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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

Press Release: 13.05.09

13th May 2009
Gordon seeks assurance on school safety

Local Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Gordon Henderson, is asking Kent Education Authority for an assurance that the existing buildings at Minster College and Cheyne Middle School will be properly maintained during the period leading up to construction of the new Academy.

Mr Henderson is seeking the assurance following the collapse of a heating vent in the sports hall at Minster College which injured 14 students.

Mr Henderson said:

‘As an Islander myself I was shocked when I heard the news, particularly since one of my granddaughters is a student at the College. I was dismayed to learn that 14 youngsters were injured, but relieved that there were no fatalities.

‘From what I understand if the trunking had fallen a foot either way students would have been crushed and we might have been burying some of our children next week. It was that close to being a tragedy.

‘It would be wrong to prejudge the outcome of the investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident, but it is quite plain that something must have caused the trunking to collapse and poor maintenance would seem to be the most obvious cause.

‘I am seeking an assurance from Kent Education Authority that the fabric of the sports hall had not been compromised and that all possible checks into its safety have been carried out on a regular basis.

‘I am seeking an assurance also that the existing buildings at Minster College and Cheyne Middle School will be maintained to a high standard during the period leading up the construction of the new Academy.

‘I fear there might be a temptation to save money on repairs to the existing buildings on the basis that they are going to be demolished in a couple of years time. That would not be acceptable.’

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