Shocking video footage and photographs, taken by council residents who are terrified that they might contract coronavirus, show construction workers taking no special measures to avoid spreading the deadly disease
This video was filmed yesterday by a mother with a small child living in a council flat on Longheath Gardens.
It clearly shows how builders from Henry Construction, on a Brick by Brick building site, are continuing to work with scant regard for the requirements of the covid-19 emergency lockdown. There’s no sign of any face masks being used, and little in the way of social distancing by two metres.
And as the video, and other photographs taken today show, the building work that is continuing despite the government-ordered lockdown appears far from what any reasonable person might call “essential work”.
Brick by Brick is the council-owned, loss-making house-building company which, in five years and with at least £260million of public money borrowed, has managed to deliver a grand total of three one-bed council homes.
Inside Croydon readers who have the misfortune to have a Brick by Brick site imposed on their neighbourhood in other parts of the borough report similar, non-essential work being carried out, too, including at Montpelier Road – one of the sites that Brick by Brick announced on Monday would be shutting down due to the pandemic emergency.
In Longheath Gardens, the existing residents have had to put up with construction work going on outside their living room window for nearly three years.
On Monday, Brick by Brick announced that work at Longheath Gardens would be continuing, despite the pandemic. They said it was because it would be “a significant business risk to close them”.
Paul Dury, whose partner Lissa Williams took the video, told Inside Croydon, “We feel that by continuing with these works, Brick by Brick and Henry Construction are putting my family’s lives in real jeopardy from the spread of coronavirus.”
Williams has underlying health issues and is on the NHS’s vulnerable list, while their son also has health issues.
Yet Colm Lacey, the chief executive of Brick by Brick, sent out an email today in which he says, “We are closely following government guidance with regard to our construction sites. Our approach has focused on ensuring the safety of staff who work on Brick By Brick schemes, as well as those who may live in close proximity.”
That has not been the experience of others living close to other Brick by Brick sites, sometimes where other contractors.
“The workers are just carrying on as if nothing has happened,” said a resident living near the Montpelier site in Purley, who asked not to be named.
“They have never had any real concern for the safety or health of residents living here, from the moment they bulldozed the garages without taking proper precautions over the asbestos dust they created.
“Brick by Brick said on Monday that they were closing down the site. But there are still builders there, taking no coronavirus precautions, and putting our lives at risk through the potential spread of the virus and the NHS at risk.
“It is just extreme recklessness – with our lives.”
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