AN ANGRY mum whose six-year-old daughter fractured her ankle on a tree stump at school has hit out at the council's refusal to remove it.
Debbie Hutton's daughter, Isabelle, spent a month off school with her leg in a cast after the accident.
She had been playing in woods in the grounds of Belgrave Primary School, Westminster Park when her foot clipped the stump on October 8. It sent her foot sideways, fracturing the bone.
Ms Hutton said she received little help when she called the council's health and safety department to demand that the stump be removed.
She said: “The council are not going to remove it because they say it is not a safety issue.”
Ms Hutton claims the council deliberately dug around the stump after the accident to make it seem more prominent.
She added: “I said I'm paying council tax to make the school safe.
“It's absolutely disgusting. They haven't been in touch with me to see how Isabelle is.
“The headteacher at the school said she can't take it out without council permission.”
Cheshire West and Chester Council spokesman Ian Callister said: “We sympathise greatly with Mrs Hutton’s daughter, but her accident was fully investigated by the authority’s Senior Health and Safety Advisor.
“He subsequently advised the headteacher that there was no need to remove the tree stump that her daughter had been playing on at the time of the accident.
“The stump – 10-15cm in height – forms part of a wooded space where children can enjoy playing in a natural environment.
“Accidents do occur from time to time in schools but in this case the stump – one of many there for children to play on – was not considered dangerous. Nor was its removal possible or acceptable”.
“The advice offered is consistent with Forestry Commission (2006 guidance) that: ‘any existing natural feature on site that could be used for play should be incorporated into the play space rather than removed’.
“We would stress that pupils at the school have been using that play area for around two years without any problems”.
But Debbie warns: “This is going to happen to another child.
“It's awful. it's absolutely dangerous.”