Council in court over asbestos

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Asbestos was discovered in a room in the basement of the town hall, which staff has access to between 1984 and 2012 Asbestos was discovered in a room in the basement of the town hall, which staff has access to between 1984 and 2012

Waltham Forest Council is being prosecuted following an investigation into whether or not staff were protected from asbestos at the town hall.

This morning the Health and Safety Executive confirmed it was seeking to prosecute the local authority over alleged breaches of the Health & Safety at Work Act and the Control of Asbestos Regulations.

The case, which has been brought by the government watchdog, relates to the discovery of asbestos in a room in the basement of the Forest Road building which staff had access to between 1984 and 2012.

In 2012 it was revealed the authority knew about the presence of asbestos throughout that period, but did not stop staff from accessing the building, claiming asbestos levels were “within Health and Safety Executive guidelines”.

The case will be heard at Westminster Magistrates Court on July 30.

A Waltham Forest Council spokeswoman said: "The council was informed on June 24 that the HSE has decided to prosecute the council after an investigation. We have sought legal advice and will respond accordingly."

For more on this story see next week's Waltham Forest Guardian and Chingford Guardian - out on Thursday.

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