Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Prats of The Week - Durham City Council

Tis a wet and grey Thursday morning, what better time to award one of my prestigious and internationally renowned "Prats of The Week" Awards?

This week it goes to Durham City Council.

For why?

Just ask the parents and kids who use the Allergate play area.

For you see my loyal readers, the council went unto the playground and conducted a health and safety audit.

What did they find?

Swings, roundabouts and slides etc; all the normal paraphernalia that you would expect to find in a playground.


Well, yes actually.

The council deemed that these items posed a safety risk.

Can you guess what they did children?

Yes, that's right, the council removed all of the equipment (aside from one toy bike on a spring) from the play area.

For the record, there had never been any accidents of merit there.

I should point out that the council are not finished with their quest, they will conduct audits in all their other play areas and will remove equipment that they deem to be a risk.

Nigel Dodds, Durham County Council’s sport and leisure manager, told the Northern Echo that most of the equipment was manufactured before 1998, when European safety standards replaced the British predecessors, and therefore did not meet modern day requirements.

An "interesting" explanation, and a slimy piece of buck passing

However, there is one small fly in Dodds' oinkment. The council, I assume has been conducting annual/regular health and safety audits since 1998 have they not?.

How is it that this has only been adjudged to be a problem in 2011?

The council, having removed the kids' playthings may then care to wonder why it is that the kids end up hanging round street corners looking bored and looking for trouble?

Durham City Council, well deserving Prats of The Week! Incidentally they also won this award in 2007 (well done lads!).

As noted before on this site, Councils are the enemies of the people!

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  1. Anonymous11:48 AM

    I hate councils as much as anyone else here, but I can’t help but think that decisions like these are a result of the ‘compensation culture’ that now reigns supreme.

    There is no such thing as an accident nowadays. The opinion seems to be that all accidents can be avoided; therefore any accident is someone else’s fault and that someone else must be made to pay.

    Compensation payments should only be awarded if the guilty party purposely caused the condition that resulted in harm.

    People are often clumsy, forgetful, lazy, negligent and stupid. That is what makes us all human. It is ridiculous to claim and pay huge sums of money for displaying human traits.

  2. I have some sympathy for what you say Anon; We have allowed this compensation culture to happen and many chavs see it as free money, perhaps a kind of extra benefit....It is another example of bad legislation from government; the no win, no fee or conditional fees legislation, was put in place to give legal access for civil matters, to poorer people and to cut the costs to the taxpayer of legal aid.....A good and noble idea however, the lawyers saw an opportunity to make a few bob and hence the situation we see now.
    We need a few judges to stop awarding costs on silly, petty matters. I know that most of these claims do not even get to court because all too often, the costs of defending them are so high but, we all pay more through higher insurance costs, so it affects us all.
    If the courts stopped awarding costs for petty, silly claims, then the sharks would think twice before taking on such cases and more companies may defend silly cases, rather than settle them out of court. The victim may make a couple of hundred pounds but, the lawyers will usually make five times this figure or more.

    Back to the core of the topic; if you wrap kids up in bubble wrap and do not allow them to take little risks, then they do not develop that street sense which will help them all of their life, here in the real world.

    As the end of 2011 approaches, perhaps we should consider a "Hi-Viz Muppet of the Year award" that is limited to only local authorities, in order to recognize their huge contribution to this blog's content.

  3. Lord of Atlantis2:47 PM

    I couldn't agree with you more, Tonk! Children have been using this kind of equipment for years, without maiming themselves. Years ago, whilst in his teens, a friend of mine lost an eye as a result of an accident whilst climbing a tree. He and his parents didn't frantically search around for someone to sue, nor did he mope around feeling sorry for himself. He acceptesd that it was his fault and got on with his life!

  4. Mjolinir4:03 PM

    Interesting that there appears to be a dissenting voice straight from the heart of Nanny-dom
    David Yearley, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: 'Generally speaking, it is important to recognise that compliance with the standards is not mandatory.
    'In cases where equipment does not comply, it is crucial that you assess the risks to users. The equipment might then be made acceptable for use with just a few minor modifications.'
    A report by the National Playing Fields Association in 2005 said attempts to eliminate all risks from play areas were making them boring. It added that councils which fear being sued in the event of an accident sometimes interpret safety guidelines, which are only advisory, too harshly.

  5. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Actually Durham County Council, Durham City Council ceased to exist in 2009.