Chalcots Independent Review: Leader of Council confirms review to proceed following legal settlement
Following the conclusion of legal proceedings against contractor PFIC (Partners for Improvement in Camden) and its principal subcontractors, the Leader of Camden Council, Cllr Georgia Gould, has announced that the second stage of the independent Chalcots review can begin.
The Council is preparing the terms of reference and is seeking an independent chair to conduct the second part of the review, which will look at the refurbishment of the Chalcots by the PFI company and their management. The review will include Council Officers, Members and residents, and it will be published in full once complete.
The first part of the independent review started in December 2017 and was published in June 2018. This part of the review examined the evacuation of the Chalcots and the remedial fire safety works carried out in July 2017. The review is available to read here.
It has been five years since we had to evacuate people from their homes in the Chalcots. I know how immensely difficult that was for residents. Their resilience then and now, and their patience and participation in the process ever since, has been remarkable.
I made a commitment to residents after the evacuation that we would work to make their homes safe as quickly as we could, that we would hold an independent review to understand and learn from what went wrong, and that we would begin legal proceedings against the contractors involved in the Chalcots PFI refurbishment in 2006-2009.
I am pleased that I can now share with you that a settlement has been agreed and while no liability has been admitted the Council has received £19million from the contractors. Our approach from day one has been to put residents and their safety first, and recoup our costs later.
The money we have secured for the Chalcots, including the £80.6M we successfully bid for from the government’s cladding remediation fund, has meant that we have been able to appoint the most suitable contactors for the major works with no ounce of compromise on safety. We have worked with residents to design and fully fire test an industry leading, A1-rated cladding system and we have been able to prioritise quality and minimising disruption over cost. It has also helped us to balance the deficit in our housing fund, which is the vital money we use each day to carry out repairs and to maintain decent, safe, and warm homes for residents across Camden.
The conclusion of legal proceedings means that we are able to proceed with the second part of the independent review. This part of the review will look at the refurbishment of the buildings and its subsequent management. It will be completely impartial and chaired by someone separate from the council who will be able to speak to officers, members, and residents as part of their report, which will be made publicly available in full once it is complete.
We care deeply about what residents at the Chalcots have been through, that is why we have done everything we can to work in the open and to keep our promises. Proceeding with the review is an important milestone for the Chalcots, and our efforts are now focussed on this and on the completion of the major works.