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Public dock declared an ‘unsafe and embarrassing eyesore’

MP Charlie Swan says people’s safety is at risk as “absolutely nothing” has been done to address the “unsafe and embarrassing eyesore” of Evans Bay public dock.

Mr Swan is now calling on Government to make the repairs to the popular swimming, boating and fishing spot in his constituency of Southampton West Central “a priority”.

He fears it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt as strong tides have caused a 25ft crack across the dock and the steps down to the water have crumbled.

Mr Swan first highlighted the deterioration of the dock on Evans Bay Road about three years ago and even personally showed former Public Works Minister Derrick Burgess the damage last year.

Mr Swan, who was elected as a United Bermuda Party MP, said: “It’s an unsafe eyesore and an embarrassment to the constituency.

“The dock really has been left in a state of disrepair. It needs to be repaired, but nothing has been done.

“I’m concerned about people’s safety. The safety of people is absolutely at risk. I don’t want any accidents to happen there.”

Mr Swan raised the need for repairs as part of his by-election campaign in 2008 and has continued to write letters to the Ministry.

He then “believed something would get done” when he drove Mr Burgess and a principal W&E engineer to the site to let them assess the damage.

But Mr Swan is now accusing Government of being “dishonourable” as he says “absolutely nothing has been done”.

Mr Swan believes the dock’s structural damage is so severe that it may now have to be rebuilt rather than repaired, which will be even more costly.

He said: “The ten or so steps down to the water have been crumbling and are no longer even really steps.

“And because of the bad weather we’ve had, there’s now a huge crack along one side of the dock. It’s about 25ft long and big enough for people to stand up in.

“Even though W&E have put up some barriers, you can still walk around them. It’s a real danger.

“The damage is going to get even worse if Government don’t act. The repairs should be a priority.”

As well as repairs to the dock structure, Mr Swan is also calling on railings to be erected, and lifebuoys and garbage cans to be added.

He said his constituents continued to raise the issue with him and it remained “very important to them”.

Mr Swan said: “The dock is used by area residents and children who go fishing and swimming. It’s a very popular spot, even at night there are fishermen sitting down there fishing off the dock.

“We’re talking about hard-working taxpayers of this Country.

“But now the Government hasn’t got any money or is short of money and it’s a crying shame.

“There’s no excuse for Government inaction, made worse by the economic circumstances we now find ourselves in.”

Evans Bay dock also includes a small Government-owned building, which is marked with W&E number 189.

Mr Swan said it was ironic that Government had allowed its infrastructure to deteriorate “against the backdrop of a $30 million overspend building a dock at Dockyard and other projects now under the microscope of the Auditor General”.

The Ministry of Public Works did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Charlie Swan stands on a severely damaged section of the Evans Bay public dock in Southampton.

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Published November 16, 2011 at 9:14 am (Updated November 16, 2011 at 9:13 am)

Public dock declared an ‘unsafe and embarrassing eyesore’

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