Furious 8-year-old hands council complaint letter

Katie Goldie, centre, with sister Sophie and brother Thomas. Picture: comp
Katie Goldie, centre, with sister Sophie and brother Thomas. Picture: comp
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AN outraged eight-year-old wrote a protest letter against council bureaucrats who want to remove her play equipment – and hand-delivered it.

Katie Goldie, from Haddington, was furious after officials at East Lothian Council demanded the removal of her trampoline and climbing frame from council-owned land outside her home.

Katie was quite shocked. I don’t think she understood the fact her complaint hadn’t done anything

Caroline Goldie

Pen-pushers want the gear taken away on the grounds that a child could get hurt and then take legal action.

They sent a formal letter to Katie’s parents, Caroline and David, both 33, warning that if the play equipment was not removed, they would take it and charge them.

Feisty Katie overheard her parents talking about the warning and took matters into her own hands. She took a piece of A4 paper and, in pink crayon, wrote: “A complaining from Katie Goldie.

“I think you should not MOVE the climbing frame or the trampling because we like all of that stuff and I would not move them.”

The stern missive was signed: “Katie – I am a child that is complaining.”

Caroline said: “She came up to me and said, ‘There’s my letter of complaint to the council, Mummy’.

“She told me she wanted to hand it in personally.”

The pair went to the main reception in Haddington, and the official who wrote the letter was summoned to explain herself – although the council has so far refused to back down. “She couldn’t have been nicer but she looked a bit surprised and awkward telling an eight-year-old she couldn’t have her climbing frame,” said Caroline.

“Katie was quite shocked. I don’t think she understood the fact she had taken her complaint in and it hadn’t done anything.”

Caroline said they had not put the equipment up in their own garden as it was too small, and they did not want to disturb their neighbours.

David, a machine operator, said: “I’m proud of Katie challenging the council on her own accord.”

Katie, a pupil at St Mary’s Primary in Haddington, said: “I wrote the letter because I wanted to keep my stuff. I wrote it in pink and then I gave it to the council. I felt quite sad because I was thinking that we could keep it.”

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said: “Items such as this left outside on public open space are available for anyone to access and if another person’s child was hurt, the liability could pass back to the council if we had previously noted it on site and not removed it. We also have no means of ensuring the equipment is safe for use, and it doesn’t have any impact-absorbing safety surface, so it can’t be left out for anyone to access.”