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Gas is switched off at Ledbury Estate, residents told they must decant in coming weeks and months.

August 10, 2017

In the late afternoon of 10th August, Ledbury Estate residents received a hand-delivered letter from Southwark Council informing them that the gas was to be switched off immediately and that the council would be decanting temporarily over the coming weeks and months. 

 

 

Residents were shocked to discover that gas was indeed found to be unsafe. Especially after ARUP's presentation at the residents meeting on 11th July and the multiple assurances from Southwark Council that gas WAS safe. Southwark had insisted that because the Ledbury towers were a 'Type B' buildings. they therefore did not require strengthening. On 24th July Cllr. Stephanie Cryan had done a BBC news interview stating this explicitly.

It turned out that the independent experts were right all along. Gas was UNSAFE, and the ARUPs structural investigations showed that the historical information that Southwark held about the towers was incorrect, indicating that the towers were potentially 'Type A' structures (the same as Ronan Point) and DID need structural strengthening, but that this was never done.

 

Early in the morning of 11th August, work began to remove gas from the buildings permanently. Southern Gas Networks were called in by Southwark Council to dig outside the tower blocks and turn the gas off at the mains. Workers were then sent into each and every flat individually to turn to gas off manually.

 

Later that afternoon, Southwark Council instructed their workers to force entry into flats where they could not gain access in order to additionally 'cap off' the gas supply. Residents were confused and angry to return home to find their locks had been drilled into, when that work could've been carried out earlier in the morning when workers were already in the flats manually switching off the gas. 

 

 

 

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© 2017-2020 by Danielle Gregory. Ledbury Action Group.