Grandmother backs pavement campaign after breaking ankle

Christine Giles
Christine Giles

A WOMAN left housebound and unable to work after breaking her ankle is supporting a campaign to pressure the county council to take action over unsafe pavements in the Ashford Road area.

Christine Giles, 59, of Tenterden Rise, was walking her dog last Saturday (December 1) in Ashford Road, when she turned her ankle on a section of uneven paving, causing a fracture to the fibula.

Christine may not be fit to return to work as a teaching assistant for weeks or even months.

She said: “The doctor doesn’t think it will be before Christmas that I get back to work. I could lose my job over it.

“Something should be done about it. If the pavements have been brought to the council’s attention and they have not done anything, that is really bad.

The grandmother-of-four added that the poor condition of the pavement not only posed a danger to the considerable number of elderly relatives, but also children, while the lack of dropped curbs was an obstacle to mobility scooters and pushchairs alike.

In September, more than 50 supporters attended the launch of pressure group GRASP (Give Residents of Ashford Road Safer Pavements) on September 20, set up by councillor Andrew Batsford, who sees it as his mission to get answers for the residents, many of whom are elderly and some of whom have been writing letters for years to no avail.

This group aims to pressure the county council to take action.

Cllr Batsford said: “There are stories of people who are now scared to walk around, or who are now housebound because of injuries picked up.

“I’m pushing for the bigger picture, getting the pavement sorted, and getting those elderly people out and about and involved in the community.”

The next step of the campaign will be when GRASP, represented by Ashford Way resident Roy Lewis, poses a question at the full council meeting, asking Hastings Borough Council to back the campaign.

Around 250 signatures have been collected so far on a petition calling for East Sussex County Council to take action over the unsafe pavements. This is due to be presented to the council along with details of incidents and hospital visits relating to unsafe pavements.

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council said: “We are grateful to residents for reporting concerns in their area. Once any petition is handed in we will certainly consider it in the normal way.”