Council pledges to get to root of pavement problem after boy is injured

Ron Smith is livid about tree roots which have caused chaos to a phone box and pavement on Mulberry Crescent, South Shields.'His grandson injured his head after falling. Picture by Tom Banks
Ron Smith is livid about tree roots which have caused chaos to a phone box and pavement on Mulberry Crescent, South Shields.'His grandson injured his head after falling. Picture by Tom Banks

Council bosses have pledge to root out a problem after a five-year-old boy suffered head injuries after falling on a pavement his grandfather reported as dangerous a year ago.

Ron Smith says he warned council bosses back in July 2017 that paving outside his home in Mulberry Crescent, South Shields, was a health hazard.

The area is all uneven.

The area is all uneven.

Roots from a nearby tree have caused paving stones - which surround a BT cover, and the tree’s railings - to become warped.

However, the problem continued until the retired engineer’s grandson tripped over the tree’s railing and suffered a head injury.

The 67-year-old said: “It was last year that I first reported this problem.

“There’s a lot of elderly residents around here.

I never thought it would be my own grandson.

Ron Smith

“I never thought that my own grandson would be the one who fell victim to it.

“He ended up with a big bump on his head, which could have been a lot worse.

“It is ridiculous it has come to this - they had been told about this problem.”

Council workers have now carried out temporary repairs and a permanent solution has been promised.

The injuries to Ron Smith's grandson

The injuries to Ron Smith's grandson

Mr Smith says a workman came out to repair the stones and had been instructed to re-lay them.

Unhappy with the work, Mr Smith asked to speak the supervisor, who arrived a short while later.

He said: “I asked him if he was happy with the work, to which his answer was ‘yes’.

“The job is a mess, and if I had done it I would be ashamed.

“The area needs reworking about 12 square metres, it is uneven in all directions, the metal grid which surrounds the tree is in four parts, all at different levels, and the segment which my grandson tripped over has been removed and filled with sand.”

Council bosses have now said they are looking for a more term solution.

A spokesman for the council said: “Council officers have carried out some short-term repairs to remove the immediate danger from the raised paving.

“We are now looking to find a more permanent solution.”