Council Leader tells of concerted effort to carry out fire safety work through the night
Camden Council Leader, Georgia Gould, said:
"Hundreds of Camden Council employees, led by myself and the Chief Executive, worked right through the night to support residents from around 650 homes into alternative accommodation. This operation remains unprecedented in scale for Camden.
“We have been further supported in this process by police and fire officers, the British Red Cross, and other voluntary partners. I thank all those who have played a part so far.
“On the estate overnight we swiftly began work to address fire safety issues that the London Fire Brigade had identified and which led the Brigade to say late on Friday that residents should not remain in the buildings until these issues are resolved.
“The concerted effort to carry out fire safety work overnight at the estate resulted in the fire service being satisfied that one of the blocks, Blashford (containing around 70 homes), did not need to be evacuated.
“Two rest centres are housing a large number of residents, who have been provided with somewhere to sleep, food, drink and support. Many others were provided with hotel accommodation.
“Social workers have worked to support vulnerable residents, and specialist care accommodation is available for those who need it.
“Having to evacuate people from their homes is always going to be distressing for those residents, especially when we have to do it at such short notice. I know some residents are angry and upset, but I want to be very clear that Camden Council acted to protect them. We were told by London Fire Brigade that it wasn't safe to stay in four Chalcots blocks - Grenfell changes everything, and we had to act fast.
“We are now fully focussed on supporting our residents and their needs over the weekend and onwards.”
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "London Fire Brigade have been working at the Chalcots Estate with Camden Council. Following extensive joint visits and inspections the Brigade advised that there were a number of fire safety issues in the buildings and recommended that residents should not remain in the buildings until these issues are resolved.
"Camden Council have acted on this by evacuating and providing the residents with alternative accommodation so that remedial works can go ahead as quickly as possible.
"London Fire Brigade officers will continue to work with Camden to put in place measures to improve safety for residents in these buildings."
23 June 2017 Evacuation of Chalcots Estate - Leader statement