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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Pupils plea for wall repair

A WHITEHAVEN school has been forced to fence off an area of land to stop its children playing near a broken boundary wall.

cedangerwall
Wall concern: The St James’ Junior School councillors near the wall that is in need of work after a large crack appeared, resulting in the school having to tape it off and restrict the pupils’ access to the grassed play area.

By Sarah Robinson

Staff at St James Juniors say there is a “substantial crack” in a wall at the back of their school and they are waiting for Cumbria County Council to fix it.

In the meantime, a parent who works for Shepley Engineers, has provided temporary fencing to cordon off the wall, to allow pupils to play safely on the grass.

Moira Maughan, headteacher, said: “There is a substantial crack in the wall which we’ve kept our eye on for about a year.

“We’ve kept the children off the grass since we noticed the crack. It wasn’t a problem in spring time as we tend to only use the grass in summer, but we’ve had some good weather recently.”

She said she contacted the local authority around February and was initially told the wall was safe and a structural engineer would visit the school to confirm this.

However, she claims when the engineer recently checked the wall he said substantial work needs to be carried out.

Mrs Maughan added: “In light of the Edinburgh disaster [when a 12-year-old girl died after being hit by a free standing wall at her school] I was hoping the council would carry out the work quickly but we haven’t heard anything from them.”

A county council spokesperson said: “The situation is we advised that access around the wall should be restricted as repair works are required.

“The wall will be repaired but we don’t yet have a date for exactly when it’s going to happen – we need to work up a repair plan and then determine when the work can be undertaken.”

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