The Justice for New Ferry campaign aims to ensure those affected by the explosion are finally adequately helped. Not only does this include the victims directly impacted, but also includes the wider community, all of whom are still facing economic, physical and emotional impacts.
It was established in May 2019, primarily as a result of frustration that more than two years had already passed, and yet there was still no real help for the victims or the community, and no completion of the clearance of the blast site which was left unfinished, unsafe and an eyesore - a harsh reminder of trauma.
Ever since the New Ferry Explosion, national government have flatly refused to give any pounds-in-pockets financial assistance to New Ferry or Port Sunlight, despite their eagerness, in the years since the explosion, to offer vast sums of real money to locations elsewhere in the country that may have appeared to many to be more politically or financially beneficial to the current government.
Government's reply to every request made for assistance, whether it be from Wirral Borough Council, or from residents and traders themselves, has been a standard response that the New Ferry explosion "was not of the size that warrants government assistance" and that any hardship which the community still faced was solely because of failures of Wirral Borough Council.
Wirral Borough Council (WBC) have stated in every single press release "We have already given the community over £300,000 of assistance", and have often continued their statements with rhetoric that claimed the ongoing community hardship resulted only from lack of national government financial assistance.
For the victims and the community, who have continued to accrue debt, continued to suffer hardship and many of whom have fallen deeper into despair due to lack of help, this publicly accepted statement from WBC that they had responded appropriately to the aftermath of the explosion by assisting the community, was insulting. The victims and community have always known that they were not adequately supported. They knew that WBC gave almost no assistance to the victims or community, and they knew this even before the evidence even came to light.
Now new evidence has been acquired that proves undeniably that the victims of the explosion did not receive adequate assistance from WBC, and that evidence was presented to them directly in a 36-page report on 17th June 2019 by the Justice for New Ferry group.
Wirral Borough Council's own expenditure figures (obtained via a freedom of information request) evidence that no money was spent on community support other than to provide short-term emergency shelter for some (not all) of those made instantly homeless. Copies of some bills that WBC sent to victims demanding payments for the emergency works that were undertaken prove that they were menacing and threatening.
The following report is based upon the same 36 page report that was given to all council cabinet members on 17th June 2019.
The report was also sent to every single elected councillor in Wirral. It was also sent to James Brokenshire and Jake Berry in national government.
It details all of the failings (known at the time of writing) of Wirral Borough Council in the management of the emergency such that the victims received no help at all, other than to provide temporary emergency shelter for some of those made homeless.
Download the report using the link below, or click here to see the report in full on our website here
Wirral Borough Council’s Response to the New Ferry Port Sunlight Explosion
Report written by Marion Grundy Ridewood, 17/06/19, revised 18/07/19
Please feel free to download and read the report by clicking on the PDF icon