Work to repair a “lethal” cash machine in Burnham-On-Sea High Street has got underway this week – just days after town councillors raised serious safety concerns about the facility.
The operators of the cash machine were on site on Monday, as pictured, to repair it after we reported here last week that town councillors had aired a number of fears about the rusty ATM, which had electric wires poking out.
Town councillors demanded that unless ‘urgent’ safety improvements were made, they would cordon it off with barricades to reduce the safety risk to passers-by.
But Town Clerk Denise Emery told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Monday evening: “The Town Council is pleased to see that following the Town Projects Committee meeting on the 6th April when the matter was raised as a matter of deep concern, the ATM machine in the High Street has been repaired.”
“I would like to thank Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council for their help in adding their voice to the Town Council’s concerns which led to the repairs being brought forward on the works schedule.”
“The BT liaison officer at Cardtronics, Wendy Dawson, had promised the work would be carried out this week when speaking to me on 7th April, so it is good to see that the work has been done in the first day of this week.”
The base of the machine, pictured above, has been repaired to remove access to the rusty area and exposed wires.
Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton added: “It’s very good news that it has been fixed. This is down to the council’s persistence and the combined work of several local councils that we have got a positive outcome.”
It comes after strongly-worded concerns were expressed by councillors during last week’s Burnham and Highbridge Town Council meeting.
Cllr 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.”
“A 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.”
Cllr 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.”
Cllr 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.”
Cllr 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 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.”
Councillors voted unanimously to give the ATM company 30 days notice to make safety improvements or further action will be taken, which led to this week’s repair work being completed so fast.