'Urgent works order' placed on operator of "lethal"
town councillors have welcomed the news that action has been taken
against the operators of a cash machine in the town's High Street
amid safety concerns.
reported here that at a
meeting on Monday (April 4th), town councillors aired a number
of safety fears about the rusting ATM, which has electric wires
poking out at the bottom. Town councillors said that unless 'urgent'
safety improvements are made, they will cordon it off with barricades.
District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"SDCs staff were contacted on Tuesday morning about
the problem. Our Environmental Health Department contacted the
company who leases the phonebox/ATM from BT and explained a child
could put their hand or hands into the hole as it is big enough
and low enough."
"We also explained that Burnham-On-Sea is a holiday destination
and with the Easter holidays there are a lot of visitors with
children and it would be in everyones best interest to rectify
the issue before anything happens."
She added: "The company said it has now raised a ticket for
the work to be done, but although they could not commit to a date,
they have marked it as a matter of urgency, following advice from
our Environmental Health Officer."
Peter Burridge-Clayton said on Wednesday evening (April 6th):
"It is excellent news that this urgent works order has been
placed - it is very much needed. I would like to thank Duncan
McGinty, the leader of Sedgemoor District Council, and the officers
involved in achieving this result."
comes after strongly-worded concerns were expressed by councillors
during Monday's Burnham and Highbridge Town Council meeting.
Louise Parkin said: "We have a duty of care to the residents
of this town and our visitors. None of us like this ATM. The ATM
operator has had ample opportunity since June last year to rectify
it, but they don't give a damn. Well, I do, and I want this sorted."
kid could get tetanus from it at best if they don't lose an arm.
It is absolutely unthinkable that this council allows this to
continue... at worst, I think we should barricade it off as a
duty of care."
Martin Cox added: "It is absolutely outrageous. You can see
live wiring coming out through a hole. How that it isn't enough
for the ATM firm to fix it I do not know. I call on them to be
publicly shamed for allowing this to happen and for disregarding
the request of the local council."
Andy Brewer said: "I suggest we keep up the pressure on BT
in particular and try to raise the profile of the problem. We
need to protect ourselves against legal action but this is a public
matter we have a degree of responsibility."
David Hoggarth added: "I suggest we send both parties a 30
day notice of intent. That would legally be in order. With this
degree of inaction over several months, we can then continue with
our intention of barricading it. It's an item of public access.
Literally after 31 days we do it to protect our residents."
Cllr Michael Clarke responded: "If we do barricade it off,
we as a council will have to provide the barricades. If there
is any incident resulting from that barricade then we as a Town
Council would be liable."
Martin Cox responded: "We may not have to put barricades
up but just a few notices saying there is a potential danger with
this machine and that people should beware."
Kate Lawson added: "I find it incredible that it has been
reported to the Health and Safety Executive and they refuse to
do anything, saying it's not in their remit. I do think we should
go back again. If we had them on our side it would add more clout
to what we are trying to do here."
voted unanimously to give the ATM company 30 days notice to make
safety improvements or further action will be taken.