Search

Helpline set up for Islington residents affected by long-term, unused scaffolding

15:06 24 July 2014

Thomas Cooper

Thomas Cooper

Archant

A helpline has been set up for people whose homes have been blighted by long-term, unused scaffolding.

Support your community by viewing your local businesses

Please wait

You will be able to read the article in 5 seconds

Thank you for supporting your local community

You may now read the article

Calls to the helpline

“The scaffolding has been up since February 3 but it is the wrong address. We don’t know when they’re going to take it down” N7

“The scaffolding has been up for three months but there is no work being done. We’ve not seen any workmen at all – its sitting idle.” N1

“We are supposed to have external work done and the scaffold has been up since mid-April. The painting has been finished for three weeks and we’ve not seen one person since.” N7

The Idle Scaffolding helpline is a tongue-in-cheek service set up by a housing campaigner in response to what he says is a serious problem in the borough.

He says the structures are put up to make people think work is being done, then taken down weeks or even months later, regardless of how long any work takes. This, he says, conveniently gives Partners for Improvement in Islington (PfI) who manage the borough’s street properties, a free place to store the scaffold.

Staggered

Thomas Cooper, who set up the helpline, said: “I set it up because I was just staggered by the amount of scaffolding up all over the borough with little or no work being done.I wanted to find the extent of it, and it’s street after street.

“They put up 120 scaffolds across the borough but only have enough workers for maybe 20, so four out of five are idle day in day out.

“Then they move the scaffold to the next lot of housing for six months. Never mind the inconvenience, that we have to live shrouded in darkness, watching for things falling on our heads every time we come out of the house and our bins not being emptied because the binmen can’t get to them.

“By the time they take it down, people are so relieved they just say thank god, they don’t care if work is shoddy or not even done.”

Stuart Hodkinson, who is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to investigate PfI, said: “During my investigations I have heard lots of 
Islington residents complaining. They call it phantom scaffolding – it goes up, no work gets done and then it gets taken down.

“It makes you wonder if they are storing it there 
because it kills two birds with one stone – firstly it’s somewhere to put it and secondly it makes them look as though they’re doing work.”

Brian Potter, chairman of Islington Leaseholders Association (ILA), said: “I have had scaffolding outside my house for about 10 days even though the job was done in two. It’s a huge problem in the borough. I think they do it because they save a fortune on storage.”

A spokesman for Partners For Improvement in Islington said: “Partners’ ongoing programme of work to improve and maintain homes in Islington can often require scaffolding to be used, sometimes for extended periods of time.”

The helpline can be contacted on 0203 2392070, or call Partners on 0800 587 3595.

or 020 7288 8310.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:13
Islington's mayor Cllr Theresa Debono turns on the Highbury Christmas lights with Cllr Caroline Russell Pic: Dieter Perry

Dozens of people braved the chilly weather to see the Christmas lights switched on in Highbury Barn.

Yesterday, 13:04
Christmas jumpers on display at the winter wonderland extravaganza

More than 300 people enjoyed lights decorations, music food and even snow at a special Winter Wonderland.

Yesterday, 12:30
Police officers and council members collect all presents from the Christmas tree project at Islington Town Hall

Generous Islington residents splashed their hard earned cash to buy more than 230 gifts for children who might not otherwise get a present this Christmas.

Yesterday, 09:52
New tenants Anne, Mary and Peter celebrate moving into the Leigh Road council housing

A brand new £2.6million housing block is helping some of Islington’s most vulnerable people live closer to their families.

Most read news

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition