The HSE’s concerns about gasometers prompted a bullish response from Ken Livingstone – and plenty of comment on Building’s website. Here’s Phil Clark with the edited highlights
Ken Livingstone has always divided opinion, so it was no surprise that a story concerning his latest tirade, this time against the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), should provoke the most comments on Building’s website this week. According to the London mayor, the HSE’s fears about building houses near “hazardous installations” (read: gasometers) threatens the development of 16,000 homes.
Well, some of you are right behind him. Step forward Darrall: “Life is not without risk and provided the risks have been adequately assessed then there is no reason why this project should not occur.”
Ron Hind adds his support: “I am no fan of Ken but he is at least standing up for what he believes in. There is no doubt that we are all being stifled by bureaucracy and barmy rules that serve little purpose other than to make life difficult for individuals and companies alike.”
The case against is put by Alastair Stewart: “Can you imagine Michael Bloomberg [the mayor of New York City] coming out with such brainless public comments as this and his toe-curling outburst on Metronet?”
Actually, the plight of the tube’s modernisation programme is probably of more pressing concern to Livingstone right now. Reader Michael offered a fascinating insight into the murky world of underground infrastructure: “I’ve tendered and run work on rail, underground and signalling for years. At an internal meeting in 1995, asked why millions of pounds worth of daywork sheets had not been filled in, the legal department told me that they deemed the effort to do so an administrative burden.
“My manager assured me that this was okay as it was not ‘real money’ and we’d still get paid by another route. We did for a while but the firm went bust a few years later. It was a consistent pattern.”
Phil Clark is digital community editor of CMP Information
To read more on Michael’s experiences on the tube, go to "what you think" and click on “Metronet goes into adminstration”