North East Wales

Meg Burgess: MP raises wall death campaign in Commons

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Media captionMeg Burgess died while walking home from the shops with her mother and baby brother in Meliden, Denbighshire, in July 2008

A couple whose three-year-old daughter was killed when a wall collapsed will have their campaign raised in Parliament to get builders licensed to carry out work.

Meg Burgess died while walking home from the shops with her mother and baby brother in Meliden, Denbighshire, in July 2008.

Her parents, who now live in Chester, have won the backing of their local MP.

Stephen Moseley will raise the issue in a House of Commons motion on Tuesday.

"This is such a tragic case and serves to highlight the importance of proper regulation of the domestic building trade," he said in a statement ahead of the meeting.

He will present a 10 minute rule motion to tackle the current situation where "anyone can build a wall and pile tonnes of rubble up against, without the need for it to be inspected for safety".

Mr Mosely told BBC Radio Wales: "At the moment there are no rules for building exterior retaining or load-bearing walls.

"What I'm proposing is that retaining walls are brought within the current building regulations.

"So, you'd have to apply to the council, pay a small fee, they would check plans, send someone out to look at the work and make sure it's done properly.

Image caption Lindsay Burgess: Debate in Parliament "will raise awareness"

"If this had been done in this case Meg would still be alive," he added.

Last October builder George Collier, of Kinmel Bay, Conwy, was jailed for two years after he was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence following the death of Meg.

Mold Crown Court was told how Collier, 49, had been building a wall which was 22m (72ft) long and nearly 1.6m (5ft 3in) high that had been backfilled with 26 tonnes of rubble and block.

The wall was improperly anchored and no measures had been taken to protect pedestrians walking along the adjacent pavement, the court heard. It fell in one piece.

Meg's parents Lindsay and Pete Burgess have since campaigned for improvements in the domestic construction industry to prevent more lives being put at risk.

They launched Meg's Campaign on Facebook which is calling for the domestic building industry to be regulated.

In December they won an assurance from Communities and Local Government Minister Don Foster that he would contact local authorities "reminding them of their powers" to take action with regards to building structures considered dangerous.

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Media captionMother Lindsay Burgess recalling the events, and Stephen Mosley MP explaining why he is backing Meg's Campaign

Mrs Burgess attended a meeting with Mr Foster and her MP and said she was pleasantly surprised by the support she received.

In a letter to Mrs Burgess the minister also agreed to undertake a review of other countries' systems monitoring the competence of builders although he stopped short of agreeing to changes to the UK's current Building Regulations.

"There has been immense support," she said.

Mrs Burgess said she had spoken to other people and industry groups who also support Meg's Campaign's ideals saying the consensus was "not about whether we should do this but how do we do it and how much it's going to cost".

She said she wanted to thank Mr Moseley who had chosen to address Parliament on the issue of regulating the building of walls during Tuesday's debate.

"It will raise awareness," she said.

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