Asbestos at St. Mary’s School

Mr. Hynes asbestos inquiry report is still awaited, though promised for June, and meanwhile LBWF continues to fight off awkward questioning

In various statements made from the end of 2022 onwards, LBWF Director of Governance and Law, Mark Hynes, reiterated that he aimed to complete the report of his asbestos investigation by June 2023. In May 2023, the Leader, Cllr. Grace Williams, backed him up, telling councillors ‘we are expecting the final report imminently’, and elaborating: ‘the Monitoring Officer anticipates [it] will... »

NPS London Ltd. (now re-named Evolve Norse Ltd.) has advised LBWF on managing asbestos since 2007, but does that inspire much confidence?

One organisation that sometimes pops up on the margins of public discussion about how LBWF has managed asbestos in the past few years is NPS London Ltd., recently renamed Evolve Norse Ltd. (so hereafter NPSL/EN) which is a joint venture between – and this gets complicated – LBWF and (via a subsidiary, NPS Property Consultants Ltd.) the national holding company Norse Group Ltd., itself, ... »

LBWF’s Town Hall asbestos scandal: an update and comment

Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor yesterday posted a story on the asbestos scandal under the amusing headline ‘Council investigating itself over former town hall asbestos’, here: What follows is a complementary commentary, looking initially at how my own concerns have developed, before turning to... »

Asbestos in Waltham Forest Town Hall: LBWF CEO Martin Esom answers the criticisms…sort of

On 1 July just passed, LBWF CEO Martin Esom e-mailed his response to the various points that I recently raised with him about asbestos in the Town Hall and the Assembly Hall (see his e-mail pasted below, and links to my correspondence at the bottom of the page). Mr. Esom is extravagantly paid and also on the government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Board, and so it is a reasonable expectatio... »

Asbestos in Waltham Forest Town Hall: a new LBWF disgrace? Part Two

I have sent the letter pasted below to LBWF Chief Executive, Martin Esom, and will post his response when received. 24 June 2022 Dear Mr. Esom, I note that in a submission about an ex-employee’s asbestosis that was part of legal proceedings in 2019, LBWF’s defence team ‘specifically denied that members of the public who visited Walthamstow Town Hall for ordinary civic functions were inevitably (or... »

Asbestos in Waltham Forest Town Hall: a new LBWF disgrace? Part One

I have sent the letter pasted below to LBWF Chief Executive, Martin Esom, and will post his response when received. 10 June 2022 Dear Mr. Esom, Asbestos in the Town Hall Prompted by recent media coverage, I have been looking again at how asbestos was managed in the Town Hall from around 2013 to June 2020, when of course the whole building was closed. I note the following: 1. At various times durin... »

LBWF and fire hazards in its housing stock: the appalling case of Northwood Tower in Walthamstow (1)

In the past few months, journalists James Cracknell and Michelle Edwards of the Waltham Forest Echo have done sterling work in exposing the serious safety flaws that currently blight many of the 22 tower blocks in the borough, see here here and here https://... »

LBWF and public-private partnerships: (1) NPS London Ltd.

As this blog has previously noted, LBWF is now involved in extending its public-private partnerships, and so it is timely to look at some previous examples of similar initiatives, in order to discover what lessons can be learnt. A subsequent post will return to the vexed history of North London Ltd., while what follows focuses on NPS London Ltd. (NPSL), jointly owned by LBWF and NPS Property Consu... »

LBWF CEO Martin Esom’s appointment to the Health and Safety Executive Board: a step far too far

In July of this year, LBWF CEO Martin Esom joined the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as a part-time non-executive director – a post that entails approximately 30 days commitment per year for a remuneration of no less than £15,100 (that is £503 per day). The HSE obviously values Mr. Esom highly, with its press release citing, amongst other things, his background in environmental health, his succ... »

St. Mary’s Primary School, Walthamstow, and asbestos: the final verdict (2)

Lest there be any doubt about the matter, this excerpt from AEC Ltd, “Independent Report on the Potential Risk of Exposure to Asbestos during Refurbishment Works in 2011 at St Mary’s School Walthamstow” (NPSL, 2013), p.6 demonstrates that LBWF had overall responsibility for what went on at St. Mary’s, and also (according to AEC) specific culpability for the events that led to the likely expo... »

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