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Watch: Woman breaks hip on Sliema promenade hazard; appalled by council response

‘Do not let this happen to someone else’

Therese Migneco pointed out several hazards on this short stretch of pavement. Video: Chris Sant Fournier

A woman still on crutches two months after she tripped over a piece of metal sticking out of the pavement on the Tigné Seafront is appealing to councils to do more to prevent such accidents – or face possible legal action.

Therese Migneco was walking along the pavement in July when her foot got stuck behind the base of a signpost that had been sawed off, leaving a few centimetres protruding. She broke her femur and is still waiting to find out whether there has been any permanent damage to her leg.

Her letter of complaint to the Sliema local council was acknowledged, but she said she heard nothing from the council for weeks, prompting her to raise her concerns through the Times of Malta.

When contacted a few weeks ago, a council spokesman said the protrusion was removed as soon as he had received Ms Migneco’s letter of complaint.

However, Ms Migneco took another photo last Saturday which showed that the sawn-off pipe was still protruding from the pavement.

With regards to her complaint, the spokesman said that the council’s lawyers had already replied but would be re-sending a copy. The reply, dated October 3, said the works had been done “in a clandestine manner” and that it could therefore “not be held responsible for any damages emanating from the incident”.

The spokesman said the council monitored such matters through a contracts/environmental manager, who did daily rounds on foot and by motorcycle in Sliema.

“Many things are reported on a daily basis and fixed in no time. With the help of citizen feedback on Facebook and e-mail, we also get to know of other matters which require immediate attention. We have workers and council contractors, who then carry out maintenance works for the council on an ongoing/daily basis,” he said.

On October 7, the sawn-off pipe was still protruding where a sign used to be.On October 7, the sawn-off pipe was still protruding where a sign used to be.

Ms Migneco accompanied the Times of Malta on a short walk along the Tigné promenade, highlighting numerous other obstacles that could pose a danger or hazard to pedestrians – from broken or missing bricks to uncovered holes.

Last February, a tourist was awarded €20,000 after he tripped on a pavement in 2001, ending up with an eight per cent permanent disability. The compensation was paid jointly by the hotel which had done works affecting the payment and the St Paul’s Bay council, due to its ‘duty of care’.

The court at the time noted: “A pedestrian is not expected to be on constant lookout for any possible holes in the ground so as to avoid accidents.”

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