Updated: Jul 22, 2019
Today five of the Justice for New Ferry group, made up of local residents and traders, met with council cabinet members to explain to them the hardships that the victims of the explosion are still facing. Local councillors Jo Bird and Irene Williams also attended.
The meeting was agreed and arranged after the public outcry resulting from an apparent desire of WBC to use the £200k hardship fund for general regeneration projects and not give it to the victims of the explosion as was promised in December 2018. Though the subject for discussion was highly emotive, the meeting was pleasant and council cabinet members made all who attended feel welcome.
During the meeting, cabinet members were told of the impact on residents and traders and of the hardships that they are still suffering as a result of the explosion. They were also told of the impact on the victims and community of still having to see the blast site still in the same dishevelled, disgraceful and dangerous state.
Council cabinet members were also presented with documentary evidence that proves the victims had never received any financial assistance what so ever, nor any legal advice, nor any assistance with insurance issues. Cabinet members were shocked to learn that many of the victims had been sent menacing bills from WBC for emergency expenses, and that those bills were threatening interest and court.
The Justice for New Ferry group were surprised to hear some of the councillors say that they were never aware of the struggles and hardships faced by the victims. Many of them said they were shocked by what they were hearing, and one councillor was even moved to tears.
The purpose of the meeting was to ensure that council cabinet members could no longer deny knowledge of the ongoing suffering and hardships of the victims, no longer deny that the state of the environment has a highly detrimental impact on the emotional welfare of the community and must be fixed, that they could no longer deny the failings of the council over the emergency management and that they finally truly understand how those council failures have had severely negative impacts on the victims and the community.
The Justice for New Ferry group feel certain that the message was heard loudly and clearly and that cabinet will make the right decisions regarding the distribution of the £200,000 hardship fund. .