07:55 Saturday 01 February 2014

MP takes up Ellastone wall fight

Written byRICHARD CASTLE

UTTOXETER’S MP has criticised a town politician and businessman over his failure so far to repair a ‘dangerous’ damaged wall – despite repeated requests to do so.

Ellastone Parish Council says it has been trying to contact Malcolm Barrett about the wall on a property in Dove Lane.

It is concerned parts of the wall could fall on and injure passers-by.

However, Councillor Barrett maintains the wall is ‘in no way unsafe’.

When they had no reply from the borough councillor and owner of MJ Barrett construction, they contacted Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths.

Mr Griffiths, who said the wall was damaged in a car accident almost a year ago, has since written to Councillor Barrett three times.

His first letter, sent in August, received a reply saying Councillor Barrett had been let down by a contractor and was in the process of securing the wall.

However, he says two subsequent letters, sent in November and this month, brought no response.

Mr Griffiths said: “It’s a stone wall and people are worried it could fall and injure someone.

“In frustration and desperation, the parish council contacted me to see if I could help.

“They’re merely asking Councillor Barrett to abide by his responsibilities and repair a property that not only does he own, but he agreed many months ago to repair.

“I wrote to Councillor Barrett and he helpfully replied letting me know the situation was in hand.

“But nothing has yet been done, months after our correspondence.

“As he’s stopped replying to my letters, the only option I feel is left is to publicly appeal to him to make the repairs.

“I feel it’s deeply disappointing when an elected, democratically-represented official refuses to correspond with a parish council or his MP.”

Councillor Barrett has re-iterated his pledge to get the necessary repair work done.

He said: “The wall is in no way unsafe and, as we speak, we’re getting quotes to get it refurbished.”

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