Leader of the council updates on Chalcots Estate operation
Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, said:
"Tonight’s evacuation of blocks at the Chalcots Estate is an unprecedented operation.
"We have hundreds of council staff, police and fire officers, the British Red Cross, and other voluntary partners, all supporting residents and our phased plan to move residents from the blocks. All staff involved are doing everything they can to make this operation run as quickly and as safely as possible – they really are showing the very spirit that makes Camden the special place that it is.
"Following last week’s tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, Camden Council, working with the London Fire Brigade, immediately reviewed fire safety at all our high-rise blocks. On Friday (23rd) evening the London Fire Brigade advised that there were a number of fire safety issues, that we and the LFB were previously unaware of, in the Chalcots buildings and recommended that residents should not remain in the buildings until these issues are resolved.
"Acting on this advice we evacuated our residents. The Grenfell fire changes everything and we will do everything we can to keep residents safe.
"We are still working our way through a phased operation, with residents from hundreds of homes supported as they move to their temporary accommodation.
"Our social workers are providing specialist support for residents with social care packages, with extra capacity provided for specialist care accommodation for those who need it.
"We are also working around the clock to support a number of other needs, including pets and animals.
"An operation of this scale, at such pace, is not without issues and problems along the way, but we had to do this, we have to act on fire service advice.
"Questions about how this could happen to these buildings will be asked, answered and actioned.
"Everyone involved with tonight’s operation knows that this is hugely distressing for all affected, but we would not have done this, and with such immediacy, if we didn’t have to. Thank you to all residents from the Chalcots for bearing with us at this time."
23 June 2017 Evacuation of Chalcots Estate - Leader statement