After writing to councillors, MP and THH, to alert them to design features of the new doors, THH have now confirmed that they will speak with AD about options. Our local Member of Parliament Rushanara Ali has also confirmed she is supporting this issue.
Thanks to the swift actioning of the problem with door replacements, a building insprector came to see me today and explained that those doors, which were installed roughtly 10 years ago around our estate were made by Masterdor, the same company that supplied doors to Grenfell Tower, which were found to fail the fire safety test.
That, of course,is a very good reason to change our doors according to government advice.
Luckily the inspector was very interested in Residents’ safety and promised me to look into the problem with letterboxes. I mentioned to him the problems residents have in the blocks near the Regents canal and he will look into this early next week.
I have been offered an appointment to see the new doors and visit the site office of the company installing them.
Through the chat we had I learned that the new doors by default do not automatically lock when closing and I was very concerned about this.
I have been told that anybody has to request a self-locking lock on the door. A door that doesn’t automatically lock when it closes will give an extra opportunity for a thief to come in. Many people forget to lock doors. I said that all doors should have self-locking mechanisms unless specifically requested and not the other way around.
Please see an up-date to this post here.
Today I need to express concerns about the latest door replacement program carried out by the housing provider Tower Hamlets Homes.
All tenants have been offered those doors and currently I am trying to ascertain whether tenants are going to be forced to have those new doors or get threatened with loss of tenancy if they don’t.
The door replacements are taking place on a frequent basis. We’ve had 3 in as many decades.
Firstly we had those chest-nut brown wooden doors with brass letter slits and door knockers. The chestnut door frames are still around most blocks.
Please scroll through the images to compare the quality of the doors.
Secondly – see on your left, and less than a decade ago tenants had new fire-proof and police approved security doors installed. Those doors have a triple secure letter box with inside and outside strong letter flaps. The doors are metal lined and have multi-lock mechanisms. They are also very heavy.
Now, we have received another program of door replacments. Those new doors are already installed for tenants in the blocks around the Regents Canal – Sewardstone Road and I am very concerned about their quality.
Cleland, Goodrich, Kemp and Piggott houses have the doors below.
When I recently handed out leaflets all around the estate I notice the flimsy letter boxes on those new doors. There is a thin pin going across the outside of the letterbox and on that hangs a letter box flap.
Unfortunately on many doors the flap has fallen off. This leaves the door without any flap and there is a brush-type fender across the inside of the letterbox, with no letter flap on the inside of the door. Here both the letter flap and the pin holding has already come off.
There is very little to stop a fire from coming out through those doors’ letter boxes.
It is beyond my understanding how Tower Hamlets Homes can describe those doors as fire-proof.
I have placed an enquiry with Tower Hamlets Homes asking whether tenants will be forced to have those low quality new doors.
The latest Parkview TRA leaflet promises the installation of a community kitchen in the Glasshouse.
I am writing to the Tower Hamlets Homes, Community Partnership Officer as we speak to ascertain that a proper Health and Safety Risk Assessment has been carried out according to HSE requirements.
Also other questions need to be asked
- Was there a risk assessment according to HSE requirements?
- who is qualified to staff the kitchen?
- who is the first aider?
- who is the fire marshall?
- is there an accident book to record all accidents?
- Are the rules of the Food Standards Agency been followed?
- Was there a consultation off all affected included Gatehouse school?
After careful consideration I do not support but oppose the project because there is an increased fire risk from having a large cooking facility in the immediate vicinity of a school and that cooking facility will not have permanent staff but will be operated by random persons. It is not known what the qualificatoins of those persons will be.
Should any fire break out in the community kitchen it most likely will result in the school having to be evacuated for the sake of the safety of the children.
I’ve been informed that Tower Hamlets Council supports the installation of the Community Kitchen, I requested that they consult also with the school about this, as it is direclty next door and will be affected by problems with the increased fire risk.
I won’t be complaining about the community kitchen, but I made my reservations known. I will not be using it, I think it’s quite risky. But I suppose everybody will use it at their own peril if they wish.
Took the opportunity to go on an estate walkabout with some landscaping gardeners from Tower Hamlets Homes.
The weeds certainly have a good time on the estate. But the weeds not only show a failure to remove them, they also show that the concrete forecourts, staircases, fences are rotting. The crumbling appearance of our estate is worrying.
Picture 1 shows how an Umbrella tree sapling in Sewardstone Road, it should be removed at this stage. Better still if the Umbrella trees get removed we do not have those constant saplings appearing. The state of the concrete is appalling, also the iron work is rusted and has been painted over in black glossy paint, whilst it is rotting underneath. The forecourt at Kemp House is full of weeds and the concrete is a mass of crumbling conrete. The stairs at Rosebery show that at least the weeds stand nice and tall as soldiers along the stairs
A birch tree sapling on the stair entrance of Pyggott House. This is against building regulations to have tree saplings growing on houses but it at least shows that Tower Hamlets Homes has taken great care to renovate the external window frames but unfortunately the other pictures also show that the rest of the estate is not being maintained.
Apparently landscape gardeneres are instructed not to remove saplings unless absolutely necessary. It is absolutely necessary to remove the birch from Pyggott House.
There is an enormous tree canopy along Rosebery House. The two umbrella trees there are responsible for all the saplings along the street.
The argument was made that umbrella trees are considered as pretty. They may be pretty if they are visible but along Rosebery House, all we see under the dark canopy are the tree trunks and some leaves.
Unfortunately the large trees within the boundary of the estate take away all the light from residents.
I want to point out that it really depends on the desire of the residents how well the estate is kept. I have not seen any other estate in the area that has such a dense plant growth. Going across the park over the Hackney I see all the estates looking neat and orderly, well-trimmed and maintained. Even other estates within Tower Hamlets are better maintained.
In conclusion, we only should have as many plants as we can maintain responsibly and the maintenance of structure and concrete and fencing obviously is more important than the constant planting of even more plants on the estate.