OCT 98] STRATFORD ON AVON DISTRICT COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE
Safety Crackdown On Newspaper Deliveries
Environmental health officers in Stratford are threatening to take
action against irresponsible newsagents who put their newspaper boys' and girls' safety at
risk. The warning comes after a campaign aimed at improving health and safety for
newspaper deliverers, revealed that only three out of 17 children received safety advice
when they started work, and half of the children had been worried by strangers.
Other findings from the survey, carried out
by Stratford District Council across its area, show that the majority of children use
their bicycle to deliver papers, but only half have lights; only a quarter have received
any cycle training; three quarters find the delivery bag too heavy; and half the children
have overbalanced as a result of the weight of papers carried.
In an effort to improve the situation, a
cycle training session has been organised at Stratford High School, with places initially
given to newspaper boys and girls, but others may be allocated places to fill the course.
An 'Escape, Scream, Police' course is also being organised to train youngsters to cope
with the stranger danger, and a booklet outlining the relevant law is being prepared for
circulation to newsagents. Follow-up visits to newsagents will be made by Council officers
to ensure that they are complying with the law.
"With the co-operation of the
children, their employers and their parents, we hope to substantially improve the
situation," says Craig Ewing, senior specialist environmental health officer at
Stratford District Council.
"However, if the findings of this
small survey truly reflect the working conditions experienced by children, we will
use enforcement action where necessary to achieve acceptable standards of safety.
"Any parents or newsagents who are
concerned about their child's safety when delivering papers should contact me at the
District Council on 01789 260833."
Part of the campaign included a road safety
quiz open to all children, which was won by Temma Choji, a pupil at King Edward VI Grammar
School. His high score has won him a Raleigh Boulder Bicycle and a safety helmet, which
will be presented at the School on 7 October 1998 at 9am by the District Council Chairman
Cllr Ann Simpson. The presentation will be in the Levi Fox Hall.
The training sessions are being funded by
Stratford District Council and Warwickshire County Council's Road Safety Unit. The prizes
for the quiz have been supplied by Clarkes Cycles, Halfords, and Pashleys.
Mark Lepkowski, Press Officer 01789 260104
Craig Ewing, Environmental Health Officer 01789 260816