Wigan pensioner injured by collapsing fence

A couple are calling for something to be done about a temporary fence that collapsed and injured a pensioner.
Michael Roberts sporting his injuriesMichael Roberts sporting his injuries
Michael Roberts sporting his injuries

Michael Roberts, 72, was taking his wheelie bin back to his home on Whistley Street, Platt Bridge, when the metal barrier fell at around 4pm on Friday.

He suffered injuries to his face and has since had headaches as a result of the incident.

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The great-grandfather said: “It’s made a mess of my face. With the coronavirus, I have not been to the infirmary. We are treating it ourselves at home.

The site on Whistley StreetThe site on Whistley Street
The site on Whistley Street

“It’s given me a black eye and made a big mess of my nose.”

The 6ft-high fence surrounds land on the corner of Whistley Street and Liverpool Road, which has been derelict since the demolition of a pharmacy and laundrette several years ago. Mr Roberts and his wife Anne, 70, say the site has been used for fly-tipping.

Skips have also been placed there in recent months while work is carried out nearby, but the Roberts say the fence is not always secured properly each time the skip is replaced and they have to do it themselves.

Mrs Roberts said: “It’s an ongoing thing. Because it’s loose, there are sofas there and fridges and the other week there was a pile of black bin bags. It’s been ongoing for years. It’s unsafe now.

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“My grandchildren came to see us at a distance and were running up and down the street. Another half an hour and that could have gone on their heads.

“It hit him full on the face, it’s not just bumped him.”

Mrs Roberts said she had previously reported problems with fly tipping to Wigan Council. She hopes action will now be taken to secure the site and ensure no-one else is hurt.Mrs Roberts said: “I would like to see it completely fenced and secure, not a temporary fence, a proper fence.”

In the meantime, Mr Roberts is recovering at home from his injuries.

Mrs Roberts said: “He’s not too bad now, but he’s had blinding headaches. We didn’t go to the infirmary because of the way things are. He took paracetamol and now he has a black eye. He has a bit of colour in the face now, thank goodness.”

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The couple have spoken to Abram councillor Eunice Smethurst about the site, which is not owned by the council.

She said: “We are not quite sure who actually owns it now, but the fencing has been put up to secure the site but either gets blown down or damaged. That’s where the problem lies. As a council we can try to fix it as best as we can, but there is a cost to the council. It should be the people who own the land that do this, they shouldn’t be leaving it as it is.”

Coun Smethurst said the council had removed fly tipped items from the site on “numerous occasions”.

She added: “I will do my very best to get something secure so that in the wind it will not be blowing over or hurting people. That’s the main thing. We don’t want anyone else hurt. He has really had a bash in the face.”

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