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Girnhill Lane Archived News 5

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Author Topic: Girnhill Lane Archived News 5  (Read 3148 times)
yetion1
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« on: April 19, 2009, 03:36:34 pm »

Looks like whats left of this house is now becoming the fly tiping hotspot

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Kim685
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2009, 08:14:15 pm »

And yet another house up in flames as I write this.  Angry
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fev angel
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2009, 09:24:24 pm »

and one yesterday but i can say 2 has been locked up tonight  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2009, 09:38:41 pm »

and one yesterday but i can say 2 has been locked up tonight  Smiley
Two arsonist have been locked up ?
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yetion1
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2009, 10:01:09 pm »

 
Further to your e-mail and our conversation this morning, I can report the following:
 
Re Securing issues - I have spoken to securing staff and the technical specification is not in question.  The current method is the best one that is available on the market, but I would re-state that the screens cannot endure the level of attack they are receiving.  Dave Jones at our Fitzwilliam office has reported that he has visited the estate at least once every day over the last 3 weeks, and some properties have had to have their screens replaced 3 times in one day.  There is evidence of bolt cutters being used to remove the window bolts.  He has also reported that at 2 of the fires last week that the screens were all in situ, and access is being made through holes made in the roof tiles or through smashing through the brickwork itself.  Under such intense activity it is impossible to put in place a system that will ensure that properties remain closed.
 
Daily lists are being sent to the securing contractor who attends each day to re-secure as quickly as possible.
 
In an attempt to keep some level of control I have today done the following:
 
1.    I have contacted the One-Call centre and have given them a full list of the Council owned properties on the Estate and explained that residents will be contacting them out of hours regarding empty properties.  They are now fully aware of the need to send out emergency teams to secure properties out of hours if necessary.
2.    I have spoken to the Arson Task Force who have confirmed the highest priority to the Estate and have noted the most recent local information.  They have also reported the most recent arson concerns to the Police with a request for increased activity especially around the times when fires have been set.
3.    I have spoken to the Anti social behaviour team who are going to increase the Nieghbourhood Patrollers' presence.
4.    I have spoken to the Building Security staff who will walk round the estate when they visit, paying particular attention to empty properties where the adjoining house has someone living there, to ensure that they remain secure and free wherever possible from unwanted attention.  Again, they have noted the times when fires are most prevalent and the properties where you have reported that preparations for fires have been seen, and will be especially vigilant.  They are going to provide me with daily reports on estate activity to try and increase the level of knowledge of those responsible.
5.    The securing team who are attending this afternoon to complete the list of insecure properties raised this morning will also check on the other properties to ensure that they are still secure.  They have also been asked to use at least twice the number of securing bolts per opening to try and further discourage those trying to gain access.  Regular visits to the estate will continue.
 
We continue to demolish empty properties as quickly as possible, but planning requirements mean that the process does take a certain amount of time, and demolition within 24 hours of a property becoming vacant is not realistic to remove all services, test for asbestos and make the other required planning checks.
 
I shall continue to monitor the issues on the Estate.  I hope this information is useful.
 
Regards
 
Janet Howley
Regeneration Manager
Development and Strategic Housing
Room D34
Newton Bar
Leeds Road
Wakefield  WF1 2TX
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yetion1
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 07:09:27 pm »

How a picture changes in a week!
The arsonist is working quicker than I can post. The idea of the first picture taken on Saturday was to add changes to the area as they happen. Little did I know things were going to move so fast?

Saturday;


Sunday;



Monday;


Tuesday;




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yetion1
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 07:14:57 pm »

Mrs J Howley
Housing and public protection
Newton bar
Wakefield
West York’s
Wf1 2tx

20/04/2009

Dear Janet

RE THE GIRNHILL ESTATE

 

I would like to thank you for your email reply and the time that I do know for sure you have used today to resolve the many issues. The irony is that the police, fire service and press have actually woken up to the fact that 84 homes in 2 years have been burnt excluding up to 2/5 repeat fires and garden/ rubbish fires. The events of today have been unusual in the least. I will go through your reply and then report from last speaking to you at 4.30pm today.

 

Re Securing issues – the technical specification is just the problem. The current method is one of the cheapest metal fabrications. We are talking about a thin metal cover fixed with inadequate numbers of short bolts that have a 10mm spanner head. Armed with a simple cordless screwdriver it would take 1 minute to remove a panel not to mention just prizing. I have already previously mentioned better solutions and offered advice and yet I am mocked by the local labour party as “hutch builder”. Surely free advice from a quality “hutch builder” is better than a group of “Frank Spencer advisors”? Fully re-usable fixed steel doors would stop the problem. They cost more I agree but not after the continuous boarding up total.  After consulting an expert you agree that the area is receiving continuous abuse. An immediate consultation should take place to upgrade the present system of securing properties. I have concerns over the roof entry theory. Over the last 2 years it has become more often that roof tiles were smashed pre fire. In light of today it could suggest that the arsonist was simply creating an opening to fuel the fire?

 

I must thank you for this action. As simple as it may appear it will go a long way to helping the situation.
4/5. After 2 years of records it is clear the shutters and refits are inadequate. You agree. Save money. Help the situation. Again change them?

 

Your final comment I can only reply by saying that given all the evidence and in my opinion WMDC is still failing in its duty of care to the residents of Featherstone. Much, much more could have been done and can be done.

 

 

I received a call at 4.15pm to inform me that the front shutter was off 10/8. As I approached the house I saw coming out of the garden a male pulling a sack cart that was loaded with concrete fence parts. I stood and watched the male walk down the middle of the road and down Ashcroft Avenue with his wide unusual load. Parked at the bottom of the street was a WMDC security guard. The male pushing the cart then made his way down Girnhill lane. The security guard never moved, in fact they did nothing except drive off. What is the bloody point of being there if they do not get off their arse. As a tax payer I don’t believe I am getting value for money. I then checked the rear of 8/10 and found the shutters in tacked apart from 1 window that was slightly pealed back at the top. The rear garden of 8/10 backs on to Harold Westwoods old house. A passage has been cut through the fence creating a passage way. I could hear someone in the garden. I looked through the gap and saw Ziggy Saunders with tools dismantling a concrete fence exactly the same as the one I had just seen being carted off.

I then contacted you and also WMDC contact centre to whom I gave a piece of my mind regards the security persons zero actions.

At 5.25pm I returned to the Girnhill estate and spotted the male who had the cart earlier at the rear of 7 Ashcroft Avenue. The male looked to be examining the rear window shutter. The male spotted me and walked away. He then walked all over the estate and looked down as if he was looking for something. In my opinion he was up to no good and looked highly suspicious. I drove around the estate a came across the security officer from earlier parked up outside the last house on Ashcroft road. As I approached the security man got out of his vehicle and went to the rear of the house. I followed and found that he had just chased off a number of youths who had been up a ladder trying to gain entry to a rear window.



The ladder was taken away. The security officer was informed about the male walking around the estate. We then both drove around and then parked up outside the phone box. The male then approached us on a bicycle. The security officer stopped the male and explained to him that he wished the police to question him regards the theft from WMDC property of a fence. The police arrived and after questioning the male arrested him. I was asked to make a statement and followed to Pontefract police station.


I returned to Featherstone at 8.30pm to see to my horror that something was on fire on the estate. In the short time I was away the shutter had been removed from the front of no 10 Ashcroft Avenue and had been set on fire. 2 fire appliances were in attendance as so were the police. After talking to the police I was made aware that a further arrest had been made of someone who was stood in the crowd.






There is quite a bit more to add but for now my request is that you make sure that WMDC prosecutes the thief.
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yetion1
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 07:16:28 pm »

I note the points made in respect of the securing methods and will be discussing your suggestions with the securing contractor.  If adjustments can be made to improve the level of security on properties, then I see no reason to not implement them.  I will come back to you for a further discussion on this.
 
With reference to your report on events after our last telephone conversation yesterday, I would report that I have already e-mailed the PC involved in the arrest yesterday and have confirmed that the Council is the complainant and wishes to press charges.  The Officer is not on duty until late Thursday so I will advise you of the progress on this matter once I have more information.
 
I am also aware of the arrest following the fire but have not formally received any further information on this matter.  Again, I shall respond in more detail once I have further information.  I have again had a lengthy discussion with the building security and neighbourhood patrol teams, who are to have a further detailed briefing today.  In addition, I have had a further conversation with the Arson Task Force and we are in close dialogue to co-ordinate action on the Estate.
 
I would confirm that all agencies are committed to tackling the issues that are causing Girnhill residents such anxiety and that measures discussed yesterday will remain in force.
 
Regards
 
Janet Howley
Regeneration Manager
Development and Strategic Housing
Room D34
Newton Bar
Leeds Road
Wakefield  WF1 2TX
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fev angel
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2009, 07:34:22 pm »

do you know how many people are still up there
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Brian Potter
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2009, 12:08:41 pm »

While all these actions are welcome by WMDC they do seem too little too late.

As for demolition procedures, does it really take all these months to obtain permission to demolish a house ? WHatever happens to that estate in the future, the bitter taste of what has happened up there over the last few years will NEVER be forgotten.
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Whistleblower
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2009, 06:19:19 pm »

True, Janet howley and crew have had years to sort this out. I don’t know what salary she’s on but if I were paying her wage Id be asking why yetion1 is having to do the job for her. To be fair to wmdc they are now offering realistic money for the residents to move on, if only they’d done it years ago they would have saved the residents a lot of heart ache and maybe people would still have a good word for them  Undecided Huh
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Forkhandles
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2009, 08:18:18 pm »

If they're offering realistic money, then that should be the end of it then. Grin Grin
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2009, 08:40:29 pm »

If they're offering realistic money, then that should be the end of it then. Grin Grin
Its still there home though and i can see why they want to stay but you have to be realistic, the estates finnished now thanks to the arsonist, the vandals and wmdc
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yetion1
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2009, 09:48:12 pm »

The money offered is still not realistic.

A meeting evolved and took place today involving police, fire service, arson task force and WMDC. Some interesting points were raised.
The police rely on the fire service for accurate reports regards the Girnhill estate as WMDC have not been reporting them. They should have. The police have provided a report form that will now become a full record.
The area is considered as unfit for human habitation. WMDC should act as a care of duty. This should involve CPO (compulsory purchase orders) or a solution. Either way immediate action is required to bring the situation to a head.
Security shutters are to be re-evaluated and implemented as urgent subject to approval.
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fev angel
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2009, 07:13:19 am »

If they're offering realistic money, then that should be the end of it then. Grin Grin
Its still there home though and i can see why they want to stay but you have to be realistic, the estates finnished now thanks to the arsonist, the vandals and wmdc

I lived there when we were told that they were coming down that’s when the estate was finished. Sad Sad
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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2009, 04:32:41 pm »

The money offered is still not realistic.


I know what at least 8 people have got for their homes and all of them including myself thought the offer was fair, that’s why there has been an increase of people moving over the last year. We all know the decline of the estate has forced them to go but at least they had enough money to move on which is all they asked for , “a house for a house”
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Whistleblower
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« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2009, 04:35:56 pm »

The money offered is still not realistic.

A meeting evolved and took place today involving police, fire service, arson task force and WMDC. Some interesting points were raised.
The police rely on the fire service for accurate reports regards the Girnhill estate as WMDC have not been reporting them. They should have. The police have provided a report form that will now become a full record.
The area is considered as unfit for human habitation. WMDC should act as a care of duty. This should involve CPO (compulsory purchase orders) or a solution. Either way immediate action is required to bring the situation to a head.
Security shutters are to be re-evaluated and implemented as urgent subject to approval.

That will please wmdc
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Whistleblower
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2009, 04:36:54 pm »

If they're offering realistic money, then that should be the end of it then. Grin Grin
Its still there home though and i can see why they want to stay but you have to be realistic, the estates finnished now thanks to the arsonist, the vandals and wmdc

I lived there when we were told that they were coming down that’s when the estate was finished. Sad Sad
Didn't you have two houses up there Karen ?
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fev angel
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« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2009, 05:12:12 pm »

yes i had a council then needed a bigger one and moved over the road to a private
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Forkhandles
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2009, 07:24:18 pm »

The money offered is still not realistic.


I know what at least 8 people have got for their homes and all of them including myself thought the offer was fair, that’s why there has been an increase of people moving over the last year. We all know the decline of the estate has forced them to go but at least they had enough money to move on which is all they asked for , “a house for a house”

If they've been offered a house for a house, then thats realistic, and fair. Grin
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