Husband of Willian woman who broke her leg and foot in fall slams councils for response

Jeanette Nelder, pictured with husband Steve, has been left with a broken leg and foot after falling

Jeanette Nelder, pictured with husband Steve, has been left with a broken leg and foot after falling in what they believe to be cooking oil spilt in Royston. Picture: Courtesy of Steve Nelder - Credit: Archant

The husband of a Willian woman who he says slipped in cooking oil and fell outside a North Herts chip shop, suffering “life-changing” injuries, has labelled the response from authorities as “appalling”.

Steve visited the site on Wednesday, two days after the fall, and it had not been cleaned up - but w

Steve visited the site on Wednesday, two days after the fall, and it had not been cleaned up - but was later that day. Picture: Steve Nelder Picture: Courtesy of Steve Nelder - Credit: Archant

Jeanette Nelder, 74, visited a hair salon in Royston on Monday last week – and was days from going away on a skiing trip – when on her way back to her car at about 1pm she slipped and fell in what they believe was cooking oil outside Master Fryer in Angel Pavement.

Her husband Steve told the Comet: “She’s fractured her tibia and fibula of her lower left leg, and her heel, and had a operation at Lister Hospital.”

Master Fryer has said the spillage is nothing to do with the family firm, as the oil suppliers get from them is solid, not liquid.

Mr Nelder reported the incident to North Herts District Council the following day, and went into the Letchworth council offices after not receiving a response.

Jeanette Nelder broke her leg and foot after falling in Royston. Picture: Courtesy of Steve Nelder

Jeanette Nelder broke her leg and foot after falling in Royston. Picture: Courtesy of Steve Nelder - Credit: Archant

He said: “The lack of initial response is appalling and could have resulted in further serious injuries to the public, or worse.”

He also reported it to Herts County Council, and was told the oil was cleaned up last Wednesday night – but has since heard about another fall in the area.

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Mr Nelder, 66, said he was astounded the councils told him no further action would be taken – he also spoke to Master Fryer staff, who “just shrugged.”

He said: “These injuries are life-changing for us – spilling the oil was most likely an accident, but not cleaning it up isn’t.

Master Fryer on Angel Pavement, Royston. Picture: Danny Loo

Master Fryer on Angel Pavement, Royston. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

“Someone needs to be held to account.”

In response, Master Fryer manager Bayram Pelit said: “It’s nothing to do with us.

“We have suppliers getting oil from us, but it is solid – not liquid. So it did not come from our shop.

“I hope the lady gets well soon. When the man came in, those who were in did not understand him and he got aggressive. If I had been there I would have spoken to him calmly.”

An NHDC spokeswoman said they are investigating the complaint and are unable to comment further.

A spokesman for Ringway, which maintains pavements on behalf of HCC, said: “We were very sorry to hear that a lady had fallen and we responded to a report to clear up a spillage of cooking oil on the footpath. We sent a crew out on Monday after another report, who found no fault.”

If you saw what happened, email bianca.wild@archant.co.uk.