Camberley protesters take playing fields petition to Michael Gove
By mattcollison | Wednesday, September 05, 2012, 15:02
A PETITION with more than 130,000 signatures was handed to the Windlesham office of Surrey Heath MP Michael Gove today (September 5.)
Protesters gathered outside Michael Gove's office in Windlesham with the petition.
Mr Gove has been criticised over the sale of school playing fields.
Nearly 150,000 people have signed the 38 Degrees petition.
A team of about 20 protesters from Camberley and North West Surrey led by campaigners 38 Degrees gathered at the education secretary's base in Church Road in protest against the Government's relaxing of the sale of school playing fields.
Richard Wilson, of Windlesham, was among the protesters.
He said: "It was fantastic to meet people from Bagshot, Lightwater, Camberley, Deepcut who feel so strongly to come out for this event.
"This petition will weigh heavily on Gove's desk as he decided whether to go ahead with his plans to remove the minimum size of school playing fields, allowing the sale of pieces of them to developers.
"Everyone there today mentioned how they had been inspired by the Olympics and we need to ensure the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic athletes will still have playing fields at state schools to train and learn their sports on.
"It was a great feeling to be part of such a huge communal effort."
A covering letter handed in with the boxes of signatures read: "Dear Michael Gove, secretary of state for education,
"Please don't force through your plans to relax the rules on the size of school playing fields.
"There's a real risk that if you do, children will be left without enough space to play."
Campaign group 38 degrees, which organised the petition, said in a statement: "Without decent outdoor spaces to play it's hard to imagine the children of today will ever match this year's record Olympic medal haul. And once playing fields are sold off and built on, they're gone forever."
Around 18,000 more signatures have been collected since the petition was boxed ahead of being handed to Mr Gove, taking the total to nearly 150,000 names.