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20 May 2011, 12:58
The firm behind the refurbishment of a Dorset children's centre has apologised to parents - after toddlers found knife blades and broken glass outside.
They were playing in the garden at the centre in Branksome Children’s Centre, when they found the objects in the flower beds.
An investigation is underway to find out how it happened. None of the children were hurt.
Paul Gillard, Director of Drew Construction Group, said:
“We were extremely disturbed to hear that the topsoil imported for the Branksome Children’s Centre contained inappropriate material (small pieces of glass). The supplier of the material has replaced it with screened virgin topsoil and our labour is in the process of removing and reinstating the areas concerned, a process that we expect to be completed by early afternoon today.
The topsoil originally used is from a reputable, recognised source and we believe they have acted appropriately as soon as the matter was brought to their attention. We have no clear explanation for the existence of the knife blade in the soil, and we are currently carrying out some further investigations into this element of the matter.
We unreservedly apologise for any inconvenience we have caused.”
Vicky Wales, Head of Children and Young People’s Integrated Services, Borough of Poole, said:
“ The Children’s Centre in Branksome is now based in a building that has just been refurbished, with building work finishing only two weeks ago. We have taken this incident very seriously and were as shocked as the parents at what has happened. A full risk assessment of the building and garden was undertaken before activities started but we had assumed that the soil in the plant containers filled by the contractors, did not contain anything dangerous.
We apologised to parents at the time and immediately took steps to prevent any children being harmed as we take our responsibilities for safeguarding the children and parents welfare extremely seriously. We were in contact with the building contractors straight away and they have changed all the soil in the beds to ensure that nothing like this happens again. We are now awaiting the outcome of their investigation as to how this could have happened.”