Homefield Rec-Gate

Parents complain after nursery entrance is padlocked

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Parents of pre-schoolers who attend Buttercups Day Nursery say Hounslow Council are "putting the lives of 31 children and their carers at significant risk" after a padlock was put on access gates. The Chiswick Lane gates allow vehicle access to the Nursery in Homefield Recreation Ground.

"It was the Hounslow Council's decision to rent out a previously derelict facility to Buttercups Day Nursery, and in doing surely there must have been some acknowledgement that access would be needed for parents to pick up and drop off children safely?" one mother told ChiswickW4.com.

"Since the padlock was installed last week, many of the children are being walked across a busy road to gain access to the Nursery."

The gate was half open on Wednesday 23rd February (see photos right) however parents felt this was not a satisfactory solution.

Hounslow Council say that the decision to padlock the gates was taken for the "safety of the play area users and the children using this site for the provision of play."

A spokesman for the Council said: "The locking of the gates was not an arbitrary decision as the gates should have been locked at all times with only authorised vehicles having access to the site via this gate. The nursery staff and its users are not authorised for vehicle access."

However Buttercups Day Nursery dispute this fact and are in receipt of a letter from Hounslow Council allowing them vehicle access on the condition that they make sure the gates are closed behind them.

The dispute has led to questions over whether the Council has ulterior motives for padlocking the gates. "I believe car access to Buttercups Day Nursery is being restricted because a resident (or a number of residents) have complained that the gate is left open and that their dogs may run out on to a busy main road and be seriously harmed." said another parent.

The Council deny this saying: "Please be assured that this decision not influenced at all from any other user group of the park."

They also assured parents that the emergency services are able to access the building using their standard issue key which will open the padlock on the gates.

February 24, 2011