Anger over ‘flawed’ Islington scaffolding decision

Brian Potter: 'A massive fudge'

Brian Potter: 'A massive fudge' - Credit: Archant

Town hall figures ‘a massive fudge’ says campaigner

The scaffolding gloom that blights the borough looks set to hang around after the town hall kicked a plan to buy its own rigs into the long grass.

People in Islington had got so sick of building platforms outside their homes for months on end, a spoof Idle Scaffolding helpline had been set up by to tackle the problem.

Most of the scaffolding was erected by contractors, so the housing scrutiny committee suggested Islington Council buy their own, both to save money and to keep tabs on when and where it goes up.

However at a meeting on April 16, council officers told the committee it wasn’t cost effective.

Their report read: “It is estimated that an in-house scaffolding service would cost £1.6 million to set up and run in the first year £1.1 million thereafter.

“This cost is based on four gangs working on approximately four scaffolds a day each.

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“The current cost to the Council of providing the same number of scaffolds would be £414,000.”

But Brian Potter, chair of Islington Leaseholders Association (ILA), says their figures are flawed.

Dr Potter said: “The numbers they are using are just responsive repairs - it’s just the scaffolding used when someone calls in.

“They don’t take into account the big jobs - cyclical maintenance and major works. Those are the ones on the massive contracts.

“The figures look awfully good if you don’t know that, and most people don’t, but it’s actually just a total fudge.

“This is all a lot of gum slapping. They are paying lip service to an investigation

“I am absolutely disgusted with them

“If they had got the ILA involved in would have been a completely different story.

“This is just a waste of time.

“I’ve asked the officer in question to attend the next ILA meeting and he kindly obliged. It should be most enlightening.”