Questions over why nothing has been sooner about cricket ball danger in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 August 2018

Elizabeth Hicks after her injury. Picture: Contributed

Elizabeth Hicks after her injury. Picture: Contributed

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A woman who called for urgent action after she was injured by a cricket ball two years ago has hit out asking why nothing has been done.

Elizabeth Hicks after her injury. Picture: Contributed Elizabeth Hicks after her injury. Picture: Contributed

It comes after an elderly woman was left with around 14 stitches in the back of her head after she was hit by a cricket ball on the Esplanade, in Sidmouth, earlier this month.

Mrs Elizabeth Hicks contacted the Herald after she read about the incident in the national newspapers.

The now 74-year-old, from Gloucester, said she was 71 when she visited the town and was left needing a sling after she was hit by a cricket ball while walking along the seafront.

The retired nurse added that it left her arm and hand badly bruised.

Mrs Hicks said: “I was really sad to read that the situation hasn’t improved.

“It put me off going to Sidmouth again, although I think it is a lovely place.

“The cricket club were very good to me when I was hit by a ball and came rushing out to help however they could. They would have done whatever I wanted.

“My arm was left so swollen and was very bruised and painful for weeks. I was just thankful it wasn’t my head. It could have been a lot worse. If it had been a child or a baby it could have killed them.”

Mrs Hicks said at the time she contacted the authorities to say urgent action should be taken before someone was seriously hurt.

Neil Gamble, chairman of the Sidmouth Cricket and Croquet Club, previously spoke to the Herald and said an application to install permanent netting was rejected by East Devon District Council (EDDC) as it wasn’t in keeping with the area, as the pitch was surrounded by listed buildings and was in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

But he said the club was working with the authority on a bid, costing up to £20,000, for netting that could moved up and down when they needed it. They hoped to submit plans in the next couple of weeks.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “The council received an application in 2017 for cricket nets and poles, however, after discussions this was withdrawn by the applicant, with an understanding that further discussions would take place to achieve a solution, and that a further application would be submitted.

“We are not aware of any further discussions that have taken place with the council, and as yet we have not received a further application.”

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