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posted 17 Jan 2012, 09:13 by Westover Labour   [ updated 17 Jan 2012, 09:28 ]
Residents who have been evacuees in their own town and traders pushed to their limits by the West Quay wall collapse of November 4th decided enough was enough and banded together to form the West Q
uay Action Group. At last nights meeting the Group agreed to refer the case to a solicitor who would take their claims forward collectively.

As today filled up with radio and Tv reports of the decision, Somerset County Council's Acting Highways group manager, Peter Radford , met representatives of the Action Group to answer their questions.

Forensic Investigation

West Quay Action Group spokesperson Adrian Fraser of West Quay records , closed since 4th November, and Westover Ward Councillor Brian Smedley were given a tour of the site by Mr Radford and crucially accompanied by Robin Sanders of Capita Symonds, the company tasked with the long awaited Forensic Investigation. After the meeting Cllr Smedley said "Finally knowing that there is a company now doing a 'Post Failure Investigation' is a breakthrough for the residents and traders involved and the report, which will be available in a matter of weeks, will be invaluable for finally establishing the cause of the incident which has cost so many people their livelihoods and a great deal of personal trauma."

Repair Works

Peter Radford said that County had taken the responsibility to get the works done and , if the first phase was successful, hoped that West
Quay would be back to normal by April. He explained that the procedure would involve repairing one of the 3 open holes in the quayside with a mixture of cement and ground anchors and then if successful moving on to the other 2  visible holes and then further works to 2 further potentially problematic areas  further  along West Quay. He   said that SCC, SDC, the Environment Agency and Wessex Water had all met and agreed the strategy before christmas along with a joint funding package.

 "The basic task is to replace what was unstable 1970s roadfill with concrete. Then the plan is to use the stonework in the original wall to rebuild the quayside frontage. This will include extra drainage and tide flaps. Originally there was considerable movement by the wall and we all thought it would definitely collapse but after those first few days there was in fact no movement at all and so the wall was in effect a valuable break against the water protecting the delicate area behind it where the roadfill had moved to create a gap."

Mr Radford confirmed that logs of all works and findings were being made and would be handed to Capita Symonds for their investigation. 

Fighting Fund

West Quay Action Group spokesman Adrian Fraser said that he was reassured after the visit and looked forward to the Quayside returning to normal so that businesses could get back to work and the Hazard Warning lifted so that people could again feel safe in their homes and shops. Mr Fraser had donated cash raised at a benefit concert last week by local bands to a Fighting Fund and this was greatly increased at the meeting on Monday attended by some 20 residents and traders.


  As Chairman of  Sedgemoors Corporate Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Smedley   will be featuring West Quay as the main item at the meeting  to be held at 1pm on Monday 5th March. All residents, traders and interested parties will be invited to attend and the relevent officers called to outline the actions taken on the day and in the subsequent weeks.

Cllr Smedley said "Knowing the cause of the incident and who, if anyone, is responsible, will be the crucial next step for everyone. Equally crucial will be looking at the incident itself on the day and investigating the response of the Authorities to make sure lessons have been learnt."