London Riots and Building Security: Open letter to Stonedale

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London Riots and Building Security: Open letter to Stonedale

Post  EricFlat52 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:43 am

The following message was sent to Stonedale on Thurs 11 Aug at apx. 18.30:

To Stonedate Management Company:

Please note the following

(1) On Wed 10 August 2011, after nationwide and indeed international reporting of unprecedented local rioting, particularly critical in East London, Stonedale was informed by more than one resident of 50 Roman Road that the front entrance lock was not working;

(2) It is well-known that Roman Road is a busy thoroughfare, meaning that entrance by unauthorised persons, which has been a problem several times in the past, poses an ongoing risk. It is also very well-known that intruders, in the past, have assaulted residents and caused extensive damage. THEREFORE, any failure by Stonedale to act IMMEDIATELY (and not merely as a matter of routine maintenance) to secure the entrance, particularly at a time of grave civil unrest, knowingly and deliberately jeopardizes the safety of residents and the security of the premises;

(3) On Wed 10 August 2011, I spoke personally to Ms Winton, who confirmed that Stonedale had already been notified by building residents, and a locksmith already sent;

(4) According to a Ms Winton in a subsequent call to me on Wed 10 August 2011, the locksmith, was unable to act immediately, claiming that access to a cable was barred by the closure of the carpet shop on our ground floor;

(5) HOWEVER, the carpet shop was open at its normal early time this morning, Thursday 11 August, and continued its normal operating hours all day, into the early evening. Access for IMMEDIATE repair was therefore possible.

(6) NEVERTHELESS, by 16.30 of 11 Aug., after an entire morning and afternoon in which emergency work could have been at least started, and probably completed, the lock still had not been repaired.

(7) THEREFORE, the matter apparently was not deemed urgent by Stonedale, or of highest priority, but treated, at best, only as a mid-level or a low-level matter, since locksmiths can always be found for urgent duty, even if Stonedale’s preferred contractor was unavailable;

(8 ) Stonedale left in operation, as it has done earlier this week, a recorded message stating that its office was closed, and advising that the after hours line be used. The after hours line, however, was not active until 17.00. Stonedale therefore, at least all this week, during the civil unrest, and perhaps earlier, has been happy to leave that particular afternoon slot without any possibility of telephone contact. Although it is only a small slot, the fact remains that emergencies can occur at any time. Allowing that lapse in coverage raises a further question of negligent performance.

(9) When I reached the after-hours line at 17.00, I was told, by the receptionist Claire, that she would investigate the matter and call me back. She did not call be back, however. By contrast, when I called again, just before 18.00, Claire told me that Stonedale’s Head Office had “made arrangements with a contractor”, strongly suggesting that Stonedale had NOT treated this matter as one of urgency, and top priority, but, again, only one of routine maintenance.

(10) Just after 18.00 I was contacted by Ms Chamberlain, who was only willing to confirm that a contractor had been notified, but was unable to confirm that the matter had been treated as one of immediate urgency, which would have required attention, at the latest, AS SOON as the carpet shop was open for business on the morning of Thursday 11 August.

(11) At 18.25, Claire called to advise that a contractor would be sent within one hour, ONLY because of my insistent complaint. Presumably, by the time of arrival, the carpet shop would be closed, unless any employee thereof happened to be on the premises, and able and willing to co-operate. If a contractor was available on such short notice, it becomes all the more unclear why some technician, either within Stonedale’s normal employ, or an alternative, was not sent first thing in the morning.

It is imperative that Stonedale respond, immediately, to EACH of the following queries, INDIVIDUALLY, and not in a catch-all or summary fashion:

(1) Were arrangements made, on Wed 10 August, to ascertain that the carpet shop would be open on the morning of 11 August? If not, why not?

(2) Assuming that the carpet shop was open in the early morning, as usual, were arrangements made, on Wed 10 August, for a locksmith to be there IMMEDIATELY upon that shop’s opening, in order to lose no time in repair? If not, why not?

(3) If, on Wed 10 Aug or Thursday 11 Aug, Stonedale had any reason to believe that its normally commissioned locksmith was unable to carry out works IMMEDIATELY, were arrangements made for some alternative contractor to assume control of the works, in order to have the work carried out IMMEDIATELY? If not, why not?

Please be advised that I and other residents expect answers to each of these three queries,

Sincerely Yours,

Eric Heinze
flat 52, 50 Roman Road


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