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Harold Wood school boy presents petition for safer crossing to councillors

07:00 30 November 2016

From left, Cllr Alex Donald, Cllr Darren Wise, Dylan Smith holding his petition and Cllr Brian Eagling.

From left, Cllr Alex Donald, Cllr Darren Wise, Dylan Smith holding his petition and Cllr Brian Eagling.

Darren Wise

A boy, 12, who spent half term collecting signatures for a petition demanding a safer crossing in his area has won praise from a councillor.

After watching an elderly woman nearly get knocked over at a crossing in Shepherds Hill, Harold Wood, Year 8 pupil Dylan Smith, decided to take action.

The youngster created a petition, collected signatures and handed it to the Mayor of Havering, Cllr Philippa Crowder, in front of other councillors at a full council meeting, at Havering Town Hall on Wednesday, last week.

“The cars go really fast,” said Dylan.

“The lady got half way and the car came straight past.

“When I try to get my horse out, I cannot cross the road, the cars won’t stop.”

For Dylan, who attends Redden Court School, Cotswold Road, Harold Wood, it was one near miss too many.

Mum Louise Smith, who accompanied Dylan to the town hall in Main Road, Romford, said: “He printed forms and that was it, off he went.”

Dylan continued: “I got 15 pages of signatures from all along Shepherds Hill.”

The 12-year-old wants to see safer crossings installed in the middle of the road and one at the top near a bus stop.

Cllr Darren Wise (East Havering Residents Group, Harold Wood) said: “Dylan has managed to get nearly everyone to sign this petition.

“At the meeting, I was delighted to introduce him to the council chamber and the mayor invited him to present her with the petition.

“The petition will go to the highways department for review and consideration in due course and the residents’ association councillors will be fully supporting it.

“As I said at the meeting democracy starts at a very young age, so well done Dylan.”

Mrs Smith said she was “proud” of her son.

“It totally came out of the blue,” she continued.

“He took it upon himself. No one told him to do it.”

“He’s a good boy and helps with all the animals [at home] and around the house and garden.”

Head of Year 8, Daniel Cocklin said: “Dylan’s a bit of an activist. He could be a future prime minster.”

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