Stepney Green pensioner ‘incensed’ by council insurance quibbling

The fallen branch on Tollett Street

The fallen branch on Tollett Street - Credit: Pamela Field

A pensioner is “incensed” by Tower Hamlets Council’s quibbling over an insurance claim after her grand daughter narrowly escaped being hit by a falling branch from a diseased tree.

Pamela Field, 67, warned health and safety chiefs last year that trees along Tollet Street, Stepney Green were a “disaster waiting to happen”.

And in June last year she was proved right, when a huge branch fell outside her house - missing her grand daughter by just a few feet.

Now Mrs Field says council chiefs are quibbling over a £400 insurance excess for repairs to her car which was damaged. They say the incident was an “act of God”.

“Would they have said the same if my granddaughter had been killed?” she asked.

“I just feel incensed that I have had to pay this amount because the tree outside my house, which Tower Hamlets planted, fell on my car, and they will not reimburse me.”

The day after the incident, which happened a year ago today, council officers finally came round to cut the tree down.

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But Mrs Field is refusing to give up her fight for the town hall – which has a £1.2billion annual budget - to pay out, insisting she will take the matter to a small claims court.

And her quest has been backed by Labour’s Cllr Amy Whitelock, who said: “I was really concerned because there was a small child involved and it as quite a close call. “Luckily one of the girls heard the tree creaking and ran away,” she added.

Despite repeated complaints from Mrs Field, Tower Hamlets Council still insists no liability has been proved.

“We regret that this incident occurred, but the council thoroughly investigated the claim and found that a robust inspection and maintenance procedure of trees was in place,” a spokeswoman said.

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