New Ferry explosion – Update
WORK is continuing to clear up the site
of the explosion in New Ferry and to get residents, tenants and business owners
safe access to the most severely damaged properties where possible.
Since the explosion, that happened on Saturday, 25 March
2017, Wirral Council and its partners have been
onsite, working closely with local people to keep the momentum of the clean up
operation going. The cordon around the site has been reduced in stages as blocks
of buildings have been deemed safe enough to access, to work on or to move back
in to. This leaves only the most badly damaged properties around the edge of the
explosion site still sealed off to the public.
The Council took control of the site of the explosion, on Thursday, 6 April
2017, as the evidence gathering stage of the multi agency investigation on site
Since then, the site has been cleared of debris and the condition of the
surrounding buildings has been assessed. Where it has been safe to do so,
residents, tenants and business owners have been allowed back in to their
buildings to get personal possessions or to retrieve salvageable business
The next step is to work with local people and their insurance companies as they
come on site to make their own assessments of the buildings.
The Council's Recovery Team has been meeting regularly with affected people on a
block by block basis, and more widely, through community meetings. While
the Contact Centre which was set up at New Ferry Village Hall, for people
affected, closed at the end of Wednesday, 12 April 2017, weekly community
meetings will continue for at least another month. The next will, be at 5.30pm,
on Monday 24 April 2017, at St Mark's Church Hall, New Ferry.
Affected people will also be able to contact the Recovery Team through David
Ball Wirral Council's Assistant Director of Environmental Services and lead
officer in the recovery phase in New Ferry.
David Ball said:- "Local people have been crucial in helping the clean up
operation run smoothly. We've had a lot of direct contact the Council and its
partners have tried to keep people up to date and to give them an idea of what
to expect next. The clean up has seen a lot of work happen quickly, with lots of
people on site. It's likely that as we move on to look at longer term plans for
buildings, working with insurers and contractors, this level of activity will
slow down. This could be frustrating for the local people affected but the
Recovery Team will do everything possible to help, where we can. We will
continue to work hard to get New Ferry open for business and to get local people
back into their community."
Through regular contact with local people, the Recovery Team is aware that the
impact of the explosion is taking its toll in places, within the community. A
special telephone number has been made available for anyone affected who needs
extra support to help cope with the aftermath of the incident, to provide
counselling or just someone to talk to. Anyone affected can call:- 0151 649
1859, (between 10am and 4pm). There is no charge for the support service which
is provided by the NHS.
New Ferry youth club provided a drop in counselling session for young people
earlier this week and AskUsWirral hosted informal drop in advice sessions with a
qualified counsellor on hand.
The incident has increased people's awareness of gas safety which has resulted
in more people calling the gas emergency number; therefore, there has been an
increase in the number of gas emergency vehicles around New Ferry, as they
respond. While there is no concern over the safety of the gas network, National
Grid Gas Distribution always advises anyone who can smell gas or suspects there
is a gas leak to report it straight away to the National Gas Emergency Service
on:- 0800 111 999 (All calls are recorded and may be monitored.). A gas
emergency engineer will respond to each and every report.
David Ball and MP for Wirral South Alison McGovern will travel to London, on
Tuesday, 18 April 2017, to meet with Secretary of State for Communities and
Local Government, Sajid Javid, to discuss the impact on New Ferry and to appeal
for funding to help with the regeneration of the area.