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Double battle for brave Jason

Steve Barclay with Jason Blake and Paul Brightley
Steve Barclay with Jason Blake and Paul Brightley

A seriously ill March man, who is fighting a major health battle, has enlisted the help of Fenland MP Steve Barclay to aid his recovery.

Jason Blake, 30, has a rare life-threatening condition and is currently waiting to undergo a medical world-first to try to improve his quality of life.

However, Mr Blake who lives with full-time carer Paul Brightey in a newly-built Roddons bungalow in Lake Close, claims his life is being made difficult after the housing association reneged on a promise to install bollards blocking off the narrow roadway outside his home.

The roadway is one vehicle wide and Mr Blake’s front door opens almost directly on to it. There is no footpath, which makes it dangerous for him to use, and he is concerned it will become more dangerous as the 60-plus homes on the development become occupied.

Mr Brightey said: “It is already quite busy with cars and vans whizzing past, but it is only going to get worse as the houses and flats are filled. We took the bungalow on the understanding the roadway would be blocked up with bollards to stop it becoming a rat run.

“A handful of homes on West End have a legal right of way and they have all agreed to bollards, with them being allocated keys so they can use it when they want. Jason’s condition means he often needs emergency care and we can have an ambulance outside the house for long periods.

“Roddons have said they are no longer prepared to install the bollards and are now proposing to put up a fence enclosing our bungalow, so we only have pedestrian access to the front door via a side gate, which will not even be wide enough for Jason’s wheelchair.

“We were given firm assurances the roadway would be blocked off with bollards that could be lowered to allow emergency access for ambulances. Why they have now decided against it we don’t know. Emergency medical staff will have to come in via the back entrance, which will make it more difficult,” said Mr Brightey.

Mr Blake was diagnosed with relapsing polychonditis 10 years ago. The condition means Mr Blake’s own immune system attacks cartilage in his body and has weakened his trachea to such an extent he needs a special machine to keep him alive when he sleeps, to help him breath.

He is awaiting pioneering stem cell treatment and a bone marrow transplant to help treat the condition. The world-first procedure will see Mr Blake undergo a transplant using a trachea grown from his own stem cells.

Once the treatment is carried out Mr Blake will need constant medical attention for many months, making easy access to his home vital.

As a result Mr Barclay has contacted Roddons to ask why they have gone back on the promise to provide bollards and also seeking clarification on whether or not Highways have granted permission for the changes, which were part of the original planning consent.

Mr Barclay said: “I want to know why Roddons have made this decision, whether they have sought approval from Highways as this roadway opens on to Elliott Road together with Fisherman’s Drive and another track, so it is quite hazardous. It is not wide enough for two vehicles and once the development is complete it could easily become a rat run for residents.

“I will also be asking Fenland whether there is some enforcement action that can be taken if Roddons have not sought a change of planning conditions.

“It was good to meet Jason and Paul and I wish Jason good luck with his on-going health problems and look forward to hearing how the pioneering treatment goes.”

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