School’s plea over ‘dan­ger­ous’ steps

Rossendale Free Press - - St Annes-on-sea - CHRIS GEE chris.gee@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

AHEADTEACHER claims ‘dan­ger­ously ne­glected’ steps out­side a pri­mary school are putting chil­dren at risk.

The steep steps out­side Our Lady and St Anselm’s RC Pri­mary School in Whit­worth have no safety bar­rier on one side and the other handrail is rusted and cor­roded.

Safety con­cerns have also been raised about the un­adopted road along­side the school where both pave­ments are in a rut­ted and bro­ken con­di­tion,

Staff and gov­er­nors at the school, which has 185 pupils, have been plead­ing with Lancashire County Coun­cil for more than five years to ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for main­te­nance of the area.

Head­teacher Joanne Rainey, said: “The road and steps out­side the school gates are a daily health and safety risk for those who use it.

“Both my­self and the for­mer head have re­quested main­te­nance and im­prove­ments for the last five years.

“So far, Lancashire County Coun­cil will not ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“The time has come for a clear plan to be drawn up to en­able ev­ery­one the use of a safe, main­tained street.”

School gov­er­nor Peter Corder has spent con­sid­er­able time re­search­ing who is re­spon­si­ble for the road and steps.

He said: “The county coun­cil have stated for many years that the steps and the road are un­adopted and not the high­ways re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“I was not sat­is­fied with that re­sponse as they are in a dan­ger­ous state for the very young and the elderly, as is the road­way with trip haz­ards ga­lore.

“I have searched for records at the County Ar­chives at Pre­ston and found doc­u­ments, con­firm­ing that the steps were con­structed by the high­ways au­thor­ity of that coun­cil as a foot­path from Cowm Park Way North to St Anselm’s School.

“I also found doc­u­ments show­ing that the road­way which was un­made, was made up by the same coun­cil, given the name Lime Grove and was adopted.

“I be­lieve they are at­tempt­ing to ab­di­cate their re­spon­si­bil­ity to main­tain the steps and road.”

A spokesper­son from Lancashire County Coun­cil said: “Of­fi­cers are cur­rently car­ry­ing out in­ves­ti­ga­tions to con­sider ev­i­dence and ad­vise whether the county coun­cil, as high­way au­thor­ity, should al­ter its records to in­clude th­ese steps as be­ing main­tain­able at pub­lic ex­pense.

“We ex­pect that the re­port will be com­pleted by the end of June.”

●● Chil­dren from Our Lady and St Anselm’s on the steps with teacher Mrs Hel­li­well and gov­er­nor Peter Corder

●● The con­di­tion of the steps out­side Our Lady and St Anselm’s RC Pri­mary

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