Repairs to Northampton pre-school where windows have been broken since 2013 will be done ‘in the summer holidays at the earliest’

Staff and children at Standens Barn Pre-School
Staff and children at Standens Barn Pre-School

​A Northampton pre-school where 16 smashed windows have been boarded up since 2013 will not see repairs carried out until at least next month.

Staff at Standens Barn pre-school, in the community centre in Topwell Court, complained last month at inaction over the vandalised windows which saw its children playing ​in semi-darkness for about two years.

The delay has been over the installation of a security fence to keep the vandals out, which has been led by landlords Northampton Borough Council.

A meeting to plan how to proceed will take place next month between the council and the Community Spaces charity which runs the pre-school.

But the charity said work is unlikely to begin until the summer holidays.

Toby Birch, chair of trustees, said: “We will talk to the borough council and the local councillor on July 6 and the fence is fairly imminent.

“However, it’s better to wait until holiday time when it affects less people. Because of health and safety, it is best to do it when the community centre is being used less frequently.

“Once we do that, we can make a new garden area and make improvements inside.”

Damage was being repeatedly caused by what is believed to have been the same group of youths, who would easily scale the current fence.

As well as the windows, vandals returned on several evenings - at one point on five consecutive nights - to smash fire alarm units.

It meant charity volunteers had to carry out lengthy emergency repairs late at night.

Responding to criticism from pre-school staff, Mr Birch said the charity had been doing all it could so that the long-standing problems could be repaired.

Mr Birch said: “It’s been very frustrating for us but there was no point in fixing the windows until we could secure the site.

“Every time we carried out repairs, the same group would break in again, often the next night.

“It got to the stage where we felt there was no point in doing the window repairs until the fence was erected.