Spa Green Estate: Islington Council admits blocks are in breach of fire safety rules
- Credit: Archant
Islington Council last night admitted for the first time that Finsbury’s Spa Green Estate is in breach of fire safety rules.
Estate manager Thomas Cooper exposed the “fire trap” blocks in the Gazette last month. He claimed Islington had ignored his concerns for seven years about compartmentalisation: the concept where fire is contained in the flat where it starts.
He said this is non-existant in the estate, opposite Sadler’s Wells in Rosebery Avenue, due to shoddy fire stopping and holes in between ceilings.
And Mr Cooper invited three town hall housing officers to the Spa Green Management Organisation’s AGM last night. He even made them watch a documentary, shot following the Gazette’s coverage, about the safety issues.
There was standing room only in the tiny community hall, as tenants demanded: “When can we expect work to be done?”
You may also want to watch:
Asked if he agreed that there are safety issues, technical services manager Garrett McEntee said: “Absolutely.”
He continued: “It’s fair to say there are aspects of work [in 2010] that weren’t done particularly well. We got the original contractor to have a look and understand how we have this situation.
- 1 Man killed in 'shooting' in north London
- 2 Thousands of care home staff yet to be vaccinated in London
- 3 Appeal to find four children missing from north London with father and grandmother
- 4 Man killed and two injured in triple shooting
- 5 Finsbury Park man arrested on suspicion of second north London murder
- 6 How some Islington tenants are losing their homes in a matter of minutes
- 7 New free map reveals the best walking routes in Hackney and Islington
- 8 Sadiq Khan warns of flooding threat to Islington from climate emergency
- 9 Islington: Housing team failed to answer 50% of calls during lockdown
- 10 Letters on People Friendly Streets in St Peter's
“The contractor said compartmentalisation worked. We are of a slightly different opinion.”
He said the council is “in discussion” with a contractor to carry out improvement work.
Mr Cooper is demanding the work is carried out by an independently certified fire stopping company.
And when Islington housing leader Cllr Diarmaid Ward turned up later, he was put on the spot. Cllr Ward conceded: “The buck stops with me. I think that sounds like a very good approach.”
He added: “I want to work with all of you to make sure this estate is as safe as possible.”
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Cooper said: “If residents’ views mean anything, the council will have to do something. They have to concede it’s an estate-wide problem.
“As long as the contractor is independently certified, residents can have more confidence. If Diarmaid Ward is also true to his word, we will have even more confidence in a proper outcome.
“He’s a politician – he wasn’t absolute, but he had nowhere to run and he did appear to concur.”