Residents in the Ropewalks area of the city centre living in Circle 109 in Henry Street are stunned by the news that they received in the past few days. Circle 109 is a modern development of 7 storeys, it contains 109 apartments (hence its name), a ground floor retail space and communal courtyard.
Following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower on 14th June 2017 which claimed 72 lives and the subsequent outcry about the dangerous cladding that facilitated the rapid spread of the fire it was revealed that Circle 109 had similar cladding that needed replacing urgently. That still hasn’t happened almost 3 years later. As a consequence it became necessary to guarantee fire safety to the residents in the block and Centrick, the Managing Agent, decided that there should be a fire warden, called the ‘Waking Watch’, employed to check the building especially through the night hours.
This was a charge put on the leaseholders of the building and reported to be in the region of £3250 per week. However in the past few days it has been reported that Centrick have resigned as Managing Agent and sent a letter to all residents asking them to start a voluntary rota to keep the ‘Waking Watch’ as it was no longer going to maintain the position due to worries about the coronavirus and the dangers to the health of the employees. Residents are rightly furious about this turn of events and took to social media and the Echo to make their voices heard.
The latest news about this really distressing situation for residents was that another company Kerrington Property has been appointed but there has been no report of any progress in either the question of re-cladding the building or about the fire safety of everyone in the building.