Decking outside our council flats is rotten and infested with mice… it’s a disgrace – we can’t let our kids play outside | The Sun
16th June 2022

FAMILIES are refusing to let their kids play outside over fears their decking is "too dangerous".

Council tenants in Whitstable, Kent, claim the wood outside their homes is so rotten and infested with mice it's a health hazard.

They say also it is laden with splinters and nails, and huge gaps where planks are missing.

One young girl has reportedly already injured her ankle after riding her scooter into one of the holes – while another child bumped their head tripping over.

Locals are now desperate for the local authority to replace the broken boards in St Andrew's Close before somebody gets more seriously hurt.

Mum-of-four Hannah Elvidge, who has lived there for 10 years, told KentOnline: "It is so dangerous with all the nails and splinters.


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"I won’t let my kids play by themselves. It isn't fair as we don't have a garden."

The 33-year-old, whose children are aged 15 weeks to 11 years, had to take her daughter, nine, to the doctor after she "went through one of the holes" – and her two-year-old son also "tripped on a bowed bit".

"We should be able to enjoy it in the summer instead of worrying about the kids going to A&E," she said.

Jessica Palmer, 32, also won't let her youngest kids play out on the decking.

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"I am worried my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter is going to catch her foot on the loose parts or go straight through it as it is so rotten," the tenant of nine years said.

And neither will Jason Cubbage, who has also lived there for almost a decade.

The 51-year-old, who sometimes looks after his 18-month-old granddaughter, said: "It’s a no-go zone."

Shannon Ridge, 26, added: "It is not safe for children. I’ve got a two-year-old and I wouldn’t let him come out here at all.

"If the decking was replaced, I would be able to come out here all the time. I would feel safe."


Fellow resident Victoria Brown agreed that something needs to be done to fix the problems as soon as possible.

The 49-year-old, who said rats and mice have been spotted underneath thanks to the build-up of rubbish, said: "We have some very dangerous communal decking.

"It is rotting, mouldy and they have worn safety grips.

"There are already holes where there are missing panels and someone will fall through it and either break bones or crack their head open.

"I don’t understand why the city council will not come, rip it up and make it concrete. It is disgraceful."

It is understood the decking was installed about 15 years ago.

A spokesperson for Canterbury City Council said: "Concerns have been raised about the decking at these properties.

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"An inspection was carried out earlier this week and we will be removing it.

"Arrangements for doing this work are being put in place at the moment and we will update residents with the plans once they are finalised."

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