Wisbech mayor breaks a hip in town hall fall - he was clearing up after Rose Fair civic tea the night before when he tripped on stairs

PUBLISHED: 15:22 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:39 10 July 2019

Flashback to 2015: Cllr Alan Lay helps his wife Cllr Brenda Lay up the improvised ramp at Wisbech Town Hall. They complained about access for disabled.  Pictured with them is Cllr Michael Hill (left) who broke a hip last week when he fell down stairs inside the town hall. Picture; JOHN ELWORTHY

Flashback to 2015: Cllr Alan Lay helps his wife Cllr Brenda Lay up the improvised ramp at Wisbech Town Hall. They complained about access for disabled. Pictured with them is Cllr Michael Hill (left) who broke a hip last week when he fell down stairs inside the town hall. Picture; JOHN ELWORTHY

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Wisbech mayor Michael Hill is recovering in hospital after breaking a hip following a fall at the town hall.

Cllr Hill had been there last Wednesday to host a tea party for visiting mayors and civic dignitaries to commemorate the start of Rose Fair.

The following morning he returned to the town hall to help tidy up and return some items when he fell.

Town clerk Terry Jordan said Cllr Hill was carrying boxes and car keys down the stairs and had fell down three steps onto the landing outside the gents' toilet.

"We immediately called for an ambulance and he was taken to hospital," said Mr Jordan. Only later did the diagnosis come through that he had broken a hip. A Facebook statement from the town wished him a speedy recovery and said Michael was "very sorry that he will not be able to attend Rose Fair as the mayor. We hope that the good people of Wisbech will join us in wishing him all the best and as quick and full a recovery as is possible."

Deputy Mayor Aigars Balsevics stood in for the mayor at the Rose Fair on Saturday, presenting plaques to the winners, those that came second and highly commended.

Mr Jordan said today that an operation for a replacement hip had been successful but the mayor remained in hospital.

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Four years ago the town hall featured in a campaign by two local councillors for improved access for the disabled.

Cllr Alan Lay and his wife Brenda were appointed town councillors in May of that year and said they were alarmed to discover how much of an ordeal it is for her to get into the council chamber.

"A ramp needs to be put out for Cllr Brenda Lay so she can get into the building, but there are times this is not possible because vehicles are blocking the entrance," said Mr Lay, who is no longer a councillor.

On the Wisbech Town Council Facebook page there was some sympathy for Cllr Hill but it was not universal.

Lorraine Hawkins wrote: "Let's hope that the gentleman does not have permanent injuries and requires a blue badge to park in a disabled parking bay.

"I wrote to the Wisbech Standard last year highlighting the plight of people parking in the bays around the market place. The lines are gone, no policing and it is a disgrace. I asked the council and local supermarkets to please take this matter forward.

"I understand Wisbech parking is run from Cambridge. Alas, the usual lethargy and non response. I was hoping a councillor might champion this cause on behalf of disabled people."

She added: "Shame that you can take the time to make a post about someone on the council having a fall, but ignore the plight of the people whose taxes pay your wages; shame about that."

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