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St Albans mother's fear over children's safety in 'pitch black' Temple View play area
A St Albans mother says she fears for her children’s safety when walking through a nearby play area because flood lights have not been working for more than four months.
All but one of three flood lights and six street lights have been broken in Temple View play area since June and mother-of-two-Katherine Richardson said she is dreading upcoming Halloween celebrations as the area plunges in to darkness.
Miss Richardson, who has two daughters, Molly and Rosie Gurney, has been complaining to contractor Ringway working on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, since the lights went out.
Miss Richardson was prompted to make her first complaint after her daughter 10-year-old Molly fell over while walking home from youth club.
She said: "It is pitch black over there.
"Me and Molly were coming back from her youth club in New Green when she tripped over because it was so dark over there. "Her whole front tooth fell out and she has had to have half of it replaced with a filling.
"She is going to need ongoing treatment."
Despite making numerous calls, Miss Richardson said Ringway has only been out to fix exposed wires this month.
She said: "It is disgusting.
"It just brings back memories from a few years ago when a woman was stabbed while walking through the park on Halloween night.
"It needs to be sorted before this year’s Halloween.
"It is so dangerous out there. As it gets darker we have been avoiding going out in the evening because it is pitch black.
"Residents around here campaigned for ages to get these flood lights put in but if they’re not working, what’s the point in them?"
The Temple View resident says she is also worried about moped drivers who were "taking advantage of the pitch black."
Miss Richardson said young people often "crowd around in the darkness where no one can see them".
She said: "I have nearly been knocked over by speeding and skidding mopeds on many occasions. If it was all lit up around there, they wouldn’t do it."
This week Miss Richardson said she was informed Ringway is not responsible for fixing the lights and it is in fact a St Albans District Council issue.
She said: "They have been fobbing me off for the last five months. Every time I call to complain, they tell me they have logged the complaint and the issue will be looked in to.
"It has been four months of complaining to the wrong authority. I will now have to contact St Albans District Council, which means the lights will be broken for even longer."
A spokesperson from Hertfordshire County Council and Ringway apologised for the "delay in establishing the authority responsible for the floodlights on the playground."
He said: "This was due to a mix up in the way the fault was reported. Ringway are not responsible for the maintenance of these lights, however to ensure the wires were no longer exposed and causing a hazard, our crews did visit the site to make the floodlight safe."
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