Furore over table and chairs ban on Islington estate

�Residents have been banned from having wooden tables and chairs outside their front doors in what they say is the latest �example of health and safety gone mad.

Young families and �pensioners are among those in Upper Caldy Walk, on the Marquess Estate, Islington, who have been ordered to get rid of wooden furniture from their communal walkway �because they could cause a fire risk.

Homes for Islington (HFI), the firm which manages �Islington Council’s housing stock, also says the chairs, benches and tables are a health hazard because people may trip over them ? but the residents say the decision will rip the heart out of their small community.

Tim Orman, 44, a mature student who lives in Upper Caldy Walk, said: “This is definitely health and safety gone mad.

“How many people living in London have chairs outside their homes?

“This will destroy our friendly community that has worked for us for many years.”

Vincent O’Brien, 50, who lives in Upper Caldy Walk with his wife Kim, said: “We have many families with young children and older residents in their 80s.

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“This will affect community spirit because people will not be able to sit outside and check on the safety of vulnerable neighbours. It is an awful shame.”

June King, who lives in Upper Caldy Walk with her husband Sid, said: “We have always had tables and chairs outside where residents can socialise and sit outside and have a chat.

“There has never been any trouble. This is over the top.”

The walkway, which is 14ft wide, runs outside the front of 45 properties.

A spokesman for Homes for Islington said: “We take residents’ safety very seriously so we are required to regularly carry out checks, like the recent fire risk assessment completed in April on Upper Caldy Walk.

“Where any potential risks are found, we contact residents and take the necessary action in order to minimise these risks to them and other residents.

“Our area housing staff will monitor the situation over the coming months.

“Residents can help by buying furniture in materials, where possible, less able to catch fire such as metal.”

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