Demands for security fence to go as children hurt

THIS was the horrific injury sustained by 10-year-old Zeeshaan Ashraf when he sliced his finger on a metal fence trying to retrieve his football.

The youngster ripped the tendons in his hand, and damaged nerves and muscles in his finger, as he climbed over the fence in Every Street, Nelson, slipping on a spike.

Another child has since fallen on the five-and-a-half foot fence surrounding the former St Joseph’s RC Church, receiving similar injuries.

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Pendle Council has refused to accept liability for the incidents, but the families of both children have said they will not rest until the fence is made safer. They are even considering taking legal action.

Zeeshaan’s uncle, Javed Ashraf, said: “There has been two incidents in three weeks and yet kids still play there.

“I am worried there could be a fatality if a child was to be impaled on their chest.

“The council needs to accept responsibility for this.”

Pendle Council has, however, said it will not remove the fence, or make any alterations to it.

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Iftekhar Bokhari, senior regeneration officer for Whitefield, said: “It’s extremely unfortunate that youngsters have sustained injuries on the metal fencing in Every Street.

“But I must stress the whole purpose of the fence is to keep people out of a building site.

“Injuries can happen when climbing over high security fences, which are designed to deter people from entering restricted areas.”

Mr Ashraf has said the fence is not doing an effective job of keeping children off their site.

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He said: “My nephew will never go near the fence again but other children will. It is low and easy for them to climb.

“The council can’t tell me that if a child knocks their expensive football over the fence, they are going to leave it.

“Children are still going to climb over, so the council needs to do more to keep them out by putting up a higher fence or make the current one safer.”

Pendle Council has promised to contact local schools, mosques and churches to remind parents and youngsters the area is a building site, and not suitable for playing in.