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Why is this mess still not cleared?

Storm damage after the roofs were blown off flats at Larkholme Parade, Fleetwood.

Storm damage after the roofs were blown off flats at Larkholme Parade, Fleetwood.

Traders are still struggling to get their businesses back on track following the trail of destruction left when gale-force winds tore through Fleetwood.

A block of flats on Larkholme Parade had part of its roof torn off in the 95mph gusts, causing water damage to homes and shops.

And a week on from the storm that caused millions of pounds of damage across the Fylde coast, a huge pile of felt that was deposited in front of the shops is still causing disruption.

Confusion over whose job it is to clear away the debris means the mess is still deterring customers and putting people’s health at risk, it has been claimed.

Coun Steve Clarke, vice-chairman of Fleetwood Town Council, said: “What I am annoyed about is it is causing a hazard to the public.

“People are trying to run their businesses around it.

“Kids are playing on it and if it isn’t moved quickly then someone is going to get hurt.”

Water which got into the flats because of damage to the roof has leaked into some of the shops and Wudz Sandwich Bar has been forced to close.

A message on the shop’s answering machine said: “Unfortunately we will be closed for the foreseeable future. We have flood damage that we need to fix.”

A similar message was posted on their Facebook page on Monday.

Nearby business A and B Laundry escaped the worst of the damage but staff said some of the water had got in.

Adele Barnes said: “The water has come through from the flats – their carpets are soaked through and it has seeped into some of the shops.

“I think the electricity was off in some shops.

“We are not happy about the mess outside. It is a health and safety issue and I think people are put off coming because they think something else might come off.”

Because the material has been blown from a private building, Wyre Council said the taxpayer should not be funding the clean-up but it is working to got the situation sorted.

Coun Clarke added: “With a disaster like that, I think Wyre Council should have helped and assisted in removing it.

“When I have gone round the shops, quite a few people have asked why the council hasn’t done anything about it.

“There has also been no attempt to look underneath it in case something is trapped.”

Wyre Council declined to reveal who was responsible for the site but said it had spoken with all the relevant parties.

A spokesman for Wyre Council said: “Our officers went out to assess the damage when it occurred to check that it did not present a danger to the public.

“It is the felt exterior of the roof that has blown off and landed on the ground, which is privately owned, and it is the responsibility of the owner of the property to remove it.

“We have contacted the person whose roof it is with a view to getting the material removed from the site. If necessary, the council can take formal action using planning legislation to require them to tidy up the land within a specified period of time.”

Coun Clarke also said the latest storm damage highlighted the importance of the £65m investment in the sea wall at Rossall.

He said: “It is obvious now with these conditions that we definitely need that sea wall sooner rather than later.”

Work on the 2km stretch from Rossall Hospital to Rossall Point is due to begin in April and is expected to be completed in 2017.

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