Trader's petition over the state of Exmouth's pavements

PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 November 2015 | UPDATED: 13:16 20 November 2015

Kevin Palmer, Prajna shop keeper, has been gathering signatures for his petition over the state of the paving slabs in Exmouth. Ref exe 4414-47-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Kevin Palmer, Prajna shop keeper, has been gathering signatures for his petition over the state of the paving slabs in Exmouth. Ref exe 4414-47-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

A call to arms has been made by an Exmouth trader keen to bring the county council to task over the state of the town’s pavements.

Kevin Palmer, who owns Prajna, The Parade, is calling on people power to shake up Devon County Council’s ‘lethargy over Exmouth’s broken, trip-hazard paving slabs’.

Kevin has started a petition and hopes shoppers and residents will sign up and support his fight to ‘force the council to act’.

He believes Devon County Council’s (DCC) current repair policy is substandard.

Kevin said the council was hiding behind the excuse of using the same national standard as councils across the country to determine whether a paving stone was unsafe and required repairing.

He said he had reported incidents numerous times, but to no avail - the council had never responded.

Kevin’s petition comes in the same month officials were accused of ignoring a ‘dangerous’ paving stone in the Magnolia Centre, which claims four victims a week.

One of those injured was Exmouth town crier Roger Bourgein, who hit the ground and hurt his back.

Pensioner Joy Williams, 86, was refused compensation when she fell over the same ‘lethal’ loose paving slab, breaking her nose.

She was told by DCC the faulty paving slab must protrude by two centimetres for a claim to be successful.

Kevin said a stone close to his shop jutted out and proved a constant trip hazard.

“I constantly see people fall, due to the appalling state of the pavement along this side of The Parade,” he said.

“I have personally helped people after they have fallen and have reported incidents to the council, but the council has failed to act on every occasion.

“I have also spoken to someone from the inspection team and whether these paving slabs are raised by two centimetres or not, the fact is people are tripping over these broken slabs and are falling and hurting themselves - especially the elderly people - who fall badly shaken - yet the council is ignoring this.”

Kevin said he would personally deliver the petition to Devon County Council.

He hopes mass support will force officials to fix any loose slabs causing accidents.

“The council is making excuses,” he said. “It’s pretty poor, considering people are falling over. They are really injuring themselves.”

After the recent falls in the Magnolia centre, the county council told the Journal that the area was checked frequently.

A council spokesman said: “We use the same national standard as councils across the country to determine whether a paving stone is unsafe and requires repair.

“We check the pavement along Magnolia Walk every month and all defects that meet the national criteria are repaired as quickly as possible, usually by the end of the next working day.”

● To sign Kevin’s pavement petition, visit Prajna, on The Parade.

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