Call for action after pensioner is injured in fall

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AN APPALLING injury suffered by a pensioner in a fall has prompted a call for action to deal with the ‘awful’ state of privately owned pavements.

Jean Wykes, 78, was rushed to hospital with a severe gash on her head after she tripped over outside the Kingfisher Centre, in Newport Pagnell’s Green Park.

Mrs Wykes had been walking the few hundred yards to the centre from her home in Ruskin Court when the accident happened.

Lib Dem Councillor Andy Maric is outraged at the state of the pavements, which are owned by Westgate Brewery. He claims they have not been maintained in over 20 years.

He said: “This is a complete disregard to health and safety laws and the local community. The company just doesn’t care and we need to try and change that.

“Jean is lucky not to have broken any bones. Her fall was extremely bad and her recovery is good, but slow.”

Because the land is owned by a private company, the council said it is powerless to fix the pavements, which Mr Maric describes as “broken, uneven and shattered paving slabs.”

He added: “The council gets so many calls asking when the area is going to be repaved because people think it belongs to us.

“A lot of money goes into the shops and public house there and if people don’t know that they own it and aren’t contacting them about it, then ignorance is bliss.”

The local centre where Jean fell attracts a lot of local residents to the pub, shops, a GP’s surgery, pharmacy and fish and chip shop.

Mr Maric added: “We need to make this multi million pound company realise their lack of action and attention to the safety and well being of others is appalling.

“This isn’t the first fall I have heard of, but the first to come forward to me.”

A Greene King spokesman said: “We were concerned to hear of Mrs Wykes’ fall at the Kingfisher Centre last week and have been in contact with her since being made aware of the incident by Thames Valley Police.

“Greene King has responsibility for ownership and upkeep of the communal areas around the Kingfisher pub and we take all health and safety matters very seriously. Surveyors have already been sent to the Kingfisher Centre to check the pavement areas and any necessary work to keep the area safe will be taken as soon as possible.”