Families were ordered to remove their paddling pool – on the off chance a burglar should come and drown in it.
Residents of a community in Strood, Kent, had purchased the paddling pool between them to help cool off and bring the community together during the spectacular heatwave that graced Britain over the last few weeks.
The pool is 12ft wide, and cost the residents £64.
The request was confirmed by housing officials this week, telling the families to remove the pool on behalf of potential intruders.
Dear intruders, here’s an idea – if you don’t want to risk drowning in a paddling pool, don’t burgle a house that has one! Or any house, for that matter.
One of the parents who chipped in for the pool, Maria Young, explained that while officials initially told them to remove the pool completely, they then said they could have it in the day as long as they took it down each night.
They said if someone breaks in they might drown in the pool.
A team of them came and said initially we’d have to get rid of it.
They then changed their mind and said we had to put it down each night for health and safety issues.
The pool takes around three hours to fill, and holds up to 15,000 gallons of water. Having to empty and refill that every day would have probably been more effort than the pool was worth – not to mention a huge waste of water.
I don’t understand. People in other places are allowed them in their community gardens. There’s nothing in the tenancy agreement that says we can’t.
We’ve even said we will sign a disclaimer to take responsibility for it.
I don’t know what the problem is, we have got a really nice block where everyone gets on and this is a nice way for everyone to enjoy the sunshine.
We all get on really well.
We sit out the back together and socialise. It’s completely enclosed.
There’s no way I’m taking it down. They’ll have to carry me out laying in it.
MHS Homes, who manage the property, reportedly have to ‘be sure that everyone who has access to that land is safe’.
A security gate leading to the property was broken recently, which meant members of the public could get into the shared garden very easily.
This suggests that since technically everyone has access to the land, MHS Homes had to make sure the area was safe and therefore request the pool be taken down.
The housing manager at MHS Homes, Colette McKenney, explained the reasoning behind the decision.
While it’s really lovely to see people coming together as a community, we have to be sure that everyone who has access to that land is safe.
This summer we’re having extreme weather and it’s very hot. But the pool is on land owned by us and we’re responsible for everyone’s safety.
We’re telling residents that the pool needs to be taken down and we’ll be speaking to them about how they can safely enjoy a paddling pool in a communal area.
Pools in private gardens and small children’s paddling pools in communal gardens are fine so long as children are always accompanied and it’s emptied when not being used.
We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, which is why we’re going to talk to our residents about trying to make this safe.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.