fire safety

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... »

Fire safety scandal (3) is LBWF making it up as it goes along?

I have just sent the e-mail pasted below to LBWF Chief Executive Martin Esom. It examines LBWF’s 2017-18 installation of 217 flat entrance doors (FEDs) at Northwood Tower and four sheltered housing blocks, and strongly queries whether this alleged improvement programme was based – as it should have been – upon appropriate smoke and fire tests. The conclusion reached is that LBWF’... »

Private Eye reports the Waltham Forest fire safety scandal

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

Fire safety scandal (2): Cllr. Louise Mitchell responds to my statement at the December 2020 full Council about flat entrance doors, admits fraud may have occurred, but otherwise again fails to impress

Pasted below is a letter to me from LBWF Housing Portfolio Holder, Cllr. Louise Mitchell, responding to my statement about fire safety which was read out at the full Council meeting on 3 December 2020 (and was previously posted here, see the attached link). What she writes certainly requires further comment. Her letter concerns the 217 flat entrance doors (FEDs) which in 2017-18 were installed at ... »

Fire safety scandal (1): recently disclosed e-mail reveals industry expert’s warning that the LBWF specification for flat entrance doors on its estates prioritised ‘design’ over ‘compliance’, thus potentially ‘endangering lives’.

For ordinary Waltham Forest residents, how LBWF tenders and completes fire safety contracts is typically opaque, because so much is shielded from scrutiny by commercial confidentiality clauses and arms’ length transactions delivered through third parties, both outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. However, an e-mail that has just surfaced provides a fascinating, and unexpectedly rev... »

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... »

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