Tower Hamlets Watch

Major Works Halted on St Vincents Estate | September 17, 2010


As a result of the collapse of Connaught, one of Tower Hamlets Homes major works contractors, work on the St Vincents Estate in Limehouse E14 involving the installation of new kitchens has now halted. At least 5 families have been without a kitchen for around 5 weeks, as the old kitchens were removed at the start of the financial problems that hit the contractor Connaught. Sub-Contractors to the company initially went on strike as they had not been paid, which started the problems on the estate as the works temporarily halted. These contractors were then paid and work begun again, albiet behind schedule, when connaught finally collapsed as reported here 2 weeks ago work came to a grinding halt again, leaving all future works unstarted on the estate. Tower Hamlets Councils (in-house) void properties team who bring empty properties up to a decent standard normally replacing damaged kitchens and internal decoration have now been brought in and installed new kitchens in the homes of the 5 families who were living without one.

Apparently at least one of the sub-contractors to Connaught who were installing new electrical installations into the homes on the estate has also not recieved any money from Connaught who have now slipped into administration.

Residents on the estate are questioning why the void properties team who are quite capable of installing new kitchens and carrying out the Decent Homes Works and also the major works, then why does the council need to pay another contractor hundreds of thousands of pounds extra to do the same work?

All future work on the estate that was contracted to Connaught is now officially halted as internal wranglings within Tower Hamlets try to figure out how to proceed.


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2 Comments »

  1. I have always voted Labour. In the midst of this nightmare, and if the Labour Party won’t somehow stop Lutfur from being on the ticket, we need the Tory candidate (King) to withdraw from the race and invite his supporters to back the Lib Dem candidate (Griffiths). I understand Neil King was very reluctant to stand anyway.

    We need now urgently need a united Stop-Lutfur candidate.

    After that the next stage is supporting the potential break away town and parish councils within Tower Hamlets. Wapping have started the process (using the 2007 Local Government Act which allows it), we need more like this.

    Then a petition to reverse the directly elected mayor borough constitution. I do not know how many signatures are required, but the one for it got about 17,000 signatures [and 40% of them were said to be dodgy]. In four years we could go back to a normal Borough COUNCIL.

    Otherwise things look fucking bleak.

    Comment by Worried if my name is published I will suffer for it — September 17, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

  2. I live on St. Vincent Estate. Yes there have been problems all the way along, beginning to end, and there has been an avoidance of the issue of compensation for tenants without kitchens and bathrooms for three weeks or more.

    But the quality of the work has generally been good, and the workers themselves have been greatly respected. For instance they cleaned up after the work. This sounds trivial but usually workers doing jobs in council flats leave a mess behind them.

    I don’t know of one person who would rather the voids team had done the work – I suspect your informant doesn’t live on the estate and has his/her own opinions about such things.

    Comment by Andrew Robinson — September 18, 2010 @ 8:40 pm


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