Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Man says council cares more about frogs and bees than children after his signs were removed

A man has suggested that Surrey County Council "cares more about frogs and bees" than it does children after signs he put up warning motorists youngsters were playing in a suburban street went missing. John Lawrence, 48, spent £40 to put up two signs in Selwood Gardens, Stanwell , after his nine-year-old son, Jake, was "shook up" when he was almost hit by a car whilst out playing with a group of friends in the cul-de-sac.

But two weeks’ later the signs cautioning drivers to "please drive slowly as children are playing in the area" were taken down. Mr Lawrence has applied to the council for official signs to be placed in the street, but says it is taking too long for anything to be done. “We live in a so-called ‘nanny state’ and one minute they [the government] are saying kids have got to get out, and then on the other hand they can’t play on the streets,” Mr Lawrence said.

“I spent £40 for signs to protect children, but they [the council] can put a sign up to protect frogs and bees but when it comes to kids it’s low on the priority.” He said his son regularly plays on the central grassed area with his friends and he is constantly ‘drumming it in to them’ to be careful. “We are talking about kids’ lives,” said Mr Lawrence. “We are talking about young children playing out in the street like the old-fashioned way, and I can’t be the only person on the planet thinking this way.

“If you’ve got a main road you don’t expect kids to play down there, of course not. When you’re talking about a residential cul-de-sac and a lump of green on there ... where are these kids supposed to play, apart from the park.” Surrey County Council said its highways team was not responsible for the removal of Mr Lawrence’s signs. A2Dominion, the housing group that owns the homes in Selwood Gardens, also said it was not involved with the removal of the signs.

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