Tuesday, 9 February 2010


I am looking for guidance in some research I am doing; approximately three years or four years ago I read in the newspapers of a young child who was killed whilst playing around a derelict house, I believe it was Liverpool, Manchester or some northern Town/City.
The outcome of it was that the Local Council and its Chief Executive were taken to Court and found guilty of manslaughter by neglect, the neglect being that they did not safeguard the property after numerous complaints, thereby allowing the child access to a dangerous structure and so, by neglect, caused his/her death.
I am trying to find out under what law they were charged and any links to the case or precedents that were set. I know that, to now, nobody has died or been injured by the neglect of the Pier but, in my opinion, it is only a matter of time until such a tragedy will occur.
The complaints I sent to the Ombudsman had little effect, the Council did a very small amount of remedial work and that was it, they failed to remove the danger to the public. I am having the Pier independently inspected and have engaged a photographer to record the condition of the rapid decline of the Pier’s sub-structure once that is done I intend to present the evidence to the Police and report the Council for gross negligence likely to cause death, an offence under British law. I believe this fiasco as gone on for too long now and it is time that someone was brought to account, they are playing with the lives of anyone, young or old, who has the misfortune to venture near to the Pier.
Any assistance you can give me in this will be most appreciated and all information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

I have reproduced, below, the surveyor’s recommendations; the Council cannot say that they were unaware of the danger to the public, they are, therefore, negligent as to the safety of the said public.
The full report and estimated costing can be read

8.0 Recommendations
8.1 An inspection and assessment of the pier structure should be
undertaken, if necessary on a sample basis, to gain a more accurate
view of its form and condition.
8.2 A Cost Plan should be prepared from the findings of the Structural
8.3 The public should be excluded from beneath or at least warned of the
dangerous nature of parts of the Pier. The unsafe areas should be
secured as matter of urgency.


Steve Hunt said...

Hi John,

I have passed your details on to a specialist in Building Law, who I hope might be able to help with this.

Both myself and my Lawyers have informed the Insolvency Practitioner of the dangerous state of parts of the pier - but they chose to do nothing. I also believe this is Criminal Neglect.

PLEASE also see this Freedom of Information Request, and keep a look-out for the response from the Council - which MUST be posted by this Friday:

(if the link above doesn't work because it is too long to fit on the blog, then go to www.whatdotheyknow.com , then find "conwy council", then find the request titled "cost of repair work to victoria pier, colwyn bay" )

When the Council reply to this, it will reveal what their structural surveyors said about the safety of the pier, and what work they recommended be carried out - together with what work was actually done, and what was recommended be done in the future...

Of course, if CCBC undertook the work WITHOUT any professional surveys, structural engineers reports, risk assessments, methosd statements etc. - then that opens up ANOTHER whole can of worms should anything now fall off and hurt someone after they have willfully interfered with the integrity of the pier structure without due expert advice.

Steve Hunt said...

Interestingly CCBC have today provided some documents regarding the work they carried out a couple of months ago.

What is rather worrying is the lack of any proper maintenance plan. The Consulting Engineers report CLEARLY states that some parts of the pier are now in a dangerous state and RECOMMENDS that the public are prevented from waling beneath such areas.

Why has CCBC not headed these warnings I wonder?

They cannot possibly now deny they are WELL unaware of the risks to the Public.

Councillor John Oddy said...

I would, obviously, love to get copies of that report, any and all additional evidence I can produce to the Police will be of benefit.
I am not pursuing this through malice, like every other person who attended that meeting I am disgusted by CCBC’s total inaction, if they cannot answer to the people then they can answer to the law.

steve Hunt said...

The report is available on the www.whatdotheyknow.com website... do a search for "conwy Council" and have a read of the thread.

You might be interested in some of the other threads to - attempts by myself, and others, to get at documents surrounding the pier scandal... documents which SHOULD already be in the public domain in any case, but which CCBC flatly refuse to release - I wonder why?

Steve Hunt said...

Any update on this John?