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Not sure if this is the right place for this as it's a health and safety issue really.

 

I'm in a shared ownership scheme with a housing association in Scotland. Next to the block of flats is a parking area with a building cage. There's a grassy area and a walkway to some other housing association properties which are being renovated.

 

The building cage has two corrugated metal containers in it. They've been there for about a month. They don't fill it. The houses opposite the grassy areas have had scaffolding up for about 3 weeks. The only thing stopping kids from climbing up this scaffolding is the fencing around the gardens. It's not fenced off by the builders.

 

On the grass by my flat is a pile of building materials. I've been aware of it for a little over 10 days. the weekend before last was a rare dry one and kids were out playing. I noticed that they'd found a small ladder and had propped it up at the end of a pile of wood for the building and were using a plank to get from one pile to the next. Right next to all this is a pile of what looks a little like spares for the scaffolding. They are made of metal that's rusty with spikes of metal sticking upwards. No one was about on the building site so I called the local police station. There's no sign giving a number for the buildersresponsible. Someone said that an officer would be over to take a look. I didn't see one but they didn't take my details so I may have missed them.

 

The next day (Sunday) having seen no police and seeing the ladder/plank still there and gangs of kids still there. I called the police again. Couldn't think what else to do. Again, someone said they'd take a look but no sign of anything done.

 

Later in the week I called the housing association. I wasn't sure it was their building site but the grass is theirs and so is the building cage so I assumed they'd have some responsibility if an accident occured. They agreed it was probably their building site and they would do something about it. Builder's vans started to appear and as I had to go out I thought it would be sorted. Got back that evening and it was piled higher. But the ladder and plank had been tidied.

 

Friday I went to work and mentioned it to colleagues (I work part time for the council) and they all said to tell a councillor who would be in that day. The HA were shut Friday and Monday so there would be noone to speak to until Tuesday. So I did, he seemed concerned and although he had no great opinion of the HA (he's not alone). Came back from a weekend away and it's still all there.

 

Last night kids were still climbing on it. At frequent intervals there are broken chunks of paving slab thrown about (I saw one young girl carrying a whole one at one point). I can't get anyone to listen and I'm really worried that if a kid falls off and onto one of these pieces of rusty metal or if one of them tips onto a child (they're not secure) there will be a terrible accident.

 

It's just across the path from the local play area which is behind my building.

 

So today I phond the HA and asked to speak to maintenance and told them I would give them 24 hours to get it sorted. I then phoned the local weekly paper. It comes out on Thursdays.

 

I'm not sure whether I'm doing the right thing. It's really scary when I see kids playing in an area that isn't safe. I don't know whether it would make any difference if I yelled at them. I'm alone here and feel quite vulnerable. Kids should be playing outside and it's good that they do but not on this.

 

Any ideas or suggestions?

 

(btw there's another load of houses just starting to have the work done so I can't see the pile being moved tomorrow unless someone creates a fuss).

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Inform the kids' parents of the risks. Children should be parents resp.

Also contact local H&S dept who should have a word with the Contractors about site safety & security.

Request Cllr you informed, to do site visit.

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Cheers, I don't know who the kids' parents are. If I find out I will warn them but I don't know any of the families. There are a lot of houses nearby and they could be from any of them. I agree the parents would be responsible but these kids don't have parents about. just a gang of kids aged 7-12 approximately.

 

The councillor took my number and promised to keep me informed but I've herard nothing since.

 

Will try H&S.

 

Thanks.

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Hi

 

write a Formal Complaint to the Housing Association concerned pointing out the Health & Safety issues with their Contractor leaving building materials and equipment freely assessible to members of the public including children. Then forward a copy of that letter to your Local Councils Enviromental Health Dept.


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I opened my curtains recently early on a Sunday morning to see a three/four year old girl actually sitting on the roof of the houses over the back of us. I was so shocked I shut the curtains and opened them again. Just to make sure. Once I realised I wasn't dreaming, I called the fire brigade, no messing about. She'd managed to open her bedroom window and climb out whilst her parents were still asleep.

 

Give this a try next time your local area turns into Beirut - its not really extreme if you think about it, because when the inevitable accident happens, the fire brigade will likely have to attend anyway. If you are a bit shy about doing that, then why not give the local fire station a ring? We tend to forget these guys, they give great advice as well.

 

Hope you get it sorted, what a nightmare.

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Thanks all. The stonewall effect I'm getting here makes me feel like I'm some interfering old biddy mking a fuss out of boredom. You've reassured me that I'm doing the right thing.

 

I don't know why I'm nervous about calling the fire station, I called the police twice. Last night was windy and stormy so the kids weren't out. Never has heavy rain been such a relief.

 

Yes, I will send that complaint. It's something to ensure that it doesn't happen again, however it's now been about two weeks . Each day that it remains is another day that an accident is likely to happen so I'm looking for instant results. I did compose an e-mail from my phone with the photo that I first took on the Saturday but it didn't go. Must have mistyped the address. Probably as well as I was angry when I wrote it.

 

Last time I went to the council (about antisocial behaviour) the HA were outside my door at 9am the next morning demanding to know why I hadn't gone to them first (well only 20 times or so but who's counting?). When I called them about an electrical fault that could affect the whole building I hit the stonewall again. It's all about their image, safety can take a place at the back of the queue.

 

Oh well, wish me luck.

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Just give the local fire station a ring and ask to speak to the Station master, they are ever so nice, really!

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