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Why are they still hoarding up when we don’t know where the Asbestos is and there has not been an independent investigation to ascertain, where, the nature, harm or process of the Asbestos?

West Bury made this Freedom of Information request to Lambeth Borough Council

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Dear Lambeth Borough Council,

Dear Sean
I hope all is well. Thank you for your email below.
Please see a response, comments, questions and observation below. Your verbatim observations from your email, are in bold italics attributed to your email of the 18th 01 2019.
Please also note that this is also concurrently addressed to the chief legal officers of both Lambeth and St James for their ethical responsibilities as Lawyers which are apparent. We expect specific individual responses from them in relation to all these questions and concerns.

To that end the solicitor regulation authority and equality commission is included.
I also attach the due diligence questionnaire with specific questions, the law, asbestos contamination danger and other questions/observations for your immediate attention, due to the potential harmful nature of the irreversible effect of asbestos contamination exposure to human life. In this case, potentially hundreds of people due to the potential disturbance effects and the spread of the asbestos ‘fibres’ in the proximate aerial radius.

Brief overview

In short, in addition to all the enumerated questions, we are asking that, as reiterated by CLLR Bray’s email/s, no construction /construction related activity, especially such as hoarding or boxing in people, their door steps, for indeterminate periods , by St James/Lambeth, until an independent expert investigation, is conducted to determine the nature of the asbestos contamination, surgical location of the asbestos contamination, its harmful effects, guaranteed safety for residents, school children parents, teachers, community ,mutually agreed process of remediation and its potential harmful effects to all concerned including workers, emergency services and post men.
That cannot conceivably meaningfully safely happen until a public meeting is held with the invitation of all those concerned, in the presence of Cllrs, local GPS/experts. Therefore, a unilateral date set by st James/Lambeth of 28th of January 2019, without any shred of knowledge or independent evidence to those critical questions to people’s lives, is extremely worrying and arguably beyond reckless.
Why are they still hoarding up when we don’t know where the Asbestos is and there has not been an independent investigation to ascertain, where, the nature, harm or process of the Asbestos?
Contrary to the regulation, civil, criminal and human rights Law?
Is it the expediency of the construction of structures or the lives of hundreds of people that is most important?
Is it unreasonable to draw an inference that this would appear to be impunity?
These questions are also directed to other contractors like Tibblads, Metro work, Newman Francis, Catherine Make good, among others.
• In short, when and if they knew about asbestos contamination and what they did about it. Followed by detailed questions.
Please note that these are associated with public body directly (Lambeth) and its contractors, therefore, they are also, if in any doubt whatsoever, are FOI (freedom of information) requests.
The ICO (information commissioner) is copied to that effect.
Please forward answers to those questions. The seriousness of the issue requires a swift response to those issues.

The issue
This is about the immediate, existing, current or future implications OR DETRIMENTAL IMPACT/EFFECT to the health, wellbeing, and safety of hundreds of people ON AND AROUND WESTBURY ESTATE SW8 3LP AND THE ASSOCIATED AERIAL RADIUS .

Associated with vast protracted large scale construction over several or many years, including and especially ABESTOS CONTAMINATION. The detrimental interference in the peace and quiet enjoyment of people’s lives by Lambeth and Stjames/contractors has been going on for almost over two years. Including drilling, excavation on a bank holiday, fumes from several stationery large vehicles at multiple occasions. And now Asbestos contamination.
Severe emotional distress to residents
Is it unreasonable to raise a question as to whether this is cumulatively dangerous and no doubt naturally has both a short term and long term impact on people’s wellbeing, health and safety?
On another note, sadly in the meantime, since regeneration, we have lost Barbara Newman, Les Newman (RIP) TRA officers) and Faye (RIP). Barbara and Les Newman lived together and died within months of each other. We understand there are other elderly residents who are ill (not sure of the illnesses and causes).
Barbara contacted me after Les’ passing to assist her in dealing with certain matters. I contacted the council officer concerned (Chris Flynn) who was very helpful. She attended our TRA meeting earlier last year. That was the last time I saw her. Les/Barbara parked their car in the garages at ilsley court. They had a daily /regular routine to Roehampton Asda. When we spoke during those interactions, all they spoke about was regeneration. Having lived on the estate for several decades.
In relation to the continued drilling/excavation for the last almost over two years, the Lambeth individuals repeatedly contacted with proof of videos, photos and emails are: Jed Young, Sue Foster, Lib Peck’s office, Andrew Travers (CEO) and various Cllrs. In addition to resending them to st James senior management and other contractors (Emails on record) a few days ago or so.
It is NOT about the merits or lack thereof ‘regeneration’ per se.

There are approximately 264 homes on Westbury, Scores of homes on Blake court, 1 st rule street flats, heath brook school, parents, teachers, heath brook estate which shares a fence with the school, homes and businesses and their customers between Silverthorne road(conservative estimation) and Ports dale road, set rule street , a nursery, church, children’s play grounds on/in heath brook park, heath brook park users(the entire public), homes opposite/next to heath brook park/school and rail workers as the depot which shares a fence with heath brook park.( see aerial view of location).

‘The problem with asbestos

Asbestos and its uses

Asbestos is the name given to a group of six different fibrous minerals (amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and the fibrous varieties of tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite), that occur naturally in the environment.
Asbestos minerals have separable, long fibres that are strong and flexible enough to be spun and woven, and are fire and heat resistant. These characteristics made asbestos a useful material in a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials, where it provided protection from heat, fire and sound. It was used extensively, for example, in floor tiles, as insulation around pipes, for wall and ceiling panels, roofing, and decorative plasters.

By the late 1960s, there was a growing awareness of the health problems associated with asbestos and it is now recognised as one of the most significant health hazards in the world.

Asbestos and the need for statutory regulation
When asbestos is disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air and, if inhaled, can lead to lung and other diseases. In particular, people who are exposed to asbestos have increased chances of getting two principal types of cancer: cancer of the lung tissue itself and mesothelioma, a cancer of the thin membrane that surrounds the lung and other internal organs. These diseases do not generally develop immediately following exposure to asbestos but appear after a delay of between 15 and 60 years.

It is now illegal to use any form of asbestos in the construction or refurbishment of any buildings (see Regulations 25-28: Prohibitions). Much of what was used in the past, however, is still in place, constituting a significant health risk to all those involved in building, renovation or maintenance work’.
The law
Specific Articles under Human Rights Act 1998/ECHR
The rights protected by ECtHR are 16 in total and can be Absolute, Limited or qualified as referred to by Andrew Drzemczewski .Property rights fall in the qualified category but are still human rights no lesser than any other human rights.
The most relevant articles relating to the compatibility of human rights and property are:
• Art 2(right to life).
• Art 3(inhuman and degrading treatment)
• Art. 1 of the 1st protocol ECHR. -Protection property, rights, possessions,
• Art 11(assembly), here refers to the repeated undermining of the TRA/Residents Engagement suspension
• Art 10(expression), Repeated undermining and side-lining or suspension of residents engagement
• Art 8 relates to the right to respect for a private, family life, home, private life and correspondence
• Art 6 an absolute right which deals with the right to a fair speedy, expeditious, fair hearing/process,
• Art 14: Prohibition of discrimination-equal access, treatment in respect of other rights contained in HRA/.

PSED s149 EA2010

• DCLG guidance states that, “All public sector acquiring authorities are bound by the Public Sector Equality Duty as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. In exercising their compulsory purchase and related powers (e.g. powers of entry) these acquiring authorities must have regard to the effect of any differential impacts on groups with protected characteristics. For example, an important use of compulsory purchase powers is to help regenerate run down areas. Although low income is not a protected characteristic it is not uncommon for people from ethnic minorities, the elderly or people with a disability to be overrepresented in low income groups.

• As part of the Public Sector Equality Duty, acquiring authorities must have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

• This might mean that the acquiring authority devises a process which promotes equality of opportunity by addressing particular problems that people with certain protected characteristics might have (e.g. making sure that documents are accessible for people with sight problems or learning difficulties and that people have access to advocates or advice”.

Race as a factor among others in respect of Lambeth -see reports below?
Please see below for teachable references , general scholarly, government and academic references to Race , racism in housing.
Based on documented events, studies and lived experiences, is it unreasonable to raise a perception that race is a factor in the demeaning, dehumanising and degrading way, residents have been treated by various institutions at a structural level, over the course of home confiscations/’regeneration’ on Westbury SW8 3LP by Lambeth council ?
With respect to Lambeth per se, Unison survey results resonate with that perception as well as the apparent ‘admission ’ to that effect, by CEO Andrew Travers.
http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2018/10/lambe...
http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2018/10/lambe...
https://www.runnymedetrust.org/projects-...
https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.serv...
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/upl...
https://www.theguardian.com/housing-netw...
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/o...

Environmental law, regulation and enforcement

‘The Environment Agency (EA) (in Wales, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is the main body responsible for issuing permits and enforcement, although in some cases the local authority (LA) carries out these functions (see box, The regulatory authorities) .
Environmental liability can arise under :
• Criminal law.
• Civil law.
• Public or administrative law.
• Company law.
Regulatory authorities
HSE, EVA, local authorities etc.

Criminal law
The sanction for breach of most environmental laws (that is, the unauthorised or harmful deposit of waste, illegal discharges to air, land and water) is prosecution of an individual or company by the relevant regulator in the criminal courts. The maximum penalties are usually as follows:
• Lower courts: GB£50,000 and/or six months’ imprisonment. Unlimited fine for offences committed after 12 March 2015. Legislation has long been in place to increase the maximum term of imprisonment to 12 months but, as yet, this change has not been brought into force
• Higher courts: unlimited fine and/or five years’ imprisonment.
Company directors and officers can be prosecuted if the criminal offence was committed with their consent or connivance, or was attributable to their neglect.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 were passed in May 2012. It provides that wherever a statute or common law offence could result in a fine of GB£5,000 or more (the current amount established as level five on the standard scale), magistrates can now apply a fine of any amount (that is, unlimited).
In July 2014, the Independent Sentencing Council issued guidelines for sentencing those found guilty of environmental crimes. The guidelines introduce a 12 step sentencing process for organisations intended to reduce inconsistencies in sentencing and ensure that sentences match the seriousness of the offence, the harm caused, the culpability and will seek to remove any gain realised through commission of the offence. In particular, “starting points” for sentences will distinguish between:

• Micro companies (annual turnover up to GB£2 million).
• Small companies (annual turnover of between GB£2 million and GB£10 million).
• Medium companies (annual turnover of between GB£10million and GB£50 million).
• Large companies (annual turnover of GB£50 million and over).
• Very large companies (annual turnover very greatly exceeds the GB£50 million threshold). The Sentencing Guidelines has stated that it may be necessary to consider an out-of-range starting point for sentencing.
The first case to be considered under the guidelines was R v Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2015] EWCA Crim 960. The Court of Appeal suggested that fines in the millions of pounds would be appropriate for serious environmental offences stating that fines must be high enough to send a strong message to company directors and shareholders about their environmental obligations. The Court made a direct comparison with fines applied to financial services market regulation breaches finding that, where harm has been caused by deliberate action or inaction, fines equal to a substantial percentage (up to 100%) of the company’s pre-tax net profit for the relevant year could be imposed, even if this results in fines in excess of GB£100 million. Analogous guidelines came into effect in February 2016 in relation to health and safety offences, and corporate manslaughter (among other areas).

Civil law
Private persons can bring civil law claims for harm caused by environmental matters, usually under the common law of nuisance or negligence (see Question 17). Claims are usually for damages, but the courts can also grant an injunction.
Public or administrative law
Regulators can serve enforcement notices on operators requiring them to rectify breaches of environmental law. Failure to comply with enforcement notices can constitute a criminal offence. In some cases, regulators can shut down an operator’s activities until the breach has been rectified.

Third parties, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), can challenge the validity of a public authority’s decision through judicial review and have an express right to request that regulators take action if either:
• Environmental damage is occurring.
• There is an imminent threat of environmental damage.
Company law
Company law imposes a duty on directors to promote the company’s success for the benefit of its members as a whole, taking into account the effect of the company’s operations on the community and the environment. If a director breaches this duty, shareholders may be able to bring a derivative action on behalf of the company against the director, even if he has not benefitted from the breach.
Regulatory enforcement
The Environment Agency (EA) (as the principal regulator) takes its enforcement powers very seriously. …For example, the EA or the local authority (LA) must serve a remediation notice if it finds land to be contaminated, unless remediation can be carried out voluntarily. The EA therefore tends to prioritise the more serious breaches and recurring breaches.
The Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 provides for a number of forms of civil sanction to be used by certain regulators, instead of immediate reliance on criminal prosecution. These penalties include:

• Fixed or variable monetary penalties.
• Compliance notices.
• Restoration notices.
• Stop notices.
• Enforcement undertakings.
Civil sanctions can currently be imposed in relation to certain regulatory regimes (such as waste packaging) and the EA is able to agree enforcement undertakings as a civil sanction for environmental permitting offences .

Response to Sean Ellis’s email of the 18th 01.2019 to Westbury Chair

1. ’As part of the soil remediation works there is a requirement to remove some asbestos that was highlighted during previous site investigations’ St James’s Sean Ellis, Email, 18th 01 2019.
Response to Sean Ellis:
There appears to be no evidence, at present, which appears to suggest that this was known to the TRA/Chair, workers, residents and all concerned parties, spoken to face to face.
In fact on or around the 10th and 14th of January 2019, when an individual who identified himself as Mr Giles Enion, a site manager, was repeatedly asked, he did not disclose any evidence.
Additionally, while at 7 Fovant court, on the morning of the 14th 01/2019, he repeatedly told me to leave, went and opened the door, insisting that I leave,(in the presence of other workers one of whom who was wearing a st William jumper/tracksuit top-'Michael', a white male of around 5'6 ft.). ‘Micheal’, the St William individual above, initially twice or three times tried to block my entrance in no 7 Fovant court, by physically standing in front of me, in whatever direction I took. That was the initial shock by the actions of your employees, they told me to go to ‘google’ or words to that effect and search documents related to Westbury Asbestos contamination.
To date none of them or anyone else, including from your office has provided that information. We need that information immediately. There was a real sense of physical alarm and distress towards my person, due to his actions. He kept referring to ‘my voice’, at times appearing to banging the table when assertively but peacefully asked repeated questions regarding harm to people’s health.
It was stated that there would be an audio /visual record all these actions and conversations and he shouted, banging the table repeatedly, in what felt like a threatening tone, that I should not record him.
I told him I don’t need permission from him to video a meeting/interaction in a public related environment and in any case I have the right to record my own conversation or at the very least this should have minutes( I later made a noted immediately after this interaction which I sent to you et al). He repeated his behaviour and stood up walking towards the door or towards me. That’s when the individual ‘Michael’ came out of the ‘kitchen in a slightly different tone for a while.
In light of the above, please immediately provide ALL INFORMATION about these asbestos findings. Namely who did them, when, what was found and what they did with the findings.

2. ‘As Councillor Linda Bray advised in her response to you ‘it is not unusual for contaminated land to be found when construction work is carried out.’ There is a clear process for dealing with such contamination, the process and an approval have been followed to date and is ongoing’. St James’s Sean Ellis, Email, 18th 01 2019.
Response:
As residents of Lambeth, London, especially in the tragic backdrop of Grenfell, we understand the immense risks posed to residents/community in a giant, protracted construction site for several years possibly decades (already almost five years down the road). That is why for years and during the planning permission hearings/cabinet decisions and various calls in Lambeth we have repeatedly called for verifiable independent assessments and protection. To date there we don’t appear to have any evidence to suggest that such measures have been implemented .
Please provide evidence of what the process is and the process that has been 'followed or is ongoing'.
3. ‘There is no immediate risk to the health and safety of the local community’. - St James’s Sean Ellis email 18th 01 2019.
Response:
The key phrases here used are ‘immediate’ and ‘local community’.
What is meant by ‘immediate’? A day, a week, a year, five years, ten years, fifteen, twenty , thirty(years). Please provide medical expert evidence to support this claim/ assertion.
What is meant by ‘local community’? Families/homes at the immediate situs, metres away, in the towers, or 1000metres, a kilo metre, what exact distance?

Please be specific with supporting medical and /or expert evidence.
Please see the attached asbestos related risks and the period it may take to discover the danger in the human body. Please refer/ see, ‘inter alia’, medical journal, HSE and Environmental Agency.
We would also point out to the recent House of Lords legal ruling that makes reference to the wrongful conclusion by a lower court judge, of there being ‘no minimum risk’ to the exposure of asbestos contamination .
The synopsis of the case is that:
‘A judgment dismissing a fatal accidents claim based on mesothelioma contracted at work was overturned and remitted for rehearing on the issue of liability. The judge had been wrong to treat Williams v University of Birmingham [2011] EWCA Civ 1242, [2012] E.L.R. 47, [2011] 10 WLUK 817 as determinative on the basis that there was a minimum level of exposure to asbestos below which such exposure presented an “acceptable” risk, whereas earlier authorities which had not been before the court in Williams had raised doubts as to whether such a minimum level existed ’.
Where Judge Underhill and Moylan LJJ - state that, ‘To adopt the term “unacceptable” in the context of the risk of asbestos-related injury, on the basis that it meant the level of risk remaining after taking all proper precautions, might be misleading: it was important to split the question of foreseeability from the question of what precautions it was reasonable to take against the risk of asbestos exposure. Moreover, although the term “unacceptable” had been used in Williams, it was doubtful whether it formed part of the ratio (para.63)’ .
On what independent, verifiable and professional expert evidence are your conclusions made?
Could you therefore, please provide such independent expert verifiable evidence? To avoid any inferences or perceptions of misplaced assurances which may be perceived to be incompatible and/or subject to regulatory, civil and other legal requirements.

4. ‘We are due to commence the soil remediation works from 28th January 2019 and we will work in accordance with the methods statements approved by the relevant parties’. St James’s Sean Ellis, 18th Jan 2019

Response:
Why would a date for ‘remediation’ be set in stone especially so soon, just over a week, before the parties have met/agreed, verified the nature of the asbestos, its harm to human life, where it is specifically located, who/expert agency or party is doing the investigation/remediation and crucially what substances they are using, process followed and the extent to which it may be harmful to human life.?
As you rightfully acknowledge, this a community issue.
The proximate parties in that meeting who should be actively and meaningfully contacted, invited, or informed, should include:
The school, (parents, individual parents should be made aware, they walk, live, park and have children in the location), Blake court residents to share a fence and attached to Westbury garages(situs of demolition), shops, neighbours , heath brook estate, church opposite westbury,portslade road business at the site next where towers are .
As well as community leaders/groups like Clapham society, Clapham town labour ward (where Cllr Bray) is a member. So that well informed decisions are made.
Today being the 18th of January 2019, it’s impractical for those questions to be answered without parties meeting first. We ask you to stop the remedial date until a meeting has been held and those questions are verifiable and answered. We are dealing with potential irreversible harm to hundreds of people (on and in the proximity of Westbury), school, local businesses, postmen, and emergency service and bus stop users.
By virtue of this email, we are seeking intervention of Cllr Bray and the Lambeth monitoring officer (Alison Mckane), to that effect. Due to the seriousness of any potential irreparable and irreversible harm to human life if anything goes wrong in that process. Especially that we do not know the preliminary answers to all those questions above.
Would it be unreasonable for an inference to be raised that such an act would deepen the perception and suspicions of actions consistent with a ‘reckless disregard’ for residents’ and community lives and safety, given the harmful and irreversible nature of asbestos, when inhaled?
5. ‘St James has communicated through the Residents Association at Westbury Estate as well as the Residents Engagement Panel, to ensure the local community is aware of the planned works. St James will continue to communicate through these forums and we are liaising directly with Lambeth to provide ongoing communication to residents on the Estate, to answer any concerns they may have’. -St James’s Sean Ellis Email, 18th 01 2019@

Response:
The Chair of the Tenants Residents Association, former chair of Clapham residents association, former chair of the Lambeth leaseholders association, Founder Chair of Lambeth home owner's association (2015 to date concurrently), does not appear to have any evidence setting out the asbestos contamination related issues.
Please provide concrete evidence of that.
In the absence of that evidence, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that this raises a formal complaint due to the seriousness of the potential impact. Specifically against those concerned, such as (the site manager).
For emphasis and clarity, based on the past two interactions, on or around the 10th/14th of January 2019, there has been an irretrievable breakdown of trust in Mr Giles Enion.
For all the reasons forwarded to you in a separate note, as well as above.
We firmly but gently stress to you, that due to the potential impact to human life, there should obviously be no room for failure. Therefore, relations with the local community or constitutionally elected community representatives, who actually physically live on Westbury, must be civil, lawful and functional. Without any perceived inherent ‘superiority complex’ projected.
Your (st James’/Lambeth management) internal processes or actions are of course a matter for you. But when such actions appear to spill into our home or home environment in such a potentially irreversibly dangerous manner, is it unreasonable to lead to a breakdown of trust and insist that you take immediate lawful corrective steps to protect residents/community to restore a modicum of residual trust?(This applies to Lambeth as well).
Based on the two separate interactions with Mr Giles Enion, there is no doubt that such trust was irreparably exhausted. Fresh new management on Westbury (from St James) is required immediately for the immediate safety and protection of residents/community.
6. ‘It is important that communication to the local community is consistent and accurate. Therefore can you please direct your queries to Lambeth as landowner and St James as contractor, so we can ensure the communication to the wider community is accurate and consistent’. -St james’s Sean Ellis Email, 18th 01 2019@
Response:
We agree with the point about accuracy and transparency. We will continue to communicate as we have always done. Characteristically, there are delayed, vague or lack of meaningful responses, if provided.
But because the potential threat posed is also 'aerial' when asbestos is disturbed which affects an entire community, hence a public safety issue, which may be irreversible where harm is registered, we have a moral duty and imperative, without question, qualification or deference to inform the community and all potential stake holders. We will continue to do so as appropriate.

7. ‘I am aware that LB Lambeth are providing the local community with a newsletter update which you will receive and this will answer many of your queries. In addition to this I feel the most appropriate way forward would be for the St James’ Construction Team responsible for the first phase of Westbury to meet with you to provide the reassurance required on the works associated with the soil remediation’. St James’s Sean Ellis Email, 18th 01 2019.
Response:
We welcome that.
But we stress that although many families are at the centre of the construction site, where we stumbled upon Mr Giles Enion, early morning, preparing to reportedly hoard up residents’ immediate doors/windows, akin to a ‘secure facility’, for excavation/drilling or whatever he was preparing to do, this is a wider community issue. See emails from Andre Gordon et al to that effect, re starting of works, 2nd January 2019.
Please provide a written explanation as to why such works or construction would be started, at all without meaningful and multiple unambiguous active confirmed, unmitigated communication or information to ALL those concerned especially but not conclusively residents, neighbours and the school/parents?
Are there actions, to date which would warrant those responsible to be held accountable due to the nature of the potential irreversible harm to human life?
Please confirm what disciplinary actions both St James and Lambeth (Alison Mckane, monitoring officer) have taken to date in that regard due to the potential hazardous effect to human life?

8. ‘I have copied in Dean Summers who is the Managing Director, St James London South the division responsible for building the 64 homes on Westbury Estate. Dean will make contact with you directly to organise to meet before the soil remediation works commence. Just to clarify we would appreciate if you continue to raise any queries to the following people at Lambeth and St James;Andre Gordon – Lambeth [email address],Giles Enion – St James – Project Manager [email address],uk, 020 75010 2800, Paul Matthewman – St James – Construction Director,[email address].020 7501 2800’ -St james’s Sean Ellis Email, 18th 01 2019.
Response:
As a general step the next initial appropriate step, prior to any further activity, as we have always done (see attached YouTube video) is to call public meetings at Heath brook, where we have excellent relations with the Head teacher (Ben)

9. ‘Finally, I hope this demonstrates our commitment to ensure you have the relevant information in advance of any soil remediation works commencing and I can assure you we take Health and Safety extremely seriously at St James and this is our highest priority’. -St James’s Sean Ellis Email, 18th 01 2019.Kind Regards, Sean Ellis Chairman St James, St William & Berkeley Homes Eastern Counties
Response:
Thank you for your initial first step and we hope you continue to be engaged and protect resident’s lives, the lives of your workers and the community from any potential irreversible harm associated with asbestos contamination exposure due to works carried out by your company.
We will be communicating with some of the individuals you have mentioned and their supervisors/monitoring officers as appropriate. But also where/when necessary, to avoid, censorship, career self-preservation, miscommunication, its morally and legally proportionate for senior management or company directors to be informed of any potential irreversible harm to human life. As seen from their potentially ‘undefeatable’ legal duty to that effect,
For all the reasons stated, Mr Giles Enion will not be contacted again and there is no expectation for him to do the same under any circumstances. Such contact from him, per se will be deemed to amount to harassment under the Harassment Act 1997, causing alarm and distress, documented and reported to the appropriate authorities. For emphasis, he is included here as a formal due process notice.
Could you please provide where asbestos contamination is explicitly drawn to the attention of ALL concerned on or around Jan –March or at any other point, during the planning permission process?
Would they start construction related activity, drilling, excavation hoarding up people’s homes up to their front doors, for indeterminable periods, with the full and complete knowledge of asbestos contamination?
And residents/neighbours at the centre of the construction only find out by accident shortly before their homes are hoarded up?
Is that consistent with the regulations, statutes, criminal law and human rights?
For the council and ALL its Westbury paid contractor c/o Alison Mckane: Could you please confirm what steps, remedial and enforcement you have taken to protect residents’ immediate health, safety and wellbeing due to the exposure of asbestos contamination?
Cllrs Haseldene and Wellbelove (two local Cllrs we have not heard from yet about this issue, one of whom. Cllr Haseldene sits on planning committee) and especially the Housing and Regeneration Cllrs, Namely, Cllr Paul Gadsby and Matthew Bennett, respectively, can you please kindly confirm what you know/knew and did to ensure that under no circumstances should any resident, child or parent or shop keeper, post man, bus stop user/member of the public/teacher, with in the proximity of Westbury construction, is exposed to disturbed asbestos contamination?
Finally, if this was any of Lambeth’s and St James’ home (such as ’,’the site manager’ et al), family, child, spouse, community or home environment, would they behave in that manner?
Is it unreasonable to raise an inference or perception of being treated in a degrading manner?
I look forward to acknowledgement and further steps, especially arrangement of a public meeting BEFORE to ascertain, map , verify and AGREE the expertise, DANGER and process of the stated ‘ 28th January 2019’ remediation process’.
Kind regards
TRA Chair, Founder Chair of the Lambeth Home owners’s Association,Former Chair of Lambeth leaseholders as well as Clapham leaseholders Association

Yours faithfully,

West Bury

Jane Shields, Lambeth Borough Council

Information request
Our reference: IR268238

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Request details:  Freedom of Information request - Why are they still
hoarding up when we don't know where the Asbestos is and there has not
been an independent investigation to ascertain, where, the nature, harm
... .
 
We acknowledge receipt of your request for information that was received
on21 January 2019.

We are dealing with your request and aim to respond within 20 working
days, by 18 February 2019.
Thank you for your interest in Lambeth Council.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Sophie Thompson 
Freedom of Information Team
London Borough of Lambeth
E-mail: [Lambeth Borough Council request email]
website: www.lambeth.gov.uk
 
Lambeth - the co-operative council
 

centralteam, Lambeth Borough Council

Dear Sir / Madam

 

Thank you for your request received on 21 January 2019.  This request is
being handled under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). 
Please find below our response to the information you requested, which
was:

 

Dear Lambeth Borough Council,

 

Dear Sean

I hope all is well. Thank you for your email below.

Please see a response, comments, questions and observation below. Your
verbatim observations from your email, are in bold italics attributed to
your email of the 18th 01 2019.

Please also note that this is also concurrently addressed to the chief
legal officers of both Lambeth and St James for their ethical
responsibilities as Lawyers which are apparent. We expect specific
individual responses from them in relation to all these questions and
concerns.

 

To that end the solicitor regulation authority and equality commission is
included.

I also attach the due diligence questionnaire with specific questions, the
law, asbestos contamination danger and other questions/observations for
your immediate attention, due to the potential harmful nature of the
irreversible effect of asbestos contamination exposure to human life. In
this case, potentially hundreds of people due to the potential disturbance
effects and the spread of the asbestos  ‘fibres’ in the proximate aerial
radius.

 

Brief overview

 

In short, in addition to all the enumerated questions, we are asking that,
as reiterated by CLLR Bray’s email/s, no construction /construction
related activity, especially such as hoarding  or boxing in people, their
door steps, for indeterminate periods , by St James/Lambeth, until an
independent expert investigation, is conducted to determine the nature of
the asbestos contamination, surgical location of the asbestos
contamination, its harmful effects, guaranteed safety for residents,
school children parents, teachers, community ,mutually agreed process of
remediation and its potential harmful effects to all concerned including
workers, emergency services and post men.

That cannot conceivably meaningfully safely happen until a public meeting
is held with the invitation of all those concerned, in the presence of
Cllrs, local GPS/experts. Therefore, a unilateral date set by st
James/Lambeth of 28th of January 2019, without any shred of knowledge or
independent evidence to those critical questions to people’s lives, is
extremely worrying and arguably beyond reckless.

Why are they still hoarding up when we don’t know where the Asbestos is
and there has not been an independent investigation to ascertain, where,
the nature, harm or process of the Asbestos?

Contrary to the regulation, civil, criminal and human rights Law?

Is it the expediency of the construction of structures or the lives of
hundreds of people that is most important? 

Is it unreasonable to draw an inference that this would appear to be
impunity?

These questions are also directed to other contractors like Tibblads,
Metro work, Newman Francis, Catherine Make good, among others. 

•           In short, when and if they knew about asbestos contamination
and what they did about it. Followed by detailed questions.

Please note that these are associated with public body directly (Lambeth)
and its contractors, therefore, they are also, if in any doubt whatsoever,
are FOI (freedom of information) requests. 

The ICO (information commissioner) is copied to that effect.

Please forward answers to those questions. The seriousness of the issue
requires a swift response to those issues.

 

The issue

This is about the immediate, existing, current or future implications OR
DETRIMENTAL IMPACT/EFFECT to the health, wellbeing, and safety of hundreds
of people ON AND AROUND WESTBURY ESTATE SW8 3LP AND THE ASSOCIATED AERIAL
RADIUS .

 

Associated with vast protracted large scale construction over several or
many years, including and especially ABESTOS CONTAMINATION. The
detrimental interference in the peace and quiet enjoyment of people’s
lives by Lambeth and Stjames/contractors has been going on for almost over
two years. Including drilling, excavation on a bank holiday, fumes from
several stationery large vehicles at multiple occasions. And now Asbestos
contamination. 

Severe emotional distress to residents

Is it unreasonable to raise a question as to whether this is cumulatively
dangerous and no doubt naturally has both a short term and long term
impact on people’s wellbeing, health and safety?

On another note, sadly in the meantime, since regeneration, we have lost
Barbara Newman, Les Newman (RIP) TRA officers) and Faye (RIP). Barbara and
Les Newman lived together and died within months of each other. We
understand there are other elderly residents who are ill (not sure of the
illnesses and causes).

Barbara contacted me after Les’ passing to assist her in dealing with
certain matters. I contacted the council officer concerned (Chris Flynn)
who was very helpful. She attended our TRA meeting earlier last year. That
was the last time I saw her. Les/Barbara parked their car in the garages
at ilsley court. They had a daily /regular routine to Roehampton Asda.
When we spoke during those interactions, all they spoke about was
regeneration. Having lived on the estate for several decades.

In relation to the continued drilling/excavation for the last almost over
two years, the Lambeth individuals repeatedly contacted with proof of
videos, photos and emails are: Jed Young, Sue Foster, Lib Peck’s office,
Andrew Travers (CEO) and various Cllrs. In addition to resending them to
st James senior management and other contractors (Emails on record) a few
days ago or so.

It is NOT about the merits or lack thereof ‘regeneration’ per se.

 

There are approximately 264 homes on Westbury, Scores of homes on Blake
court, 1 st rule street flats, heath brook school, parents, teachers,
heath brook estate which shares a fence with the school, homes and
businesses and their customers between Silverthorne road(conservative
estimation) and Ports dale road, set rule street , a nursery, church,
children’s play grounds on/in heath brook park, heath brook park users(the
entire public), homes opposite/next to heath brook park/school and rail
workers as the depot which shares a fence with heath brook park.( see
aerial view of location).

 

‘The problem with asbestos

 

Asbestos and its uses

 

Asbestos is the name given to a group of six different fibrous minerals
(amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and the fibrous varieties of tremolite,
actinolite and anthophyllite), that occur naturally in the environment.

Asbestos minerals have separable, long fibres that are strong and flexible
enough to be spun and woven, and are fire and heat resistant. These
characteristics made asbestos a useful material in a wide range of
manufactured goods, mostly in building materials, where it provided
protection from heat, fire and sound. It was used extensively, for
example, in floor tiles, as insulation around pipes, for wall and ceiling
panels, roofing, and decorative plasters.

 

By the late 1960s, there was a growing awareness of the health problems
associated with asbestos and it is now recognised as one of the most
significant health hazards in the world.

 

Asbestos and the need for statutory regulation When asbestos is disturbed
or damaged, fibres are released into the air and, if inhaled, can lead to
lung and other diseases. In particular, people who are exposed to asbestos
have increased chances of getting two principal types of cancer: cancer of
the lung tissue itself and mesothelioma, a cancer of the thin membrane
that surrounds the lung and other internal organs. These diseases do not
generally develop immediately following exposure to asbestos but appear
after a delay of between 15 and 60 years.

 

It is now illegal to use any form of asbestos in the construction or
refurbishment of any buildings (see Regulations 25-28: Prohibitions). Much
of what was used in the past, however, is still in place, constituting a
significant health risk to all those involved in building, renovation or
maintenance work’.

The law

Specific Articles under Human Rights Act 1998/ECHR The rights protected by
ECtHR are 16 in total and can be Absolute, Limited or qualified as
referred to by Andrew Drzemczewski .Property rights fall in the qualified
category but are still human rights no lesser than any other human rights.

The most relevant articles relating to the compatibility of human rights
and property are:

•           Art 2(right to life).

•           Art 3(inhuman and degrading treatment)

•           Art. 1 of the 1st protocol ECHR. -Protection property, rights,
possessions,

•           Art 11(assembly), here refers to the repeated undermining of
the TRA/Residents Engagement suspension

•           Art 10(expression), Repeated undermining and side-lining or
suspension of residents engagement

•           Art 8 relates to the right to respect for a private, family
life, home, private life and correspondence

•           Art 6 an absolute right which deals with the right to a fair
speedy, expeditious, fair hearing/process,

•           Art 14: Prohibition of discrimination-equal access, treatment
in respect of other rights contained in HRA/.

 

PSED s149 EA2010

 

•           DCLG guidance states that, “All public sector acquiring
authorities are bound by the Public Sector Equality Duty as set out in
section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. In exercising their compulsory
purchase and related powers (e.g. powers of entry) these acquiring
authorities must have regard to the effect of any differential impacts on
groups with protected characteristics. For example, an important use of
compulsory purchase powers is to help regenerate run down areas.  Although
low income is not a protected characteristic it is not uncommon for people
from ethnic minorities, the elderly or people with a disability to be
overrepresented in low income groups.

 

•           As part of the Public Sector Equality Duty, acquiring
authorities must have due regard to the need to promote equality of
opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic
and persons who do not share it. 

 

•           This might mean that the acquiring authority devises a process
which promotes equality of opportunity by addressing particular problems
that people with certain protected characteristics might have (e.g. making
sure that documents are accessible for people with sight problems or
learning difficulties and that people have access to advocates or advice”.

 

Race as a factor among others in respect of Lambeth -see reports below?

Please see below for teachable references , general scholarly, government
and academic references to Race , racism in housing.

Based on documented events, studies and lived experiences, is it
unreasonable to raise a perception that race is a factor in the demeaning,
dehumanising and degrading way, residents have been treated by various
institutions at a structural level, over the course of home
confiscations/’regeneration’ on Westbury SW8 3LP by Lambeth council ?

With respect to Lambeth per se, Unison survey results resonate with that
perception as well as the apparent ‘admission ’ to that effect, by CEO
Andrew Travers.

•          
[1]http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2018/10/lambe...

•          
[2]http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2018/10/lambe...

•          
[3]https://www.runnymedetrust.org/projects-...

•            
[4]https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.serv...

•          
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

•          
[6]https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/upl...

•          
[7]https://www.theguardian.com/housing-netw...

•          
[8]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/o...

 

Environmental law, regulation and enforcement

 

‘The Environment Agency (EA) (in Wales, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is
the main body responsible for issuing permits and enforcement, although in
some cases the local authority (LA) carries out these functions (see box,
The regulatory authorities) .

Environmental liability can arise under :

•           Criminal law.

•           Civil law.

•           Public or administrative law.

•           Company law.

Regulatory authorities

HSE, EVA, local authorities etc.

 

Criminal law

The sanction for breach of most environmental laws (that is, the
unauthorised or harmful deposit of waste, illegal discharges to air, land
and water) is prosecution of an individual or company by the relevant
regulator in the criminal courts. The maximum penalties are usually as
follows:

•           Lower courts: GB£50,000 and/or six months’ imprisonment.
Unlimited fine for offences committed after 12 March 2015. Legislation has
long been in place to increase the maximum term of imprisonment to 12
months but, as yet, this change has not been brought into force

•           Higher courts: unlimited fine and/or five years’ imprisonment.

Company directors and officers can be prosecuted if the criminal offence
was committed with their consent or connivance, or was attributable to
their neglect.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 were passed
in May 2012. It provides that wherever a statute or common law offence
could result in a fine of GB£5,000 or more (the current amount established
as level five on the standard scale), magistrates can now apply a fine of
any amount (that is, unlimited).

In July 2014, the Independent Sentencing Council issued guidelines for
sentencing those found guilty of environmental crimes. The guidelines
introduce a 12 step sentencing process for organisations intended to
reduce inconsistencies in sentencing and ensure that sentences match the
seriousness of the offence, the harm caused, the culpability and will seek
to remove any gain realised through commission of the offence. In
particular, “starting points” for sentences will distinguish between:

 

•           Micro companies (annual turnover up to GB£2 million).

•           Small companies (annual turnover of between GB£2 million and
GB£10 million).

•           Medium companies (annual turnover of between GB£10million and
GB£50 million).

•           Large companies (annual turnover of GB£50 million and over).

•           Very large companies (annual turnover very greatly exceeds the
GB£50 million threshold). The Sentencing Guidelines has stated that it may
be necessary to consider an out-of-range starting point for sentencing.

The first case to be considered under the guidelines was R v Thames Water
Utilities Ltd [2015] EWCA Crim 960. The Court of Appeal suggested that
fines in the millions of pounds would be appropriate for serious
environmental offences stating that fines must be high enough to send a
strong message to company directors and shareholders about their
environmental obligations. The Court made a direct comparison with fines
applied to financial services market regulation breaches finding that,
where harm has been caused by deliberate action or inaction, fines equal
to a substantial percentage (up to 100%) of the company’s pre-tax net
profit for the relevant year could be imposed, even if this results in
fines in excess of GB£100 million. Analogous guidelines came into effect
in February 2016 in relation to health and safety offences, and corporate
manslaughter (among other areas).

 

Civil law

Private persons can bring civil law claims for harm caused by
environmental matters, usually under the common law of nuisance or
negligence (see Question 17). Claims are usually for damages, but the
courts can also grant an injunction.

Public or administrative law

Regulators can serve enforcement notices on operators requiring them to
rectify breaches of environmental law. Failure to comply with enforcement
notices can constitute a criminal offence. In some cases, regulators can
shut down an operator’s activities until the breach has been rectified.

 

Third parties, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), can
challenge the validity of a public authority’s decision through judicial
review and have an express right to request that regulators take action if
either:

•          Environmental damage is occurring.

•           There is an imminent threat of environmental damage.

Company law

Company law imposes a duty on directors to promote the company’s success
for the benefit of its members as a whole, taking into account the effect
of the company’s operations on the community and the environment. If a
director breaches this duty, shareholders may be able to bring a
derivative action on behalf of the company against the director, even if
he has not benefitted from the breach.

Regulatory enforcement

The Environment Agency (EA) (as the principal regulator) takes its
enforcement powers very seriously. …For example, the EA or the local
authority (LA) must serve a remediation notice if it finds land to be
contaminated, unless remediation can be carried out voluntarily. The EA
therefore tends to prioritise the more serious breaches and recurring
breaches.

The Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 provides for a number of
forms of civil sanction to be used by certain regulators, instead of
immediate reliance on criminal prosecution. These penalties include:

 

•           Fixed or variable monetary penalties.

•           Compliance notices.

•           Restoration notices.

•           Stop notices.

•           Enforcement undertakings.

Civil sanctions can currently be imposed in relation to certain regulatory
regimes (such as waste packaging) and the EA is able to agree enforcement
undertakings as a civil sanction for environmental permitting offences .

 

Response to Sean Ellis’s email of the 18th 01.2019 to Westbury Chair

 

1.         ’As part of the soil remediation works there is a requirement
to remove some asbestos that was highlighted during previous site
investigations’ St James’s  Sean Ellis, Email, 18th 01 2019.

Response to Sean Ellis:

There appears to be no evidence, at present, which appears to suggest that
this was known to the TRA/Chair, workers, residents and all concerned
parties, spoken to face to face.

In fact on or around the 10th and 14th of January 2019, when an individual
who identified himself as Mr Giles Enion, a site manager, was repeatedly
asked, he did not disclose any evidence.

Additionally, while at 7 Fovant court, on the morning of the 14th 01/2019,
he repeatedly told me to leave, went and opened the door, insisting that I
leave,(in the presence of other workers one of whom who was wearing a st
William jumper/tracksuit top-'Michael', a white male of around 5'6 ft.).
‘Micheal’, the St William individual above, initially twice or three times
tried to block my entrance in no 7 Fovant court, by physically standing in
front of me, in whatever direction I took. That was the initial shock by
the actions of your employees, they told me to go to ‘google’ or words to
that effect and search documents related to Westbury Asbestos
contamination.

To date none of them or anyone else, including from your office has
provided that information.  We need that information immediately. There
was a real sense of physical alarm and distress towards my person, due to
his actions. He kept referring to ‘my voice’, at times appearing to
banging the table when assertively but peacefully asked repeated questions
regarding harm to people’s health.

It was stated that there would be an audio /visual record all these
actions and conversations and he shouted, banging the table repeatedly, in
what felt like a threatening tone, that I should not record him.

I told him I don’t need permission  from him to video a
meeting/interaction in a public related environment  and in any case I
have the right to record my own conversation or at the very least this
should have  minutes( I later made a noted immediately after this
interaction which I sent to you et al). He repeated his behaviour and
stood up walking towards the door or towards me. That’s when the
individual ‘Michael’ came out of the ‘kitchen in a slightly different tone
for a while.

In light of the above, please immediately provide ALL INFORMATION about
these asbestos findings. Namely who did them, when, what was found and
what they did with the findings.

 

2.         ‘As Councillor Linda Bray advised in her response to you ‘it is
not unusual for contaminated land to be found when construction work is
carried out.’ There is a clear process for dealing with such
contamination, the process and an approval have been followed to date and
is ongoing’. St James’s Sean Ellis, Email, 18th 01 2019.

Response:

As residents of Lambeth, London, especially in the tragic backdrop of
Grenfell, we understand the immense risks posed to residents/community in
a giant, protracted construction site for several years possibly decades
(already almost five years down the road). That is why for years and
during the planning permission hearings/cabinet decisions and various
calls in Lambeth we have repeatedly called for verifiable independent
assessments and protection. To date there we don’t appear to have any
evidence to suggest that such measures have been implemented .

Please provide evidence of what the process is and the process that has
been 'followed or is ongoing'.

3.         ‘There is no immediate risk to the health and safety of the
local community’. - St James’s Sean Ellis email 18th 01 2019.

Response:

The key phrases here used are ‘immediate’ and ‘local community’.

What is meant by ‘immediate’? A day, a week, a year, five years, ten
years, fifteen, twenty , thirty(years). Please provide medical expert
evidence to support this claim/ assertion.

What is meant by ‘local community’? Families/homes at the immediate situs,
metres away, in the towers, or 1000metres, a kilo metre, what exact
distance?

 

Please be specific with supporting medical and /or expert evidence.

Please see the attached asbestos related risks and the period it may take
to discover the danger in the human body. Please refer/ see, ‘inter alia’,
medical journal, HSE and Environmental Agency.

We would also point out to the recent House of Lords legal ruling that
makes reference to the wrongful conclusion by a lower court judge, of
there being ‘no minimum risk’ to the exposure of asbestos contamination .

The synopsis of the case is that:

‘A judgment dismissing a fatal accidents claim based on mesothelioma
contracted at work was overturned and remitted for rehearing on the issue
of liability. The judge had been wrong to treat Williams v University of
Birmingham [2011] EWCA Civ 1242, [2012] E.L.R. 47, [2011] 10 WLUK 817 as
determinative on the basis that there was a minimum level of exposure to
asbestos below which such exposure presented an “acceptable” risk, whereas
earlier authorities which had not been before the court in Williams had
raised doubts as to whether such a minimum level existed ’.

Where Judge Underhill and Moylan LJJ - state that, ‘To adopt the term
“unacceptable” in the context of the risk of asbestos-related injury, on
the basis that it meant the level of risk remaining after taking all
proper precautions, might be misleading: it was important to split the
question of foreseeability from the question of what precautions it was
reasonable to take against the risk of asbestos exposure. Moreover,
although the term “unacceptable” had been used in Williams, it was
doubtful whether it formed part of the ratio (para.63)’ .

On what independent, verifiable and professional expert evidence are your
conclusions made?

Could you therefore, please provide such independent expert verifiable
evidence? To avoid any inferences or perceptions of misplaced assurances
which may be perceived to be incompatible and/or subject to regulatory,
civil and other legal requirements. 

 

4.         ‘We are due to commence the soil remediation works from 28th
January 2019 and we will work in accordance with the methods statements
approved by the relevant parties’. St James’s  Sean Ellis, 18th Jan 2019

 

Response: 

Why would a date for ‘remediation’ be set in stone especially so soon,
just over a week, before the parties have met/agreed, verified the nature
of the asbestos, its harm to human life, where it is specifically located,
who/expert agency or party is doing the investigation/remediation and
crucially what substances they are using, process followed and the extent
to which it may be harmful to human life.?

As you rightfully acknowledge, this a community issue.

The proximate parties in that meeting who should be actively and
meaningfully contacted, invited, or informed, should include:

The school, (parents, individual parents should be made aware, they walk,
live, park and have children in the location), Blake court residents to
share a fence and attached to Westbury garages(situs of demolition),
shops, neighbours , heath brook estate, church opposite westbury,portslade
road business at the site next where towers are .

As well as community leaders/groups like Clapham society, Clapham town
labour ward (where Cllr Bray) is a member. So that well informed decisions
are made.

Today being the 18th of January 2019, it’s impractical for those questions
to be answered without parties meeting first. We ask you to stop the
remedial date until a meeting has been held and those questions are
verifiable and answered. We are dealing with potential irreversible harm
to hundreds of people (on and in the proximity of Westbury), school, local
businesses, postmen, and emergency service and bus stop users.

By virtue of this email, we are seeking intervention of Cllr Bray and the
Lambeth monitoring officer (Alison Mckane), to that effect. Due to the
seriousness of any potential irreparable and irreversible harm to human
life if anything goes wrong in that process. Especially that we do not
know the preliminary answers to all those questions above.

Would it be unreasonable for an inference to be raised that such an act
would deepen the perception and suspicions of actions consistent with a
‘reckless disregard’ for residents’ and community lives and safety, given
the harmful and irreversible nature of asbestos, when inhaled?

5.         ‘St James has communicated through the Residents Association at
Westbury Estate as well as the Residents Engagement Panel, to ensure the
local community is aware of the planned works. St James will continue to
communicate through these forums and we are liaising directly with Lambeth
to provide ongoing communication to residents on the Estate, to answer any
concerns they may have’. -St James’s  Sean Ellis Email, 18th 01 2019@

 

Response: 

The Chair of the Tenants Residents Association, former chair of Clapham
residents association, former chair of the Lambeth leaseholders
association, Founder Chair of Lambeth home owner's association (2015 to
date concurrently), does not appear to have any evidence setting out the
asbestos contamination related issues.

Please provide concrete evidence of that.

In the absence of that evidence, it would not be unreasonable to conclude
that this raises a formal complaint due to the seriousness of the
potential impact. Specifically against those concerned, such as (the site
manager).

For emphasis and clarity, based on the past two interactions, on or around
the 10th/14th of January 2019, there has been an irretrievable breakdown
of trust in Mr Giles Enion.

For all the reasons forwarded to you in a separate note, as well as above.

We firmly but gently stress to you, that due to the potential impact to
human life, there should obviously be no room for failure. Therefore,
relations with the local community or constitutionally elected community
representatives, who actually physically live on Westbury, must be civil,
lawful and functional.  Without any perceived inherent ‘superiority
complex’ projected.

Your (st James’/Lambeth management) internal processes or actions are of
course a matter for you. But when such actions appear to spill into our
home or home environment in such a potentially irreversibly dangerous
manner, is it unreasonable to lead to a breakdown of trust and insist that
you take immediate lawful corrective steps to protect residents/community
to restore a modicum of residual trust?(This applies to Lambeth as well).

Based on the two separate interactions with Mr Giles Enion, there is no
doubt that such trust was irreparably exhausted.  Fresh new management on
Westbury (from St James) is required immediately for the immediate safety
and protection of residents/community.

6.         ‘It is important that communication to the local community is
consistent and accurate. Therefore can you please direct your queries to
Lambeth as landowner and St James as contractor, so we can ensure the
communication to the wider community is accurate and consistent’. -St
james’s  Sean Ellis Email, 18th 01 2019@

Response: 

We agree with the point about accuracy and transparency. We will continue
to communicate as we have always done.  Characteristically, there are 
delayed, vague or lack of meaningful responses, if provided.

But because the potential threat posed is also 'aerial' when asbestos is
disturbed which affects an entire community, hence a public safety issue,
which may be irreversible where harm is registered, we have a moral duty
and imperative, without question, qualification or deference to inform the
community and all potential stake holders. We will continue to do so as
appropriate.

 

7.         ‘I am aware that LB Lambeth are providing the local community
with a newsletter update which you will receive and this will answer many
of your queries. In addition to this I feel the most appropriate way
forward would be for the St James’ Construction Team responsible for the
first phase of Westbury to meet with you to provide the reassurance
required on the works associated with the soil remediation’. St James’s
Sean Ellis Email, 18th 01 2019.

Response:

We welcome that.

But we stress  that although many families are at the centre of the
construction site, where we stumbled upon Mr Giles Enion, early morning,
preparing to reportedly hoard up residents’ immediate doors/windows, akin
to a ‘secure facility’, for  excavation/drilling or whatever he was
preparing to do, this is a wider community issue.  See emails from Andre
Gordon et al to that effect, re starting of works, 2nd January 2019.

Please provide a written explanation as to why such works or construction
would be started, at all without meaningful and multiple unambiguous
active confirmed, unmitigated communication or information to ALL those
concerned especially but not conclusively residents, neighbours and the
school/parents?

Are there actions, to date which would warrant those responsible to be
held accountable due to the nature of the potential irreversible harm to
human life?

Please confirm what disciplinary actions both St James and Lambeth (Alison
Mckane, monitoring officer) have taken to date in that regard due to the
potential hazardous effect to human life?

 

8.         ‘I have copied in Dean Summers who is the Managing Director, St
James London South the division responsible for building the 64 homes on
Westbury Estate.  Dean will make contact with you directly to organise to
meet before the soil remediation works commence. Just to clarify we would
appreciate if you continue to raise any queries to the following people at
Lambeth and St James;Andre Gordon – Lambeth
[9][email address],Giles Enion – St James – Project Manager
[10][email address],uk, 020 75010 2800, Paul Matthewman – St James
– Construction Director,[email address].020 7501 2800’ -St
james’s  Sean Ellis Email, 18th 01 2019.

Response:

As a general step the next initial appropriate step, prior to any further
activity, as we have always done (see attached YouTube video)  is to call
public meetings at Heath brook, where we have excellent relations with the
Head teacher (Ben)

 

9.         ‘Finally, I hope this demonstrates our commitment to ensure you
have the relevant information in advance of any soil remediation works
commencing and I can assure you we take Health and Safety extremely
seriously at St James and this is our highest priority’. -St James’s  Sean
Ellis Email, 18th 01 2019.Kind Regards, Sean Ellis Chairman St James, St
William & Berkeley Homes Eastern Counties

Response:

Thank you for your initial first step and we hope you continue to be
engaged and protect resident’s lives, the lives of your workers and the
community from any potential irreversible harm associated with asbestos
contamination exposure due to works carried out by your company.

We will be communicating with some of the individuals you have mentioned
and their supervisors/monitoring officers as appropriate. But also
where/when necessary, to avoid, censorship, career self-preservation,
miscommunication, its  morally and legally proportionate for senior
management or company directors to be informed of any potential
irreversible harm to human life. As seen from their potentially
‘undefeatable’ legal duty to that effect, For all the reasons stated, Mr
Giles Enion will not be contacted again and there is no expectation for
him to  do the same  under any circumstances. Such contact from him, per
se will be deemed to amount to harassment under the Harassment Act 1997,
causing alarm and distress, documented and reported to the appropriate
authorities. For emphasis, he is included here as a formal due process
notice.

Could you please provide where asbestos contamination is explicitly drawn
to the attention of ALL concerned on or around Jan –March or at any other
point, during the planning permission process?

Would they start construction related activity, drilling, excavation
hoarding up people’s homes up to their front doors, for indeterminable
periods, with the full and complete knowledge of asbestos contamination?

And residents/neighbours at the centre of the construction only find out
by accident shortly before their homes are hoarded up?

Is that consistent with the regulations, statutes, criminal law and human
rights?

For the council and ALL its Westbury paid contractor c/o Alison Mckane:
Could you please confirm what steps, remedial and enforcement you have
taken to protect residents’ immediate health, safety and wellbeing due to
the exposure of asbestos contamination?

Cllrs Haseldene and Wellbelove (two local Cllrs we have not heard from yet
about this issue, one of whom. Cllr Haseldene sits on planning committee)
and especially the Housing and Regeneration Cllrs, Namely, Cllr Paul
Gadsby and Matthew Bennett, respectively, can you please kindly confirm
what you know/knew and did to ensure that under no circumstances should
any resident, child or parent or shop keeper, post man, bus stop
user/member of the public/teacher, with in the proximity of Westbury
construction, is exposed to disturbed asbestos contamination?

Finally, if this was any of Lambeth’s and St James’ home (such as ’,’the
site manager’ et al), family, child, spouse, community or home
environment, would they behave in that manner?

Is it unreasonable to raise an inference or perception of being treated in
a degrading manner?

I look forward to acknowledgement and further steps, especially
arrangement of a public meeting BEFORE  to ascertain, map , verify and
AGREE the expertise, DANGER  and process of the stated ‘ 28th January
2019’ remediation process’.

Kind regards

TRA Chair, Founder Chair of the Lambeth Home owners’s Association,Former
Chair of Lambeth leaseholders as well as Clapham leaseholders Association

 

Yours faithfully,

 

West Bury

 

 

Our Response

 

We consider that the EIR is the correct legislation for this response.

 

We note that Section 2(EIR) defines Environmental Information as follows:-

 

Environmental Information has the same meaning as in Article 2(1) of the
Directive, namely any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or
any other material form on—

 

a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and
atmosphere, water,soil, land, landscape and natural sites including
wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its
components, including genetically modified organisms, and the interaction
among these elements;

 

b) factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste,
including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into
the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the
environment referred to in (a);

 

c) measures (including administrative measures), such as policies,
legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities
affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors referred to in (a)
and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those
elements;

 

(d) reports on the implementation of environmental legislation;

 

(e) cost-benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within
the framework of the measures and activities referred to in (c); and

 

(f) the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of
the food chain, where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites
and built structures inasmuch as they are or may be affected by the state
of the elements of the environment referred to in (a) or, through those
elements, by any of the matters referred to in (b) and (c);

 

Regulation 12 (4)(b): Manifestly Unreasonable

 

We cannot comply with this request as we consider that it is manifestly
unreasonable in accordance with Regulation 12 (4) (b) EIR.

 

We consider that this Regulation applies due to the amount of time it
would take us to collate information to respond to the request and the
burden the request places on our authority.

 

We note the Commissioner’s position, as explained by the [11]East Devon
District Council case at paragraph 17:-

 

The EIR differ from the FOIA in that no specific limit is set on the
amount of work required by an authority to respond to a request as
provided by section 12 of the FOIA. The Freedom of Information and Data
Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 (the fees
regulations) which apply in relation to section 12 of the FOIA are not
directly relevant to the EIR - the cost limit and hourly rate set by the
fees regulations do not apply in relation to environmental information.
However, the Commissioner accepts that the fees regulations provide a
useful starting point where the reason for citing regulation 12(4)(b) is
the time and cost of a request but they are not a determining factor in
assessing whether the exception applies.

 

The Fees Regulations used by FOIA explains that the Council can refuse to
comply with a request if the cost of compliance will exceed the
Appropriate Limit under section 12. The limit is currently set at £450
which is the equivalent to 18 hours at £25 per hour.

 

We can also consider the time it would take our team to review the
information and apply any relevant exceptions. We consider it would be
likely that the following exception: Regulation 13: Personal Data may also
be applicable as it is not our intention to release information which may
lead to the identification of residents, customers and / or junior
employees.

 

The definition of personal data is set out in provision 3 of the Data
Protection Act 2018 as follows:-

 

(2)“Personal data” means any information relating to an identified or
identifiable living individual

 

(3)“Identifiable living individual” means a living individual who can be
identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to—

 

(a)an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data
or an online identifier, or

 

(b)one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic,
mental, economic, cultural or social identity of the individual.

 

From our preliminary assessment, we estimate that to retrieve, collate,
redact and comply with your request would exceed the appropriate costs
limit under Regulation 12 (4) (b) EIR.

 

Public Interest in Disclosure

 

We note that Regulation 12 (2) has a presumption of disclosure.

 

We also note that this matter is likely to be of interest to the local
community.

 

Information relating to this matter has already been published via:-

 

[12]http://estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk...

 

[13]https://planning.lambeth.gov.uk/online-a...

 

 

Public Interest in maintaining the exception

 

We consider that compiling a response to this request would be a
significant diversion of resources which would not be in the public
interest as it may disrupt other decision-making or other workloads. It is
not in the public interest to divert officer’s attention from their core
work in order that we respond to a request made by one individual which
may have limited wider public interest.

 

We also consider that information has been published via the above
web-links and that information will continue to be published online as
appropriate. This meets the public interest in providing information
relating to this site.

 

We consider overall that the public interest in maintaining the exception
outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

 

Should you wish to redefine or shorten your request then please resubmit
another request to us and we will consider if we can respond.

 

Right to Review

 

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your Environmental
Information Regulations request has been dealt with you can request an
internal review.  Tell us why you are unhappy with our response within 40
working days, and it will be looked at afresh. We will aim to provide you
with our review response within 20 working days.

 

By email: [14][Lambeth Borough Council request email] (Please quote the reference number above)
or by writing to:

 

Freedom of Information
London Borough of Lambeth

P.O. Box 734

Winchester

S023 5DG

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the review you have a
further right to appeal to the Information Commissioner, which regulates
the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.  The Commissioner
can be contacted at the following address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Enquiry line: 0303 123 1113

 

Website: [15]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

Thank you for your interest in Lambeth Council.

 

 

Corporate Complaints Unit

London Borough of Lambeth

Finance and Resources Department

Team Tel:  020 7926 0547

Website: [16]www.lambeth.gov.uk

 

 

If you have received this in error please delete all content and notify
the sender immediately.

 

Copyright

 

Some of the information that we provide in response to Freedom of
Information Act 2000 requests will be subject to copyright protection. In
most cases the copyright will be owned by Lambeth Council.

 

Applications for permission to reproduce extracts in published works,
should be made to the Freedom of Information Co-ordinator, London Borough
of Lambeth, P.O. Box 734, Winchester, S023 5DG.  Email:
[17][Lambeth Borough Council request email]

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own non-commercial
research or private study purposes. The information may also be used for
any other purpose allowed by a limitation or exception in copyright law,
such as news reporting.

 

However, any other type of re-use, for example by publishing the
information in analogue or digital form, including on the internet, will
require the permission of the copyright owner.

 

The copyright in other information may be owned by another person or
organisation, is indicated on the information itself.  For information
where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation you must
apply to the copyright owner to obtain their permission.

 

Direct Marketing

 

If an organisation intends to use personal names and addresses from what
has been supplied to you for direct marketing, the organisation needs to
be registered with the Information Commissioner to process Personal Data
for this purpose.

 

Organisations must also check that the individual (whom you wish to
contact for direct marketing purposes) is not registered with one of the
Preference Services to prevent Direct Marketing, if they are you must
adhere to this Preference. Follow this Link [https://ico.org.uk/] for more
information. 

 

[18]Sign up for email updates about Empire Windrush celebrations at:
www.lambeth.gov.uk/empirewindrush

 

"This email (and/or attachments) may contain information that is legally
privileged.  If you have received this in error please delete all content
and notify the sender immediately."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2018/10/lambe...
2. http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2018/10/lambe...
3. https://www.runnymedetrust.org/projects-...
4. https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.serv...
5. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
6. https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/upl...
7. https://www.theguardian.com/housing-netw...
8. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/o...
9. mailto:[email address],giles
10. mailto:[email address],uk
11. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
12. http://estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk...
13. https://planning.lambeth.gov.uk/online-a...
14. mailto:[Lambeth Borough Council request email]
mailto:[Lambeth Borough Council request email]
15. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
16. http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/
17. mailto:[Lambeth Borough Council request email]
18. http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/empirewindrush

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