Don’t leave old school to the vandals, beg residents

THE future of a former primary school is still uncertain — despite a wave of vandal attacks on the building.

Oldhams Primary School in Selkirk Road, Astley Bridge, closed in 2004 after pupils were transferred to High Lawn Primary School in Sharples.

The building, on the Oldhams Estate, was was used as a base for Starting Point until Easter this year, but has since then been locked up and empty.

Residents on the estate say the school has become a target for vandals after one of the ground floor classrooms was burned out in an arson attack at about 9.15pm last Thursday.

The attack, believed to be started by youths, came just two weeks after neighbouring Barlow Park Youth Centre was also set on fire.

Cllr Hilary Fairclough, who represents Astley Bridge, said: “This is of grave concern to councillors who have asked for the property to be dealt with and disposed of at the earliest opportunity.

“We certainly don’t want a repeat of the old children’s play centre that was on the Barlow Park side of the Oldhams estate, which was repeatedly vandalised and set on fire before finally being demolished.

“It would probably be best if the council decided what they were going to do with the school building.”

A spokesman for the council admitted vandalism had become a problem at the site but would not confirm any set plans for the building.

She said: “Despite daily security checks on the premises, minor incidents of vandalism have caused damage to the building in the past.

“We view these incidents very seriously and respond quickly to ensure the building remains safe and secure.

“We are awaiting the results of the structural engineer’s report before considering our next steps.”

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