01:24 Evacuation of Chalcots Estate - Leader statement
01.24 UPDATE: So far we have secured hundreds of hotel beds for Chalcots' residents. We're encouraging all residents to stay with friends and family if they can, otherwise we'll provide accommodation. Swiss Cottage rest centre is nearing capacity so we've secured more space at the Camden Centre King's Cross. Specialist staff are on the ground to assist residents with care needs. Pets are also welcome at both rest centres and hotel accommodation.
UPDATE: London Fire Brigade statement about why tonight's evacuations had to take place:
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."
22:07 UPDATE: We are evacuating residents from all five blocks, starting immediately. If you have friends or family you can stay with tonight please do so. If you do arrange to do this but need longer term accommodation, please come to Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre tomorrow and we will help you find accommodation at no cost
To ensure your safety we are door-knocking the blocks one at a time. We are doing this in the following order:
You will be able to get back into your block over the weekend to collect more of your possessions, however this will be under escort from the London Fire Brigade. In the meantime we recommend you pack a bag with enough items to last two to four weeks.
21:05 UPDATE: As a result of ongoing checks, the decision has been taken to decant residents from all five tower blocks at the Chalcots estate. We have council staff on site providing information and guidance to residents who are being provided with temporary accommodation. Where residents can stay with family and friends we are encouraging them to do this. But if this isn't possible we are providing temporary accommodation.
Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, said:
“Camden Council is absolutely determined to ensure that our residents are safe and we have promised them that we will work with them, continue to act swiftly and be open and transparent.
“Last night the Chief Executive and I led a public meeting to listen to the concerns held by residents of the Chalcots estate. Upon hearing from residents we immediately instructed a joint fire inspection with the London Fire Brigade.
“Today the London Fire Brigade completed a joint inspection of the blocks with Camden Council technical experts. Together we decided that the Taplow block needs to be temporarily decanted while we undertake urgent fire safety works so that residents can be fully assured of their safety. This means that we need to move residents from their homes and into temporary accommodation.
“We anticipate that these works will be completed within three to four weeks. We realise that this is hugely distressing for everyone affected and we will be doing all we can, alongside the London Fire Brigade and other authorities, to support our residents at this difficult time. The Grenfell fire changes everything – we need to do everything we can to keep residents safe.
“You will appreciate that this is an emerging situation and we will be providing regular updates.”