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Beverley MP says pupil safety is ‘top priority’

Graham Stuart MP meets pupil members of Beverley St Nicholas School Council

Local MP Graham Stuart  has backed efforts by pupils, parents, governors and teachers at Beverley St Nicholas Primary School to improve lighting along the footpath between the school and the adjacent St Nicholas Church. He said safety must be the “primary concern” as work continues around a new £5m building at the site on Holme Church Lane.

The lack of street lighting on the narrow path has raised concerns at the school that pupils, parents and local residents are being put at risk, with a number of minor injuries already attributed to unsure footing, pedestrian congestion and insufficient road safety infrastructure on the path.

Mr Stuart was given a tour of the renovated school and also met representatives of all age groups from the School Council, who raised the issue of the footpath and urged him to lobby for improvements. Following his visit, he has now written to East Riding of Yorkshire Council in order to stress the importance of improved safety measures.

The MP also took the opportunity to congratulate head teacher Liz Pollard on the wider progress being made at the school, which had been put into special measures in 2010 yet received a “Good” rating across the board in Ofsted’s most recent inspection.

Mr Stuart said: “I have written to ERYC following my visit to Beverley St Nicholas Primary School, which reinforced the importance of pupil safety when entering and leaving school. The pupils, teachers, parents and governors have all worked incredibly hard to improve the school’s performance in recent years, and I am glad this was recognised in Ofsted’s recent inspection report.

“It would be a shame, however, if these improvements and the investment in new school facilities are not supported by an adequate level of safety. It is clear that the footpath in question needs better lighting and access so that the near misses experienced so far do not result in serious injury, so I have written to the council to make sure that they are addressing this as a top priority.”

Governor and Ward Councillor David Elvidge said: “The new school is simply outstanding with its modern features, light and accessible classrooms. It is a shame that the access is spoiled by the narrow footpath which has to cope with the increased numbers on the site with a possibility of even more in the near future. I think now is the time for all stakeholders to come together and finish the job.”