Families say they are disappointed Pontins has made a second holiday park adults only.
Pontins Pakefield: Company accused of 'pushing out families'

Pontins Pakefield: Company accused of 'pushing out families'

Pontins Pakefield: Company accused of 'pushing out families'

Pontins Pakefield: Company accused of 'pushing out families'

Pontins Pakefield: Company accused of 'pushing out families'

Pontins Pakefield: Company accused of 'pushing out families'
Pontins Pakefield: Company accused of 'pushing out families'
  • 2020-01-14 12:00:09 1 months ago
  • Views 2,928

A holiday park has been accused of "pushing families out" after it decided to ban children from one of its sites.

Pontins in Pakefield, Suffolk, has "always been a family centre" but for 2020 it said it has become an adult-only destination.

Holidaymakers from around the country said they were "disappointed" and a petition called "Pontins Pakefield against families" has been set up.

Pontins has declined to comment on the change.

The company has six sites across the UK. Sandy Bay Holiday Village in Kewstoke, Somerset, is also an adult-only site.

On the Pontins website, it said the Pakefield site was .

Mary Daley, whose husband Paul set up the petition, said her family had been holidaying there since their daughter, who is now 12, was a baby.

She said it was "disappointing they are pushing families out".

Mrs Daley, from Ipswich, said: "We would go once or twice and year and there were lots of activities for children, there was always that family appeal."

Donna Robinson, from Aldershot, Hampshire, said she was "very surprised" and "really disappointed" to hear the park was no longer allowing children.

She said she took her family there during the summer and they were "impressed".

Michelle Howland, from Lancashire, said she and her children were "really sad they won't be able to go back".

Budget family holidays

Graham Henry, who worked at the complex for more than 40 years, said it had become a Pontins site in the mid 1950s and had "always been a family centre".

But, he said, becoming an adult-only park was "more or less the best thing they can do".

The retired events manager said a rival park was already adults only and it was harder to keep it going now "parents can't take their children out of school".

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Pontins Pakefield: Company accused of 'pushing out families'

St Paul's school: More than £500K paid to sex abuse victims

St Paul's school: More than £500K paid to sex abuse victims

Victims of sexual abuse at one of the country's leading private schools have so far been paid compensation of more than £500,000, the BBC understands.

Settlements were reached during a two-year inquiry to establish the scale of past abuse at St Paul's school, London.

The BBC spoke to victims who revealed the compensation figures; others could not due to non-disclosure agreements.

A serious case review found complaints were made by former pupils against 32 staff over several decades.

Five former teachers were convicted over offences committed.

The £13,000-a-term independent school, in Barnes, whose former pupils include ex-politicians George Osborne and Dominic Grieve, saw more than 80 individual complaints emerge against 32 of its staff in the period 2013 and 2015.

These allegations mainly dated from the 1960s to 1990s.

The Richmond Safeguarding Children Board review published on 13 January said the school must issue an "unambiguous statement" that it accepts full responsibility for the past abuse.

A high master apologised in a letter to Old Paulines, the name given to former pupils of the school in Barnes, south west London.

Professor Mark Bailey, said: "We accept full responsibility for the past abuse experienced by pupils at the school.

"Today we repeat that apology unreservedly to those who have come forward and to those who have not felt able to."

One former victim said it had taken too long: "I have fought for many years to get St Paul's to accept responsibility, as apologies without taking responsibility are meaningless," he told the BBC.

'Opportunity for grooming'

The review was launched in 2017 following a Metropolitan police investigation and several prosecutions ending with the conviction of Patrick Marshall, a former rowing coach.

Marshall was jailed for 18 years for 24 counts of indecent assault on 10 former pupils at St Paul's and another school during the 1970s and 80s.

The review found safeguarding had improved considerably in recent years, as the failure of past regimes to identify and act on suspected abuse became clear.

"St Paul's is unlikely to be different from many other institutions of its time. We should not judge the response of the school in the past by today's standards".

The review found the use of alcohol, leisure time spent with pupils and staff being invited by parents to their homes, all created the opportunity for grooming.

Complaints against nine further staff were unproven or are subject to continuing investigation.

Least used railway station Redcar British Steel gets visitor boost

Least used railway station Redcar British Steel gets visitor boost

Hundreds of people visiting Britain's least used railway station may have saved it from the title this year, according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

Redcar British Steel station saw 360 entries and exits during 2018-19, up from just 40 the year before.

Two railway stations in north-west England have inherited the title.

Stanlow and Thornton in Cheshire and Denton in Greater Manchester had 46 entries and exits each in 2018-19.

The ORR said Redcar British Steel "may have attracted visitors" because of being named the least used station in the 2017-18 rankings.

The station in December 2019 but the new figures only cover up to the end of March.

Usage fell after the nearby SSI steel plant in Teesside .

London Waterloo remains the most used station, with more than 94 million entries and exits in the last year.

Cardiff Central was the busiest station in Wales with 14.2 million entries and exits. Sugar Loaf in Powys recorded the fewest passengers with 708.

Barry Links in Angus was Scotland's least used with 122 entries and exits, while Glasgow Central was the most used with nearly 32.8 million.

The estimates are largely based on ticket sales.

Many stations are kept open despite being rarely used because it is easier to arrange for a train to stop infrequently than obtain permission to close a station.

Rail operator Northern said it was contractually obliged to run a minimum level of services to the rarely visited stations, but there was "no demand" and "low usage" in those areas.

Least used stations in Britain

Passenger entries and exits, 2018-19

Source: Office of Rail and Road

Previous stations to hold the title of least used in Britain include Barry Links in 2016-17 and Teesside Airport, Darlington, between 2012 and 2014.

Shippea Hill, in Cambridgeshire was the least used for two years but received a boost in passengers after Great British Bake Off finalist Ian Cumming at the station on Christmas Eve 2016.