Tories up against the wall

Medway Labour is concerned about the state of repair of hundreds of retaining walls across the Towns, that could impact on public safety and house prices of surrounding properties, but which the Council knows nothing about.

At last night’s Regeneration, Community & Culture Overview & Scrutiny meeting, Medway Council officers admitted that Medway Council has no knowledge of the ownership or state of repair of potentially hundreds of retaining walls.

This leaves the Council exposed to possible liability for any failing wall, even where the Council has no knowledge of the wall itself. However, officers also stated it would be too much of a ‘mammoth’ task to gather this information.

With the cost of repair of any failed retaining wall potentially running into the hundreds of thousands of pounds, Labour, with the support of other opposition councillors, called for urgent work to be undertaken to enable the Council to manage this risk to public safety – but the Tories who dominate the Committee voted this down.

Commenting Cllr Tristan Osborne, Luton & Wayfield Councillor:

“I am very concerned that the Council has no documented process or action to remedy a potentially massive liability to residents and to the Local Authority.

“Walls collapsing on main roads are a hazard to people and traffic, and could cause major structural damage to surrounding properties.

“Many will remember Church Terrace in my ward, which collapsed onto a graveyard taking a portion of the public highway with it. Its ownership was unlisted, but it cost the Council £750,000 to repair.

“There are many other such walls in Medway, and the Tories running Medway Council need to step up to their responsibilities.”

Church Terrace in Luton