3:40pm Wednesday 11th April 2012
IT IS feared damaged fencing around Grays Town Wharf may not be repaired, putting lives at risk.
Steel cables have been removed from in between most of the metal posts at the Bellway Homes riverside development, which is at the bottom of the High Street.
The fencing is the responsibility of Bellway Homes and protects people from a steep and potentially dangerous plunge into the Thames.
The Gazette contacted Thurrock Council leader John Kent, who arranged for the council to carry out temporary repairs by threading blue rope through the posts.
But Meadfleet, the company which manages the development on behalf of Bellway, is now seeking advice as to whether it has to repair the fence at all.
A spokesman said: “We are currently seeking independent health and safety advice on this matter.
“The wire is regularly being stolen and rather than continually passing the cost of replacement on to the residents we are trying to find out if it is actually necessary.
“The forthcoming independent advice will confirm this.”
Cllr Kent said the fence needs to be permanently repaired and is confident any assessment will come to the same conclusion.
He said: “Although the responsibility is Bellway’s, it was important the council took action to make it safe, which we have done.
“Anyone can see it is dangerous.
“You’ve only got to look at it to see there’s a sheer drop down into the river.
“I am confident any assessment will verify that.
“The issue is coming up with a permanent solution that isn’t open to theft.
“This could be by using a different material such as strengthened tensile nylon, which is pretty much worthless to thieves.”
Cllr Kent slammed the people who stole the steel cables, and said they “don’t care about the real danger they are causing”.
He also thanked the Gazette, and the resident who contacted us, Paul Patch, 60, from Grays, for bringing the matter to the council’s attention.
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