Bristol

Ceiling collapse nursery criticises Bristol City Council

Flooding
Image caption Cashmore Early Years has been open since 2015

Nursery staff have criticised owners Bristol City Council for taking weeks to start repairing a collapsed ceiling.

Cashmore Early Years in Barton Hill had 34 children inside when the kitchen ceiling caved in on 4 November.

Head teacher Simon Holmes said the nursery has been closed ever since and children with special needs were having to travel to another nursery.

Bristol City Council has been asked to comment. No children were hurt in the collapse.

Image caption Staff noticed a drip in the ceiling four weeks prior to the ceiling collapsing

Mr Holmes said: "After the ceiling collapsed, it took three weeks to start the repairs because the council's housing and education departments could not agree on who should do the work.

"There was no sense of urgency and it feels like this part of the city was neglected."

He said he had tried repeatedly to contact officials but had been passed between departments.

"No one wanted to take responsibility," he added, saying it was only after he wrote to Mayor Marvin Rees that the council responded and put scaffolding up.

Image caption All children were evacuated to the garden when the kitchen ceiling caved in

"There are children with severe special needs, some who use a wheelchair," Mr Holmes said.

"The impact it would have on the families and children was always overlooked."

Children have been placed in a temporary nursery in St Philips, which is difficult for some parents to travel to.

Cashmore Early Years Centre is on the ground floor of a flat-roofed block of council flats on Bright Street in Barton Hill.

It opened in 2015, replacing a council-run nursery on the same site that closed about eight years ago.

The tenants living above the nursery had been complaining about flooding prior to the ceiling collapse.

The repairs are ongoing and there has been no indication of how long it will take before the nursery will reopen.

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