Is the council neglecting its responsibilities?

Searching the internet, it’s not too difficult to find the following: “The prime responsibility for the condition of a building or structure lies with its owner; however, [the local authority] have an obligation under the Building Act 1984 to deal with dangerous structures in its area and if the owner cannot be found or contacted, [the authority] is authorised to do work to make the building or structure safe and recharge the owner its reasonable costs for doing so.”

“The term ‘dangerous structure’ covers not only buildings or parts of buildings ie loose slates or tiles, but also such things as garden walls, fences or HOARDINGS [our emphasis]. In fact, any structure, which could by its condition endanger persons.”

So, why has the borough council failed to act for so long over the dangerous hoarding in Obelisk Way. It can hardly claim that it didn’t know about it – the hoarding is almost certainly visible from the council offices.

We understand why councillors are reluctant to criticise council officers. But when residents could come to harm, maybe it’s time for councillors to stand up and be counted.

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