'The centre has just been left to rot': Urgent calls for action as Werrington Centre described as 'rundown and unsafe'

Concerns have been raised and the poor and potentially unsafe state of the Werrington Centre.

An urgent call for action has been made over the poor state of the Werrington Centre.

Concerned residents gathered at The Ploughman pub on Friday for a community meeting that was also attended by Werrington ward councillors John and Judy Fox, Stephen Lane, as well as Gunthorpe ward councillor Bryan Tyler and Peterborough MP Paul Bristow.

The meeting was called by Ploughman Landlord Andy Simmonds, who has said that he has grown concerned at the “shocking” and “unsafe” state of the centre.

Andy is also facing a legal battle to keep the Ploughman open and fears that the pub’s closure could be just weeks away.

Andy said: “The plight of the Werrington Centre is grim. The state of the centre is shocking and frankly unsafe.

"We’ve got exposed wires hanging from canopies, unsafe sections of brick jutting out on walls, a really slippy area of tiling which is designed to be under a canopy, which has now been removed and several potholes that have not been attended to for years.

"Just last week a lady fell over on one of them and cut her face open.

"We’ve also got a big problem with anti-social behaviour. I’ve had many reports of children climbing onto roofs and given that there could soon be a large and dated building becoming empty- The Ploughman- you’ve got a real dangerous cooking pot in Werrington right now.

"The people deserve better.”

The poor stare of the centre has been blamed by residents on the unwillingness of Tesco and Melbourne Holdings- who each own half of the centre- to agree on who’s responsibility it is to pay for renovations and its upkeep.

The Peterborough Telegraph was invited to the public meeting and was shown a number of street lights that do not work, exposed wires hanging from the top of canopies, supporting legs that have rotted away or are being held on by black tape-allegedly from as long ago as 2008-, broken roof tiles- including one on the Ploughman that has been repaired by just placing the broken tile in a bin bag and putting it back up-, empty units covered in graffiti, overgrown bushes, a neglected former area of grass in the middle and a large abandoned area where the children’s centre used to occupy.

Mr Bristow condemned the centre’s owners, stating: “Tesco has failed in its duty to serve Werrington.

“To allows this land to fall into disrepair and fall victim to those taking pars in anti-social behaviour is unforgivable.

“They need to come forward and tell councillors, businesses and local people what they are going to do about this mess. They have just left the centre to rot.

“Melbourne Holdings and Tesco have left this centre to rot because the can not agree who is responsible.

“The people that are letting down are businesses and local people. This centre desperately needs a brand new plan to bring forward a decent centre the people of Werrington deserve.”

Councillor John Fox added: “It is frustrating watching the Bretton and Orton centre receiving investment and Werrington being left behind.

"Ultimately, this centre is privately owned and all we can do is keep highlighting the problems.

"The state of the former trolley storage that has been pulled down is shocking and we’ve asked so many times for £1 coin mechanisms to be fitted to stop trolleys getting taken and later dumped across Werrington- particularly at Cuckoo’s Hollow but this had not been done.”

Cllr Judy Fox added: “The situation is disgraceful. We’ve heard from so many people what a lovely place the centre used to be, no longer unfortunately.”

The Peterborough Telegraph has contacted the centre’s owners for comment.