Woman's plea for council intervention in pavement problem

A Jarrow pensioner has slammed council chiefs for failing to get to the root of a problem over a space where a tree once stood.

Kathleen Cann outside her home
Kathleen Cann outside her home

Kathleen Cann, 71, says she is upset that a promised visit by a council officer to the spot outside her front door, has failed to happen.

The widow wants a small section of jutting out pavement in Maple Street to be turned into a designated parking space.

It is where a Rowan tree grew until it was removed in 2016 - the result of her near 20-year fight for it to be uprooted.

Her battle was based on it blocking sunlight from reaching the two-bed terraced property where has lived since 1997 and causing other problems.

Mrs Cann now says the bare pavemented stretch looks unsightly and vans parking on it are causing damage.

Last month, South Tyneside Council pledged to visit the street within a week to see if work to convert it into a parking space could be carried out.

However, Mrs Cann insists no employee has been to the location.

She also says she had received a letter from Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn, in which the council confirms it will not act.

Mrs McCann said: “In May, the council said it would send someone out to take a look to see if anything could be done.

“No one has been to my door to tell me that they have been to inspect the site.

“The space is a right mess, and something needs to be done to make it look better.

“It’s very unsightly and any visitor to the street would think the residents just don’t care.

“The damage to the pavement also means that pedestrians are in real danger of tripping and badly injuring themselves.

“I’ll be right behind them if that happens and they claim compensation – the council can’t say it hasn’t been warned.”

Mrs McCann’s original tree battle featured in national newspapers and she was even invited to appear on The Jeremy Kyle Show on television to discuss the issue.

She says neighbouring Holly Street and Elm Street have recently had clean up and repair work carried out.

A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “Due to cutbacks from central government, resources are extremely stretched and need to be directed towards priority areas.

“As a result, there are no plans to carry out more work in this street.

“We have visited this area on numerous occasions over the past year, but we will re-visit it to double-check there are no hazardous defects requiring our urgent attention.”