Parents claim staff at the Mount Pleasant Sure Start Centre in Darlington have forbidden them from bringing prams into their building, citing health and safety reasons.If you’re wondering how a small, elegant Silver Cross pram of your childhood could possibly be considered so, well, forget that.
There’s a picture of these prams. They are the size of golf buggies (as, indeed, are many of the women pushing them).
Parents say the change is driving people away from the centre and means prams could be stolen or damaged. Concerns include having to place newborn babies into cold prams, disturbing sleeping children and being unable to easily collect older siblings.Oh, the humanity! How can a baby cope with a cold pram? Or being disturbed?
And how very dare anyone put any inconvenience in the way of these women’s busy lifestyles?
The buggy ban means Darlington mother Emma Easterby, 34, is no longer able to take her four-month-old daughter Alexis to use the sensory room at the centre.
She said: “My baby has underdeveloped eyesight and doctors told me to use the sensory room there but I can’t now as I can’t take her pram in.
“I’m really upset about it and she’s suffering as a result – I’ve had to go out and buy sensory things for her but there’s a free room there. ”Quite! Why should you have to spend fags & bingo money on stimulating your spawn, when the state will sequester money from the taxpayer for you? The indignity!
“It’s disgusting, people spend lots of money on prams and I couldn’t afford to replace mine if it was stolen, it’s a rough estate and they could be targeted. ”A rough estate, eh? You could have fooled me…
After refusing to leave her pram unattended, Natalie Henderson claims she was told to take her baby to another centre to be weighed.
The 28-year-old said: “I went to the centre twice a week until they told me to leave my pram outside.
“I’m not putting my baby into a freezing cold pram – it needs sorting, I can’t get my baby weighed.”Have you tried the local zoo? Or Highway Agency weighing station? If baby grows up to be anything like you, you might consider it.
Darlington’s MP Jenny Chapman said the move could put parents off accessing services.Really? Did you not hear them? It’s free, they aren’t going anywhere else, trust me!
Jenni Cooke, Service Director, Children, Families and Learning with Darlington Borough Council added: “We haven’t banned people from bringing prams and buggies into the centre but it is a question of safety for everyone who uses it.
“We’ve asked people to use their judgement (Ed: Well, that was your first mistake!), particularly at busy times, and park their prams and buggies in the covered, on-site buggy park and will provide locks and help people get in and out of the centre if they need help.”What more could they possibly do to ensure that these specimens of the entitlement class are kept happy, I wonder? Answers on a postcard…