Have your say on footpath access to John Innes Park

Merton Council is asking residents for their views on public access to the footpath between John Innes Park and John Innes Recreation Grounds.

The path running from John Innes Recreation Ground towards Mostyn Road provides a direct pedestrian route between John Innes Recreational Ground and John Innes Park and has been enjoyed by local people for many years. However, the footpath also crosses the Rutlish School site and the school has concerns about it posing a potential safety risk to students and staff during school hours.

Rutlish School would like to gate and close the footpath to the general public during school hours in term time between 8.30am and 3pm and the council is keen to hear the views of residents, parents and teachers about this proposal.

This consultation will enable the council to establish the views of the community including school staff, parents and park users, before deciding on the next course of action. Any change to the arrangements for the path may require specific legal processes.

A public meeting will take place on Monday 22 November at 7.30pm at Rutlish School and will give residents the opportunity to discuss the proposals further and to have their say. The deadline for responding to this consultation is Monday 13 December 2010.

Councillor Edith Macauley, cabinet member for community safety, engagement and equalities said: “We know that many local residents enjoy the park and recreation grounds and that any changes made to access to the park during school hours will clearly be of interest to those people. Likewise, teachers and parents of pupils at Rutlish School understandably have a strong interest in pupil safety, and are keen to find ways to boost safety for all pupils at the school.

“We’re keen to hear the views of as many people as possible so that we can find a solution that best meets the needs of all those involved. I’d like to encourage residents to attend the public meeting on Monday 22 November at the school, visit our website or give us a call to have their say.”

Should the proposal go ahead, the footpath would still be accessible to the general public outside of school hours during the week, and at all times in the weekend and school holidays.

Residents can find out more information and submit their views by:

o Visiting http://www.merton.gov.uk/consultation/rutlish-school-and-john-innes-path-consultation

o Emailing getinvolved@merton.gov.uk

o Calling 020 8545 3857