Language school issues have been resolved

As chair of the Town Centre Panel I have been involved in seeking to address residents’ concerns about the Didac School for a number of years. I am writing to correct errors and omissions in the article about the Planning Meeting which you reported on.

The article was discussed at the Town Centre Panel Meeting last week and many residents were extremely angry about how what they consider to be a successful outcome has been misrepresented.

I know from experience that there are frequently tensions between schools and their immediate neighbours.

In the case of Didac School these have focussed around litter and students congregating outside the school obstructing the footpath and were first raised at the panel in September 2010.

This meeting was attended by the co-principal of the school and subsequently the school has put in place various measures to address these issues, but with the annual turnover of students the improvements have not been consistently maintained.

Following a meeting convened by Stephen Lloyd there has been a great deal of discussion between the school, residents, other panel members and councillors.

School rules have been amended, a caretaker has been appointed and other measures have been put in place to address residents’ concerns.

The residents have in turn responded by agreeing concessions on the hours of operation on a provisional basis.

Discussions have also been held with the EBC to allow a special arrangement for the provisional approval on extended hours to be made for a one year period.

The school and residents are now seeking to move forward in a positive way.

ADRIAN LEY, chairman of the Town Centre Panel