Mum's anger as council rejects Walls safety plea


David Powell

THE mother of a man who fell to his death from a section of Chester’s City Walls has expressed ‘disbelief’ at the council’s decision not to introduce safety measures at the spot.

Jane Corry, 71, whose 38-year-old son Thomas died from his injuries following a fall from a small section of the walls at Northgate in February, 2011, has been told by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) that they do not believe safety precautions are needed - despite three deaths at the scene in the last ten years.

Mrs Corry, along with a group of her son’s close friends, had collected more than 300 signatures via an e-petition to prompt CWaC into taking action and introducing safety measures such as railings or steepled stones on the wall, which stands waist high at three feet, and has a drop of about 60ft.

Mrs Corry said: “I am angry that the council have not seemed to have taken my concerns seriously and I am in disbelief that they don’t think that three deaths warrant extra safety measures to be put in place.

“I am not asking for anything extraordinary from the council, just some simple railings or steepled stones that will make it safe for people using the walls.

“I don’t want any other families to have to suffer tragedy and I think that it is total blindness on the council’s behalf that they refuse to do anything about the situation.”

A 23-year-old man from Broughton fell to his death on the section of the walls, which runs adjacent to Bluecoat Books, in 2002, while a mum-of-two from Newton was killed on the same section shortly after Mr Corry’s death in 2011.

“It was very hard to take after the poor young woman died at the same spot as Thomas,” said Mrs Corry.

“It brought back all the feelings of emotion and grief that I had suffered and I really felt for the poor family.

“I was present at the inquest into her death and the coroner made no recommendation that any safety measures needed to be put in place to stop further tragedies like this from happening.

“Just because the coroner didn’t make a recommendation, it doesn’t mean that something didn’t need to be done and the council should have reacted.

“Three people have died and I don’t know what else it will take for them to sit up and take notice.”

Mrs Corry points to the safety measures implemented on similar historic walls in the city of York, where safety measures have been put in place on dangerous parts of the wall as well as a nightime curfew.

“I am not looking for the council to close the walls at night, just to put some simple safety measures in place on a small section of wall,” said Mrs Corry.

“Something so simple could save lives and I just don’t think that the council have taken my petition and my feelings about the situation seriously.

“I am just totally shattered with the situation but I am committed to continuing my fight to make sure that something is done about it.”

A Council spokesman said: “The Walls parapet at this location is considered to satisfactorily protect the safety of the many millions of pedestrians who have used it over the centuries.

“The outcomes of recent inquests have been carefully noted and we have provided the Coroner with all the assistance requested. We have not been asked by the Coroner to take any action.

“Taking into account the nature of the structure and its status as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, we do not consider that modifications would be appropriate or justified.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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