CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Chalcots and the costs to residents

25 June, 2020

Chalcots estate: ‘The total cost accounts for some £820 for every Camden resident’

• THIS Friday marks the third anniversary of the mass evacuation of the Chalcots estate, ordered by the Camden Council leader.

The fire service had “advised” this because of the high level of fire risk and were prepared to back it up with legal force. If the evacuation had not taken place, who knows, we might have had another Grenfell.

Fast forward three years and Camden Council is faced with a bill of £215million to put right the PFI bodged regeneration of the blocks, only part of this (£80m) was the faulty cladding. It is unclear whether the government will actually contribute this £80million to the bill.

This has still not been replaced and a further £5million has been wasted on a bodged contract negotiation over a whole year on replacing the cladding. The total cost accounts for some £820 for every Camden resident.

Three years ago the council leader promised an independent and fully transparent inquiry of the regeneration work. We are still waiting for this, together with information on who signed off the original work.

This regeneration work is but only one example of the chaotic, and dangerous, part of the Community Investment Programme.

In Gospel Oak / Haver­stock we have currently seven derelict council non-building sites, most of which have been sites of rubble for well over three years, completion delays and huge cost over-runs of disturbing proportions.

Hopefully the CIP scrutiny panel will shed light on the continuing mismanagement of this programme so that mere residents can be informed who is and was responsible.

As with many letters in the CNJ criticising our councillors we can expect no response.

MICK FARRANT,
NW5

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