agency could come and explain its plans but
it has thus far declined the invitation.

Protesters at Monday's demonstration

Protesters at Monday's demonstration

After having their photograph taken, many of the residents who supported Monday’s event were taken on a guided tour of the playing fields by Rugby Borough Councillor Bill Lewis who explained the proposals.

A spokesman for About Turn said it was backing Mrs Lines’ call for the new secondary school to be built north of the railway line.