Islington’s scaffolding woes could be over as town hall buy cherry picker
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A scaffolding scourge that brings misery to many across Islington could be at an end – but only for people living on estates.
Islington Council has recently bought a cherry picker – an elevated work platform – which it is hoped will reduce the need for the long-term scaffolding that blights many homes in the borough.
The problem got so bad that an anti-scaffolding helpline was set up in the summer, which was bombarded with unhappy residents.
Dr Brian Potter, chairman of the Islington Leaseholders Association, said: “We have campaigned for them to get one for a long time, so we were really pleased but I am not convinced they will even use it. But they’ve got no excuse now.
“They have to stop putting up unnecessary scaffolding – it’s ridiculous.
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“They should now reassess all these jobs and qualify whether they need scaffolding or not.
“So much money could be saved, for the council and for leaseholders – not to mention all the problems scaffolding causes.”
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Thomas Cooper, who set up the scaffolding helpline, said: “It could be good for those in the council’s own stock, because they could park the cherry picker near a block and basically keep it there until the work was done. But I’m not sure how it would work in street properties where there are trees in the way and so on.
“The only way we can hope for a reduction in scaffolding misery is for Partners for Improvement in Islington [which manage the borough’s street properties] to become more efficient.
“I fear that’s an impossible dream.”
Cherry picker hire costs roughly £750 per week.
An spokesman for Islington Council said: “Our housing repairs team has a cherry picker, which will be used for minor repairs. We want repairs for tenants and leaseholders to be as simple and easy as possible.”
At the time of going to press, no one from Partners was available to comment.