Residents demand: ‘Sort our footpaths’

Coun Rita Hewitt (left) with Larkholme resident Joan Dale who broke her wrist after tripping on an uneven pavement.
Coun Rita Hewitt (left) with Larkholme resident Joan Dale who broke her wrist after tripping on an uneven pavement.

A FLEETWOOD councillor has called for action to improve some of the town’s cracking pavements and roads – as an urgent matter of safety.

Rossall ward councillor Rita Hewitt says a number of the footpaths and roads in her ward badly need repairing, especially as some residents have fallen in recent months.

One resident – Joan Dale – slipped on a crumbling pavement and broke her wrist, causing her to miss out on a cruise ship holiday.

Coun Hewitt met with a Lancashire County Council (LCC) engineers on June 1 to discuss the issue, but says her emails since that meeting have not been returned.

Coun Hewitt told the Weekly News: “Some of these pavements and roads are just not acceptable. It is a matter of public safety.

“Lancashire County Council has a budget to deal with highways and footpaths. If they are not spending the money on them, what is the money being spent on?

“I am just seeking reassurance that they are taking the issue seriously and are prepared to do something about the worst cases.”

The councillor noticed the state of the pavements and roads when she decided to talk to local constituents about matters of concern in the ward.

She says there are problems at Larkholme and also on the West View estate.

After meeting with the LCC officers last month, one of her constituents then raised the matter and told her about Mrs Dale.

Mrs Dale, 65, of Patterdale Avenue, Larkholme, said: “I was out walking on Ullswater Avenue with my husband on May 18 when I tripped.

“We were heading to Cleveleys. It was actually where the pavement had already been repaired, but part of it was still sticking up by a quarter of an inch.

“I fell and used by hand to break the fall, and broke my wrist in two places. My knee came up like balloon.

“It was a shock and extremely painful, and I had to go to hospital to have my wrist put in plaster.”

Her husband, Eric Dale, added: “We ended up missing a cruise to Norway and Iceland which we had really been looking forward to.

“Someone at the hospital even advised us to sue the county council, and we have been looking into it.

“We don’t really want to be doing that sort of thing – the council should just make sure the pavements and roads are in a decent shape.”

Another resident, Harry Taylor, of Ullswater Avenue, said: “I complained about the crumbling pavement outside our drive two years ago. Since then nothing has been done, it has just got worse.”

Coun Hewitt has highlighted a number of problem areas, including Buttermere Avenue and Princes Way in Larkholme and Rothay Avenue and Chatsworth Avenue on the West View estate.

Harvey Danson, acting principal engineer, said: “The issues raised by Coun Hewitt are now being investigated and the appropriate repairs will be carried out where required.”

The authority said some of Coun Hewitt’s emails had been lost in the system.