CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Safety must come first, alongside a careful probe of what went wrong

13 July, 2017

• WITH reference to the coverage of the cladding of the Chalcots towers (Chalcots cladding ‘was agreed by town hall’, contractor claims, July 6), getting to the bottom of the allocation of responsibilities for this situation is not going to be quick and easy.

To blame the construction firm may well be premature, unfair, unjust and jumping to conclusions far too quickly.

Clearly, approval of the contract and proposals to refurbish the estate must have had the agreement of the council, based on recommendations of a hierarchy of groups including committees, statutory building control, internal and/or external professional groups/organisations etc.

Following this, of course, there must then also have been, again, supervisory oversight of the implementation of the proposals by the council’s statutory building control service and technical groups within other areas of the council or by its consultants.

And finally the “works” must have been formally “signed off” by the council as “owner” of the property and its statutory duties under the building acts and other legislation.

The most important thing really is to get on as quickly as possible with making these buildings safe while, at the same time, not destroying evidence that will, fairly, reveal what went wrong and why, so that lessons can be learned and new arrangements put in place to prevent a recurrence of such a situation.

DUGALD GONSAL
Chartered Engineer
Address supplied

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