A CONCERNED Larne parent has launched a facebook campaign to highlight what he describes as “unsafe” conditions at two local schools.
The social networking initiative, which was set up earlier this month, criticises the standard of car parking facilities at St Anthony’s Nursery and St Anthony’s Primary Schools in Craigyhill (pictured). The web page, entitled St Anthony’s Access Larne, also hits out at the “lack of” disabled access at the schools.
And the campaign has already garnered support from other frustrated parents and number of disability support groups.
The creator of the site, who did not wish to be named, told the Times that the “terrible” car parking conditions have been a “long-running issue” at both schools.
He added: “I have a child at the nursery school and another about to go into the primary school, and I felt it was about time someone took some decisive action to raise awareness of these problems. Parents have complained for years and the authorities have put the onus onto each other regarding the ownership of the land.
“Families are actually angry that they have put money into the parish for years and have been promised on many occasions that the car park would be fixed, but to no avail.
“I created this web page to make people aware of the unsafe environment children, parents and teachers have to encounter when accessing these two schools.”
The fed-up father said there were a number of health and safety issues at the school, including a “badly pot holed car park with extremely uneven surfaces”, which he claimed could lead to car’s being damaged. He added that steps to the primary school are “steep and dangerous” and warned that part of the adjoining wall is “coming apart”.
“Currently there is no disabled access to both schools from the car park, which means wheelchair bound parents or family members cannot easily access either school. Parents with prams will also find it difficult accessing the schools from the car park.
“There is no traffic management in the car park with vehicles travelling in every conceivable direction, again causing extremely worrying safety issues.
“The more people raising these issues the bigger the opportunity we have of convincing the powers that be of doing something before a child or adult is seriously injured,” he concluded.
A spokesman from the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) told the Times that the land in question is owned by the parish, so there is currently no scope for the school trustees to make an application to the Department of Education for minor repairs to be carried out.
However, he added: “While we were not aware of this facebook campaign, CCMS is aware of the concerns relating to this plot of land. We are working with the trustees of the school to secure the vesting of the land so that an application for minor works can be made to the Department.”