Julia Batt

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Heath Ward Learn more

Oakwood School Campus

by Julia on 17 September, 2007

I attended a meeting this evening organised due to the ever increasing number of  complaints regarding Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) around the Oakwood Campus. In attendance were local and County Councillors, the Police & PCSOs, heads of the three secondary schools and representatives from the Community Safety Team (Maidstone Council).

There have been a number of incidents of missiles being thrown from or around Astor of Hever school (mostly rocks, but I’ve had the pleasure of sandwiches being chucked at my car – marmite in case you were wondering). In addition, local residents have been intimitaded by large groups of students out of class hours hanging around by their properties. These ‘visits’ often culminate in large amounts of litter being left, and often with some amount of verbal abuse occurring.

The meeting today highlighted each parties problems with the estate. The general consensus was that parking (and overspill), security and lack of definition of boundaries around each school are all contributing to the problems. All three schools, Astor, St. Simon Stock & Oakwood Grammar, agreed that any allegations of misbehaviour by a student wearing their uniform will be fully investigated and dealt with. But they each went on to say that this is detracting from their main priority, which is of course to teach.

The PCSO assigned to this estate has been absent due to illness for four months and is only just back in post. Hopefully, his renewed presence on and around Oakwood will help ease some of the problems. In addition, County Councillor Dan Daley has offered to pay out of his budget for appropriate lamp posts to be wired up with CCTV cameras. Maidstone’s Community Safety Team have been asked to investigate examples of best practise on simliar campuses across the country, and we did discuss, although not in detail, the idea of students being surveyed to discover what they thought might help the problems.

All these actions will be reviewed in November, hopefully with a positive outcome. Please remember that we need you to report any issues you have either to myself or to the local police. By letting us know all the issues you have, we can build up a file and really see the bigger picture.

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