Health and safety fears for children

Rev. Duncan Clarke at St. Ambrose, Leyland
Rev. Duncan Clarke at St. Ambrose, Leyland

Officials at a Leyland church are warning youths to stay off their roof amid fears over health and safety.

St Ambrose Church on Moss Lane has been troubled with young people climbing on the flat roof at the back of their landmark building.

Vicar Duncan Clark said: “It is going to cost a few thousands pounds to repair the damage to the wall and the roof.

“That is the problem with having to repair these historical landmark buildings as you have to pay a bit more to repair.

“It is money that we could use elsewhere especially coming up to Christmas.

“However, our main concern is that the children and young people do not know that their high-jinx could lead to them hurting themselves.

“They don’t really realise how dangerous what they are doing is.

“We are worried that they may fall off and break their arms or legs or even worse.”

The Guardian reported in August that they faced a bill to repair a 50ft strip of lead from a roof and also a 10ft copper conductor that they are looking to repair it in 2012.

The area has been plagued by nuisance and three months ago a nearby cenotaph was vandalised with graffiti.

Rev Clark said: “The memorial has already been tidied up and hopefully that will be the end of it. However, we get lots of young people hanging around our church buildings and we are often clearing up beer bottles. It is a flat roof at the back of the church and they think that they can just run up and down the roof.

“We have not got the ability to watch our building all of the time and stop them taking the risks.

“I don’t think we can afford to put up CCTV outside.

“The best thing we can do is put up some anti-vandal paint on the walls.

“Young people like to climb things and I don’t think we can stop them doing it.”

Church warden David Spencer has been involved with the church for the past 20 years.

He says that they will be looking at their options.

“This is something that we have been investigating for the past six months,” he added.

“One of the ideas that we came up with is a pitched roof so it will be more difficult for them to get up there.

“We are trying to get a few estimates about how much it would cost.

“The damage to the walls is just from wear and tear.

“It needs to be sorted to stop the rain getting in.”