fire hazards

New LBWF fire safety scandal: Northwood and St Georges Court towers have had high risk failings for years, and nothing has been done about them

LBWF is currently embarked on a £40m. programme of ‘building safety works’.  Much of this sum will be spent on its 14 tower blocks, all of which require substantial modifications, to the extent that for many months Waking Watch arrangements (where ‘suitably trained persons continually patrol all floors and the exterior perimeter of the building in order to detect a fire, raise the alarm, and ... »

LBWF fraud team’s investigation of the FEDs fire safety scandal dodges key questions, as officers focus on their ding dong battle with Osborne at the High Court

In response to a Freedom of Information request, LBWF has just released a redacted version of the June 2021 investigation report, authored by the internal Corporate Anti-Fraud Team (CAFT), concerning the flat entrance door (FED) scandal, much discussed previously on this blog. The ‘executive summary’ of the findings reads as follows: ‘Osborne Property Services Ltd (OPSL) were contracted by LBWF to... »

LBWF launches a £40m. programme to upgrade the fire safety of its social housing provision, but questions remain as to why this wasn’t done years ago

It has long been suspected, by this blog not least, that LBWF is facing a major problem about fire safety in its social housing provision, and now some new evidence shows that not only is this true, but something is finally being done about it.  The pandemic has slowed down council reporting across the board, and so for the latest developments it is necessary to go back to a report presented ... »

Another LBWF fire safety cock up: now its housing management agent, Morgan Sindall, replaces flat entrance doors ‘in error’

Over the years, LBWF has gained a reputation for blunders, whether big, like recklessly exposing its own employees in the Town Hall to dangerous asbestos dust, or relatively small, like planning to spend £40,000’s worth of public money on an inappropriate and unwanted ‘artistic’ mural in Cann Hall. What follows is a further example of this disreputable tradition. As this blog has extensively repor... »

Has LBWF followed the relevant ‘technical advice’ when addressing the flat entrance door scandal? It’s a key question but one the Town Hall finds difficult to answer

In correspondence earlier this year, Darren Welsh, LBWF’s Deputy Strategic Director, Resident Services, stated that the strategy adopted for dealing with the 217 fake FD60 flat entrance doors (FEDs) at Northwood Tower and four sheltered housing blocks conformed with ‘the technical advice’ that the Town Hall had been supplied with. What follows describes my tortuous efforts to establish whether thi... »

LBWF’s flat entrance door scandal: an update on developments

In the past few weeks, fresh revelations have emerged about the scandal surrounding LBWF’s 2017-18 purchase and installation of the 217 flat entrance doors (FEDs) at Walthamstow’s 21 floor Northwood Tower, and four sheltered housing blocks (Boothby Court, Goddarts House, Holmcroft House, and Lime Court) – FEDs which all remain in place today. The following provides a summary. Certi... »

LBWF’s claim that it followed ‘technical advice’ over fire safety at Northwood Tower and four sheltered housing blocks is revealed as questionable, even a falsehood

Many will no doubt assume that, with litigation involving a supplier and an internal fraud inquiry both ongoing, plus some damaging headlines in the press, LBWF currently would be treating fire safety in its social housing estate transparently and with the utmost care. But, regrettably, this seems not to be the case, as the following paragraphs illustrate. On 3 December 2020, I made a statement to... »

Private Eye reports the Waltham Forest fire safety scandal

From Private Eye, No. 1539, 22 January 2021 »

LBWF and its fire safety contractor S3 Environmental Ltd.: council officers maintain everything’s OK, but questions and concerns persist

Previous posts have expressed unease about the fact that in 2019, and via its housing repairs and maintenance agent Morgan Sindall Group PLC, LBWF appointed S3 Environmental Ltd. to conduct Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) for its housing blocks (see links below). In response, LBWF has remained steadfast in its view that S3 Environmental Ltd. is an experienced and qualified provider of fire safety ser... »

Statement submitted to tonight’s full Council meeting on the fire safety scandal in Waltham Forest

I have submitted the following statement to tonight’s full Council meeting: 1. In 2017-18, the Council replaced 217 flat entrance doors (FEDs) at Northwood Tower and four sheltered housing blocks. 2. The Council told residents that the new FEDs were certified FD60 (i.e., they would provide sixty minutes protection) and made the same claim repeatedly in public; while many of the FEDs carried ... »

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