From the West Hendon Residents
Our hearts and thoughts go to all the community that are suffering and those who have lost loved ones.
We are alarmed and appalled at the way LBB (London Borough of Barnet) have and still continue to ignore the resident’s issues and concerns as non-consequential, this has been proven to be true at countless council meetings and non-attendance of the ruling Cllrs to meet with local residents and take an actual factual interest in what how the estate has been allowed to be deliberately run down creating Health, Safety and Welfare issues to be completely ignored in order push through a separate agenda that does little to safeguard the residents, visitors and workers equally.
Our existing properties that should have had major electrical mains upgrade by the 1990’s was not committed to till 2013 completed in 2016 because of a previous fire that occurred in another housing block within the borough of Barnet. The fact that this work was not actually scheduled in to be done until between 2038 – 2043 means that Barnet Council although already allowing the safety of the whole estate to lapse for nearly 20 years they were still prepared to allow all the estate to continue to remain unsafe for another 25 – 30 years.
Instead of taking the electrical company to court and prosecuting them for gross negligence appertaining to their safety maintenance and work, with the clear documented evidence presented to the council by the resident representatives as other councils did such as Camden, etc. this would have then exposed many other issues that no doubt cover many other risk factors that other estates could still face within the borough of Barnet.
The ruling Cllrs decided without giving any reason or themselves presenting documentation to counter the residents evidence presented to them by the residents that they would not pursue the electrical maintenance company responsible as the residents repeatedly requested, but panicked instead without even a word of explanation put all costs onto leaseholders.
This is just one of numerous issues that the council constantly dismiss out of hand without any explanations ever given.
Tenants occupying new dwellings and blocks have also raised many concerns such as – not being able to call the emergency services mobiles that worked perfectly well in their old blocks no longer work in the new blocks, elderly and disabled being moved onto upper floors with only one staircase as means of escape in emergencies, gaps under various front doors and section doors, smoke/ fire alarms hanging off ceilings a year after tenants have moved in, many not working properly, no access to inner flats in an emergency, waiting months turn to years for something to happen. None of these issues have even been acknowledged by the ruling Cllrs and LBB.
We also believe that although committing to a full Public inquiry by the governing authorities this should take two lines of full public investigation, scrutiny, findings and decision making. This must not be left to the usual connected crowd that would still be able to side step many of the issues that must be heard and need to be raised that only they can. Therefore, it is a necessity that a public inquest, rather than a public inquiry is carried out.
The first should obviously ensure that all risk elements should be found and rectified ASAP encompassing the person/s, companies and authorities involved, this must also allow the local residents and community spokes persons to present their evidence and speak at the full public inquest.
And secondly a much larger full public inquiry to encompass all the estates, existing – refurbished, redeveloped, regenerated and new estates regardless of tenure, which must allow chosen resident and/ or community representatives of these estates/ boroughs to be able to present their evidence and speak at the full public inquiry.
All new and proposed regenerations of (council) estates should cease any further-meant (especially those yet to have been agreed at the initial planning stages) until the full public inquest has been concluded, the final outcome presented to the public and decisions taken and enforced.
This statement includes the lack of interest and complete indifference shown to us by our practically non-existent MP for Hendon, Matthew Offord.
In Feb 2015 a fire
spread through the new builds on Grahame Park estate (miraculously not long before they intended to fill the building with new residents spread throughout the complex within a very short space of time and if the fire tenders had not been there so quickly who knows what could have been???)
The whole building had to be demolished and built differently.