‘Half a job’ – mum blasts Hartlepool Council for leaving metal spike in children’s play area

Kathryn Hughes at Grayfields play area, with children Phoebe and Kaiden
Kathryn Hughes at Grayfields play area, with children Phoebe and Kaiden

AN angry mum has blasted a council for leaving an exposed metal spike in the middle of a play area.

Mum-of-four Kathryn Hughes took her youngsters, two-and-a-half-year old Phoebe and Kaiden, one, to the play area at Grayfields in Hartlepool earlier this week.

And she was shocked to find a foot-long spike sticking out of the ground after a roundabout had been removed.

Kathryn, also mum to Nathan, 16, and 13-year-old Josh, claims she made repeated calls to Hartlepool Borough Council to voice her concerns, and then went into the Civic Centre after her messages weren’t returned, but is angry that nothing has been done.

The local authority says the roundabout was removed after being vandalised, but the pole couldn’t not be moved as it is cemented into the foundations.

The roundabout will be replaced as soon as it is repaired.

But Kathryn fears a youngster will be hurt at the play area in the meantime.

She said: “It is an accident waiting to happen.

“They have removed the roundabout, which is fair enough if it was damaged or is being replaced.

“But I cannot believe they have left the metal pole that the roundabout spins around on just sticking out of the ground.

“They have done half a job, and what they have left is totally dangerous.

“It’s the summer holidays, the park is busy and kids are running about all over the park. Somebody could end up getting impaled on it.”

Kathryn, who lives with husband Callum in the Grange Road area, added: “I had been to the funday at Rovers rugby club on Tuesday, and we called into Grayfields on the way home.

“As soon as I saw it, I rang the council to report it but I got passed about and ended up leaving messages.

“I was told someone would ring me back, but they didn’t so I went down to the Civic Centre and still had no joy.

“I’m actually trying to do the council a favour before some child gets injured, I shouldn’t have to be chasing them about.

“I’m annoyed about the whole situation, even if it was cordoned off or something like that it would be better than it is now, but it’s been left totally exposed.”

A council spokesman said: “Unfortunately the roundabout had to be removed last week due to vandalism and we are doing our best to get it repaired and put back in place as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, we can’t remove the central pole on which the roundabout rotates as it is concreted into the foundation of the play area but we did wrap it in high visibility marking tape to warn people that it is there and to encourage them to keep away from it.

“Unfortunately people keep removing the tape, but our Playground Inspector inspects the site each day and replaces it if needed. As an additional safeguard, underneath the marking tape we have also now covered the pole in sponge pipe lagging.

“In addition to our regular maintenance and safety checks, we are grateful for the support we receive from members of the public who report vandalism to us so that we can tackle it promptly and keep our children’s play equipment in service.”