Broken glass blues casting a shadow over Happy Days

Happy Days Pre School in Berkhamsted is plagued by dumped broken glass and bottles.
Happy Days Pre School in Berkhamsted is plagued by dumped broken glass and bottles.

Broken glass and bottles have been dumped outside of a nursery by nuisance youths who hang around outside it during the school holidays.

Happy Days Pre-School, which caters for 48 children, has been going for two years and was rated good during its last inspection by education watchdog Ofsted.

But after moving into the Lagley Meadow Youth Centre, which it rents from building owners Berkhamsted Town Council, things have taken a turn for the worse.

Manager Mel Davis has complained to the building’s owners about empty bottles being thrown onto its roof at night and left to smash on the children’s playground below.

She said: “It is a little bit disheartening. We moved in there in September and we did not want to be going out cleaning up glass all the time.”

Earlier this year, town council clerk Gary Cox complained that young people vandalising the facilities – designed especially for them – were ‘trashing their own bedroom.’

There were complaints earlier this year about sex, drug use and antisocial behaviour near the site, which is next to a public astroturf pitch, which was resurfaced last year thanks to a Dacorum Borough Council grant.

In the minutes of a meeting between nursery manager Mel and Berkhamsted Town Council, young people are blamed for the thoughtless behaviour, which creates a safety hazard for young children.

The minutes of the meeting state: “The problem seems to be restricted to school holidays, although there are occasional signs of suspicious activity outside the youth centre during the day.”

It goes on to say that new CCTV could be installed and that the police will be asked to discourage drinking in the area.

Mel puts the problem down to boredom but said that she could not really understand it.

She added that the problem is not as bad as it used to be.