Echo reader John Vanner complains that the Health and Safety Executive has not got involved in Southend's shared space scheme on Marine Parade. The reason is quite simple: HSE's job is to keep workplaces like factories, farms and building sites safe, which is a big enough task in itself. It is the responsibility of local authorities - like Southend Council - to make sure roads and pavements are safe. Mr Vanner also repeats the old chestnut that HSE banned children from playing conkers because it was too dangerous. This is pure myth. Some head teachers may have worried about conkers and taken action off their own bat, but the reality is that playing conkers is incredibly low risk and good fun and not something we would ever try to stop anyone doing.
Regional Director for the East of England
Health and Safety Executive