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Girnhill Lane Archived News 5

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Whistleblower
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2009, 07:32:53 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
offered enough money to buy a new house  Tongue Roll Eyes
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Forkhandles
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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2009, 08:11:38 pm »

Yeh, thats what i meant Grin
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Whistleblower
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« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2009, 08:59:28 pm »

sorry its been a long day  Wink Grin
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yetion1
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« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2009, 07:49:20 pm »

Someone told me last night that they saw roof tiles flying off no 8/10s house last Friday! Someone was obviously inside, priming it ready for Monday! Then as you know, the following morning, someone was seen coming out at 2AM!
 Looking back on one of Mr Ts videos from last year you can clearly see smoke constantly bellowing out of one of these holes (just below the chimney stack) that helps fuel the fire! If you pause it at 1.49 and 2.30, you can see it! You can see the hole does the trick at 3:56 as this is where the fire first breaks through on that house!....
Looking back at other pictures and also remembering roof damage it does look the case that roofs were being primed. If you see the slates off again then get ready for a fire.

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Featherstonian
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2009, 06:53:12 pm »

looks like another one has gone up tonight.
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yetion1
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« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2009, 10:24:56 pm »

Cheers Fev. Could you check the fire as reports are coming in as un-confirmed. For the record of course Grin.
The last week without arson has been a blessing. Hopefully the word is getting around that at last there is a serious arson investigation underway has helped Roll Eyes.
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yetion1
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« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2009, 10:20:12 pm »

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

28/04/2008

Dear Janet

RE THE GIRNHILL ESTATE SHUTTERS

As discussed I have researched fabrication details of suitable shutters for empty property’s on the Girnhill estate. The best result has been obtained from a local manufacturer. I have attached their initial details and quotes.
I would appreciate any feedback.

Re-usable metal door shutter


Re-usable window shutter


Suggested fixing

16mm steel threaded bar with internal 70mmx70mm plate and cocking nut
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yetion1
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« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2009, 10:21:11 pm »

thanks for this information.  The shutters look similar to those that used to be fitted.  These were rented from Orbis but were criticised by residents as being easy to get into.  I am going to send it on for evaluation and testing.  As stated, if this proves to be a better method we will certainly use it.
 
Regards
 
Janet Howley
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Mr T
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« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2009, 04:10:08 pm »

thanks for this information.  The shutters look similar to those that used to be fitted.  These were rented from Orbis but were criticised by residents as being easy to get into.  I am going to send it on for evaluation and testing.  As stated, if this proves to be a better method we will certainly use it.
 
Regards
 
Janet Howley

Talk about shutting the gate when the horse has bolted Janet!! Anyway, it will just be another case of "ALL TALK AND NO ACTION"
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"I PITY THE FOOL"
yetion1
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« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2009, 06:53:31 pm »

Welcome back MrT. The madness of it all (infuriation) only helps to drive those that can see the con to be inspired . Sad
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yetion1
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« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2009, 10:20:14 pm »

Janet Howley

Regeneration Manager

Development and Strategic Housing

Room D34

Newton Bar

Leeds Road

Wakefield  WF1 2TX

01924 305917

e-mail jhowley@wakefield.gov.uk

17.05.09

 Dear Janet,

In reply to the information you requested and to clarify your points:

 
·  Cost of unit (not including fitting)

door cover £200.00
window cover £85.00
 
·  Cost to take off and reuse

door or window cover removal £80.00
 
·  Would we be charged for storage of them if they can be taken off and need to stored until a new property becomes insecure

Based only on Featherstone locations, an agreed number of units and time scale, storage would more than likely be free.
 
·  How quickly can he respond to call outs i.e. to manufacture and fit for the first time and also to resecure any that get damaged or taken off.

Call outs could be arranged within an hour and would have backing of pre-manufactured units. Damaged units can be repaired. 24 hour call out would be £140.00 plus parts.
 
I have obtained this information from the company whose details I supplied to you. They are one of many local businesses that could provide the service. I strongly suggest that you contact them yourself.

  To gain a fair range of quotes could you confirm that you have contacted other suppliers?

Have you received any reply from the evaluation and testing you were carrying out on the designs?

As far as I am concerned this long on going unreasonable situation came to head on the 22nd April at the meeting at my shop you attended with police, fire service and arson investigation team. It was put to you by all parties that the estate due to WMDC process had been reduced in to an area “unfit for human habitation” and the that the “CPO process should be started immediately”.

Could you confirm what has been done to start the CPO process?

I am sure you are aware that I have not contacted you to report any damaged shutters since the 22nd April. My reason for this was to sit back and watch the promised procedures of repair. In the first 2 weeks shutters were removed and mended within 3 days. Days does not equal daily.

After 2 weeks things got back to normal with many shutters being left open over a week. As it stands this weekend the arsonist/s can pick what they like to walk in to. I will say again that it would appear from the facts that WMDC is still failing in its duty of care. Solutions that could halt the misery have not been implemented.

One interesting point is that since the 3 arrest’s the fires immediately stopped and the list of names responsible has grown probably in fear of arrest coupled with the regular police patrols that Inspector Jones has provided as promised. The conclusion is that hands on action is the only way forward.

Regards
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yetion1
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« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2009, 08:02:37 pm »

A normal day for residents now contains bully boy phone calls. Sad

Harrisons the estate agents today have called residents to say the council has asked them to come out and value there homes and could they book a time.
After the poor residents stopped laughing they told them where to go. Grin nothing like true Fev spirit.  Smiley
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yetion1
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« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2009, 08:06:45 pm »

Dear Grin

Apologies for not replying sooner; I have now received further information in respect of the points raised.
 
Thank you for the additional information received.  We already have information from other companies re securing products and methods, and initial feedback on the product appears to indicate that it should do the job, but this is always not borne out fully until we see how it stands up to the effects of attack and vandalism, which provide the true test.
 
Re the points made around securing, I have received the following reply from colleagues who manage this aspect of work.
 
"We visit daily and any opening that has been breached in any way is reported that day to Ian Hobson, who in turn deals with it within 24 hours. This isn’t to say that if we report it on Monday it may have been broken into on say Saturday or even the Friday before. So in theory during a normal working week it could be open for 48 hours depending on when we noticed it in relation to when it happened.

Of late we have been opening properties up to get the disconnections done and so the same door may be opened over a period of a couple of days which of course is resecured each afternoon."

The last information I have is that 2 properties were identified as open on Thursday afternoon, and these had been reported to the contractor who was attending that afternoon.  I believe that the team are going to commission this shuttering for one property as a final test of its robustness.
 
Re any CPO action, as previously stated, CPO will be pursued only as a last resort, and paperwork is being prepared for submission in August, subject to sign off through Cabinet.
 
I trust this clarifies.
 
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 #33 on: June 19, 2009, 09:28:06 pm »

Guess whos back? Yep, the arsonist. Boy is the contactor going to be pissed when the police tell him that his £60+ machine that has only just arrived is the latest victim.
More to the point what did WMDC do or indeed Janet Howly?  The answer, buggar all! 6 houses have been left un-boarded for a week. After contacting Cllr Bickerton the houses are being watched now. Should be fun on Monday morning. Wink Grin
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yetion1
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« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2009, 09:23:02 pm »

18 Jun 09 (new)  1.4 miles  09/01168/DEMNOT  Wakefield
Show on map 
Address: 15 & 17 Ashcroft Avenue Featherstone Pontefract West Yorkshire WF7 5NQ

Description: Demolition of 1 no semi-detached houses
Status: Pending Consideration
 
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Victor
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« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2009, 02:44:21 pm »

12th July 09 updated    09/01168/DEMNOT

Address  15  &  17 Ashcroft Avenue Feathersone  WF7 5NQ

Description:  Demolition of a pair of semi-detached houses
Status;  Application Approved
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« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2009, 07:27:32 pm »

Joanne Roney, Chief Executive
Ann Pitard
Housing and public protection
Newton bar
Wakefield
West York’s
Wf1 2tx


19.07.09

Ref: Featherstone Girnhill estate

I am sure you are fully aware that I have for the past 2 years corresponded important information regarding public safety on the Ginhill estate to Janet Howley and WMDC departments with deep concerns requiring so called available help.

In 2002 when the WMDC had a report done on the estate (costing thousands of pounds), the idea was to re-design the estate, leaving the majority of the houses and modifying the centre area where Harold Westwood lived. At that stage WMDC only owned 30+ houses out of the 170+.
Around 2004, a top official of a housing association was taken around the site, as it was beginning to deteriorate rather fast. The comments from the official was "it is common for council's to neglect estates on purpose, by reducing services, i.e. by not collecting bins or rubbish, allowing drains to stay blocked up for long periods, and also when a property is demolished, not checking that the drains were properly sealed off, so that they could not disrupt the existing drainage system.
When demolition takes place, the gullies and soil pipes connected to that building should be sealed off, so that no debris can get into the drains, (I am 100% sure that this will be written into the demolition contract by WMDC), I know this did not happen at the outset, as I checked on some of the very first properties to be demolished.  A copy of the contract  can be checked and if I am correct, then WMDC should immediately take the appropriate action by checking all the drains themselves of the properties demolished and then make the contractor sort them out whilst WMDC have payments outstanding to the contractor.

 My reason for now contacting you is to move the situation up a step of command as the first step has significantly failed in its public duty of care. My first consideration was Janet Howleys boss Ann Pitard. Upon reflection two steps up the command ladder should be taken and the chief executive informed similarly. The situation created on the Girnhill estate by WMDC requires many actions. For now, the immediate concern has to be rectifying life threatening and un-fit for human habitation injustices. I could go on and on, but the residents are now faced with the threat of murder or attempted murder by arson as not yet seen but anticipated and predicted.
Every day is “Friday 13th” on the Girnhill (Girnhell) estate Featherstone. Friday the 17th of July 2009 was no exception, not to mention the rain that lasted all day and night
The day started very badly for one individual at 6am as he returned to his home after a night shift. As the resident entered his home he was hit with a smell of smoke. Only to aware of what this meant the man immediately surveyed his property inside and out and the adjoining semi that had been boarded up By WMDC and left empty. To his horror the adjoining property had been attacked in the usual way seen so often and documented for the past 3 years. 2 rows of bottom roof tiles had been removed including the felt and the ridge apex tiles had been smashed. This is the same documented style of preparation prior to arson. Evidence is easily available on U-tube of the techniques being experimented with,



You can clearly see smoke constantly bellowing out of one of these holes (just below the chimney stack) that appears to help fuel the fire! Almost as if someone has worked out the best method. If you pause it at 1.49 and 2.30, you can see it! You can see the hole does the trick at 3:56 as this is where the fire first breaks through on that house!

House in questions roof                                                            
  

How much worse could things get? In Featherstone worse is the daily norm. The man then called the fire brigade. Amazingly the call was not taken as serious? In desperation the man called Cllr Bickerton who managed to get a 999 response. At this point the man (my good friend) called me as he had heard a noise from the garden and could still smell smoke. As I arrived at 8.15am I could smell damp smoke around the front of the property. I examined the roof tiles. They had been vandalized as seen before previous arson attacks. The fire brigade arrived minutes later and examined the property. There immediate report that I can confirm is that the fire service agreed that there was a smell of smoke. An examination with a heat sensor revealed no lasting hotspots. The property was not entered mainly as it would have required removing a metal door cover that once removed the fire service knew would not be re-fitted correctly. I will come back to this point.
 

Whilst waiting for the fire service to carry out there search I walked to the rear of the property. The rear of the property is densely covered with undergrowth. Walking along the back perimeter I tried to discover where an entry had been made. To my amazement as I tried to look through the bush’s I found a door just visible under the Ivy. The door revealed a well built large concrete garage that was obviously being used as a den/ hang out. The building had been left by the demolition men. It is a magnet to attract undesirables to rear of occupied properties.
As I came away I bumped in to our local PCSO. I informed him of the events and the garage. We inspected the garage again and agreed that it needed to be demolished ASAP. As we both walked away we bumped in to a contractor. The conversation was an eye opener. Firstly the contractor explained that he had been warned that there was a man going around the estate taking pictures and “causing trouble”. I was only too happy to reply “well that must be me”. I explained that far from causing trouble I was actually trying to prevent serious injury or indeed death not to mention help stop the misery and suffering being inflicted on the residents. I provided the contractor with a back ground who agreed that the estate was over run with scrap men and gangs of youths causing damage daily. A WMDC person had been inspecting the site twice a week. This is different from the 3 times a day supposedly implemented.
The most interesting comment came regards stopping the arson/ vandalism to the contractor’s equipment. Apparently after asking about who is who in the area the contractor met a local who I know. The best bit is that money is being paid to this person for help. I choose my words wisely as I am sure you understand the reality. Amazing how money is paid and fire stops.
I could not help but notice a dark coloured metal container on the road being used as an office. There are no light to warn vehicles nor have I seen any application published asking for permission. Please can you confirm this unit is in order as I believe it is a traffic hazard?
 


The male resident asked me for help as the continuing rain was now entering the adjoining semi and would cause damp to his property and at worst flooding. If that was not bad enough the roof now sat prepared to be ignited as seen in over 90 previous documented examples over 2 years alone.
As there was absolutely no point in wasting time contacting the person nominated to deal with these known problems Janet Howley, the next person in command Ann Pitard was contacted. After talking to Ann it was agreed that someone would come out and inspect the roof.
By 3.30pm no repair works had begun nor had anyone been seen to be surveying. After confirming with the male resident the situation a further problem came to light. In his garden Raw sewage was now backing up in the man hole in his garden and the water level was rising. This had previously poured over the top. At the rear of the property contractors had been demolishing houses and clearing the site. It would appear that there works have resulted in destroying the main sewer again. Earlier this year WMDC had been informed that the drains on Girnhill lane that flow towards the male resident had been blocked by the contractor. After extensive excavations it was discovered that the main sewer had in fact been destroyed. To repair it would be very expensive and require a new sewer. As no evidence of a new sewer being installed has ever been seen to be carried out the residents assumed that the huge hole then dug behind the properties was to create a soak away for the streets sewage. It would appear the contractors have now crushed this temporary fix. Without delay a septic tank is required burying on the garages site at the side of the property and then connecting to these sewers. WMDC created the problem, WMDC are aware of the problem and WMDC will be responsible for flooding residents with sewage again unless immediate action is taken.
I again tried to contact Ann but could only speak to David Jones. I informed David of the situation. David agreed to look in to the matter and call me back. I received a call then from Ann. Ann informed me that someone had been to the house but had reported that there was just an odd loose slate. 18 missing and smashed tiles look nothing like a few slipped tiles. I informed Ann again fully about the problems and the new problem of raw sewage. Ann agreed to look in to what had happened and would call me back. I reminded Ann that it was getting on for 4pm and that when problems had been previously reported on a Friday that they were often un-resolved and left until Monday with an excuse that everyone had now gone home.
I received a further call from Ann just after 4pm informing me that there was indeed no one to carry out the repair. Ann asked if I knew a good local roofing company who could possibly attend. I passed on the details of someone that I knew. Ann confirmed that Bob Hall was on his way to visit the house and inspect the problems.
At 4.35pm I received a further call from Ann informing me that Bob was on the estate but could not find the property. I agreed to attend and point out the way.
Upon reaching the house I met Bob and the roofing company. The problems were pointed out. The roofing company pointed out to Bob who was holding a Chevin Housing umbrella that his company had ironically been working for Chevin all day. They had spent the end of the day in a situation where health and safety had stopped their works as they had worked for to long in the miserable conditions. WMDC had had all day to provide a roof repair. The roofing company agreed to return Saturday morning and repair the roof. This has now been done to a good standard.
The drains were shown to Bob who agreed there had been issues and that a new sewer was required. Bob agreed to have the sewer pumped out. As of Sunday we are still waiting.
As the implications of raw sewage are devastating to a healthy living environment I contacted the trading standards for advice. The reply was that I should contact WMDC environment health and the water board. As WMDC had created the problem it was bizarre to think the fault also required registering with another department. As this is the correct way to record the fault the process was started. The reference for the destroyed drains on Girnhill lane is C61845 of the date 17th July 2009.
 


Finally and again for the record it is apparent from the evidence that WMDC is failing in its duty of care to the residents and surrounding locals. All the problems and concerns endured by these poor people has been documented and provided to you for the last 2 years at least. Solutions such as heavy duty re-usable shutters have been ignored. So called daily patrols come and go more or less often depending on how close the fires get to actually killing someone. There are houses on the estate that have now been empty for a month and never boarded up. One house the door is unlocked and looks to have been ransacked already. The elderly gent living next door is terrified. If the arsonist does not get him he will probably get run over trying to get around the many obstacles on the pavements.

 
The police, fire service and arson investigation team have all agreed in front of Janet Howley that the estate is “un-fit for human habitation” and requires “24hour security”. Still nothing has changed.
A response in the form of action would be appreciated more than any words.

Regards
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yetion1
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« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2009, 08:42:00 pm »

Without minor changes;

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Kim685
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« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2009, 10:17:31 am »

Has anyone heard anything about Verner yet?
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« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2009, 09:26:33 pm »

There is lots of talk. This plan suggests that Verner is recieving an extra road and the houses on the right side are different. I am sure more will appear Wink Grin

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