Camden Council pledges £100k for Chalcots Estate residents following urgent evacuation


Camden Council has set aside £100,000 to pay for food, drinks and essential items for the thousands of residents evacuated from their homes over fire safety fears.

The council has already spent £500,000 on hotel rooms after more than 3,000 people were forced to leave their homes amid concerns over the cladding used on the buildings.

It has offered to reimburse those who paid for their own temporary accommodation but Council leader Georgia Gould urged them to stay with family and friends if possible.

On Saturday night, some residents were still refusing to vacate their homes.

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Up to 3000 people were evacuated from the tower blocks (EPA)

One resident, Belinda, told the BBC she would not be evacuating “because we think it’s unnecessary and some don’t know what they will do with their pets.”

“They know they can’t force us to leave without legal documents which will take them time to put together,” she added.

Cllr Gould said she did not want to have to resort to finding methods of forcing people out of their homes.

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Urgent: Camden Council leader Georgia Gould ordered the evacuation on Friday night (AP)

“There are various legal routes that Camden Council could explore to require people to leave their homes – however, we really don’t want to do this,” she said.

And in a video posted on Camden Council’s Twitter feed, Bob O’Toole, the chair of the Chalcots Estate tenants and residents’ association, said: “Nobody’s going to be forced to leave and nobody’s going to be dragged out kicking and screaming.

“Camden Council will appeal to their common sense, if possible, to leave the building for their own safety.

Chalcots Estate resident accosts Camden Leader Georgia Gould

“The quicker we get the buildings clear, the quicker we get the workers in here and get the work done.”

Camden became the first local authority to order a mass evacuation of buildings following the Grenfell Tower tragedy which left 79 people dead.

And on Saturday the Government revealed that 34 high-rise blocks in 17 different areas of the UK was made with cladding found to have failed fire safety checks.

Notting Hill Grenfell Tower Fire – In pictures

London Fire Brigade carried out an inspection on the buildings in Chalcots Estate on Friday.

Following the inspection, a brigade spokesman said: “London Fire Brigade inspecting officers identified concerns relating to services that have been run through compartment walls leading to possible breaches in the building’s ability to stop fire spreading.

“There were also concerns that some fire doors in the building are not working as they should, meaning that in the event of a fire it could spread to other parts of the building.

“These issues are in addition to the now widely understood concerns regarding external cladding.”

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Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/camden-council-pledges-100k-for-chalcots-estate-residents-following-urgent-evacuation-a3572541.html

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