Youngsters at risk from nursery’s poor lighting
A BEXHILL dad, concerned that poor access lighting to a local nursery is putting lives at risk has appealed to local authorities to urgently rectify the problem.
Craig Weeks’ five-year-old son, Robert, attends what was originally the Bexhill High School nursery, previously situated on London Road. Robert goes to the nursery’s breakfast and after-school clubs.
Due to the start of the new Bexhill to Hastings link Road the nursery was taken over by East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and moved to a temporary site in the old High School dining room building. Planning permission has been submitted for a new, permanent, nursery next to the King Offa Academy. If approved it could take at least a year to be built.
Mr Weeks says that although the move to the nursery’s temporary premises was a smooth transition for the children, and staff did “a fantastic job”, and the building as a temporary measure is good, it is situated behind King Offa in a wooded fenced off area and access coupled with poor visibility is proving to be a problem.
Mr Weeks said: “To get to the nursery you either have to park at King Offa and have a five-minute walk up The Down, or park in a side street and walk through an alley.
“Dropping off isn’t such a problem, but picking up is. There is no lighting at all and it’s pitch black.
“There have been problems on the Down with flashers and I don’t like the idea of mothers, carers, and young children being so vulnerable in the dark.
“It scares the children because they can’t see you. It’s also an area that’s a haven for dogs’ mess. I’ve spoken to the council but it doesn’t care. It referred me to the Highways Agency and then on to the lighting department. I suggested that they put up some temporary lighting, but my suggestion is falling on deaf ears.”
Mr Weeks says he has the backing of many other parents whose children also attend the nursery and hopes that by speaking out and raising awareness of potential dangers that something will be done.
Mr Weeks said: “The council said it had zero budget for new lighting but the budget for the new road is £100m, so surely they can spare a few hundred for some temporary lights? As it is they are putting people’s lives at risk.”
A spokesman for ESCC said the council does take Mr Weeks’ concerns seriously and will look into the matter. “The nursery has recently moved to this site and the safety of children, carers and staff is paramount. There is lighting outside, but we will make some urgent enquiries and if there is a problem we will respond appropriately.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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