Delay in Ongar takeover puts pupils ‘at risk’

by Staff Reporter
Mary McCamley (Lab)

A primary school in Ongar remains without a school warden because the area has yet to taken over by the local council.

According to Mulhuddart councillor Mary McCamley (Lab), residents are worried for the safety of their children who have to cross a busy road to access the school gates at St Benedict’s School in Ongar.

A school warden service and signage to warn motorists that a school is ahead is dependent on Ongar village, which is currently owned by the receiver of Manor Park Homes, being taken in charge by the council.

A receiver was appointed to Manor Park Homebuilders Development Company last October. During a recent area committee meeting, Cllr McCamley asked Fingal management when the area around the Ongar Community Centre and St Benedict’s School would be taken in charge.

In response, a spokesperson for FCC confirmed that this depended on Ongar village being taken over by the council. “Neither road signage nor a school warden can be made available by Fingal County Council at locations where the roads [have not been taken] in charge.”

The FCC spokesperson went on to say that a meeting was held between representatives of the receiver and the planning department in November 2011, and further meetings are scheduled with the Inspectorate Division.

“The taking in charge of the Ongar development is the main issue for discussion with the receiver at these meetings. The Inspectorate Division met with the issuer of the security bonds during November 2011 and discussions are now under way to establish a mechanism to secure the full and satisfactory completion of the development, leading to the taking in charge of roads, services and open spaces.”

Cllr McCamley said: “Meetings are ongoing but, in the meantime, another school term has arrived without the proper safety devices in place for the children and their parents.”

She added that it was a “disgrace” that children were being allowed to attend a modern school facility without “adequate and basic safety measures”. “This [situation] puts the children at risk. Drivers are unaware that they are approaching a school site and that they should look out for young children in and around the main road,” she said.

The councillor is now calling for an agreement to be reached as quickly as possible “to secure the taking in charge of the area before an accident occurs through lack of signage and an appointed school warden”.

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