Council’s plan to protect Mirfield paperboys

TRAGIC LOSS Paperboy Declan Newsome, who died last year.
TRAGIC LOSS Paperboy Declan Newsome, who died last year.

Councillors want to invite Mirfield newsagents to a meeting to talk about how to keep the town’s paperboys and girls safe on the roads.

The matter was raised by Coun Andrew White, who found guidelines saying newsagents should carry out risk assessments of delivery routes.

At a meeting on Tuesday, members of Mirfield Town Council said they were concerned that newsagents were not aware of the guidelines.

They agreed to invite newsagents to a meeting with road safety experts to tell them more about their responsibilities.

Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Battyeford) said: “If Mirfield newsagents are not aware of the guidelines I’m sure the rest of the trade are in the dark as well.

“If we are the catalyst to start an information session and take it further afield, then that is something that will have been done initially in Mirfield.”

The town council’s plans come after 15-year-old paperboy Declan Newsome died from injuries he suffered in a collision with a car in Hopton.

Declan’s father, Kenneth, said he backed the town council’s idea “100 per cent”.

He said: “Whatever they have got in mind with the newsagents has got to be a good thing for the future. It would be good for the newsagents to get together and emphasise to them what could happen.”

Salim Patel from Knowl News said he welcomed the town council’s intervention. He said: “I agree with whatever safety measures are necessary, because safety is the priority.”

He said that after Declan’s accident, he made sure all his paperboys wore helmets while cycling and gave them leaflets on cycling safety.

Declan’s boss, Faiyaz Dalal from Mirfield News, said: “I’m concerned with the safety of other boys and girls [following Declan’s death].”