I’m really proud to be a Governor at Sherwood Park Primary School. The Head Teacher, Keith Marden is an example to us all – passionate and dedicated, his sole concern is the well being of his pupils. Since I was elected in 2001 to represent Sherwood Ward, I’ve seen just how hard some people work to make sure that the estate – despite its disadvantages in some pockets – gets its fair share of services and improvements.
Little Forest Children’s Centre, the TN2 building, Greggs Wood Road resurfacing, new 277 buses, Sandhurst Road pedestrian crossing and a host of other improvements and facilities have been the result of hard slog by a small core of passionate people who just want the best for local people, and I’ve just been lucky to have been able to do my bit alongside them.
But Sherwood Primary School is special. You only have to look at the level of engagement with the pupils; a dedicated team of teachers who so often go ‘above and beyond’ to make sure their kids get the best chances; and a head teacher whose conviction and skill enables him to draw benefit from organisations and agencies far outside the borders of the estate.
So I was saddened to hear recently that – as fast as we’re all giving up our time to try to make things better and to raise the reputation of Sherwood, there’s a small minority of ‘older youngsters’ – some of them ex-Sherwood pupils – who delight in rampaging around the Borough of Tunbridge Wells creating havoc and damage, then proudly exclaiming that they are “The Sherwood Gang”.
I need add nothing about the pointlessness of such action, nor about the certainty that these youngsters will at some point be punished for their actions. But it just seems to futile for some to be working so hard to restore and strengthen the reputation of an area which for too long has been the Cinderella ward of Tunbridge Wells Borough, only for a small minority to be actively and mindlessly doing their best to drag that reputation back to the past.