Monday 22 January 2018

Green peer adds her voice to calls for independent investigation into Paddington Cemetery asbestos dump

Dust at Paddington Cemetery (FPC)

Jenny Jones (Baroness Jones of Moulsecoom) the Green Party member of the House of Lords, has written to Brent Council supporting  the call for an independent investigation into the asbestos contamination in Paddington Cemetery LINK.

Jones writes:
Cllr Duffy has written to me on behalf of a the Friends Of Paddington Cemetery (FPC), a local residents group. The group have concerns around the issue of the inappropriate use of asbestos contaminated soil to create additional burial sites in the Cemetery. Having read their concerns I am troubled by the lack of transparency being shown by the council and by the secretive way senior officers and leadership of the council are conducting themselves.

Can you tell me how the waste arrived on site and did the council knowingly deliver contaminated (with asbestos) waste to Paddington Cemetery in August 2015?

I am further troubled by the failure of your in-house audit team to interview any residents or member of the workforce who may have been exposed  to the asbestos. NHS guidelines say "While asbestos can be dangerous, it does not present a health risk if left undisturbed, but if material containing asbestos is damaged, it can release a fine dust that contains asbestos fibres. When the dust is breathed in, the asbestos fibres enter the lungs and can gradually damage them over time.” 

The pictures provided by FPC  (above) clearly show a considerable amount of dust being raised by the workman on the mound after the asbestos was discovered. If the council allows those workmen to work on the mound without protective overalls and masks and training, it's a very serious matter that puts both the workmen and public at risk.

Based on the evidence I have seen I should like to add my support to FPC efforts to have an independent investigation. Cllr Duffy has suggested an expert on Health and Safety should oversee this which seems appropriate to me. I hope you agree to an independent investigation.

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