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NHS Harrow blasted by Navin Shah over fire at Kenmore clinic

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By Jack Royston

A LABOUR politician has blasted NHS Harrow after a fire at a derelict Kenton health centre where there is asbestos.

The organisation closed down Kenmore Clinic because of health and safety fears in December 2008 but the building has sat, overgrown with weeds, for almost two years.

At around 6pm last night a fire started, damaging the roof and part of the one storey building, in Kenmore Road, sending smoke billowing into the skies above.

Navin Shah, London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, says he met chief executive Mark Easton in September highlighting concerns about vandalism and the safety of the site, but claims his calls fell on deaf ears.

Mr Shah, who is also a member of the fire authority, is now calling for an investigation into the safety of the building and even called for Harrow Council inspectors to be called in.

He said: “We have constantly asked about the future of this site particularly concerns about the clinic, which was shut down without consultation, and the chief executive has done nothing.”

The grounds are protected only by a relatively low fence and Mr Shah, who is also a ward councillor for the area, says he is concerned children may even break inside the building.

Following a review of health and safety at the clinic in 2008 a damning report exposed a raft of problems, including with the maintenance of the safety of asbestos and with the security of the fence, windows and doors.

The documented recommended the clinic be closed “immediately” without consultation, due to the “urgency and severity” of problems with the “unacceptable” building.

Robert Smith, a spokesman for NHS Harrow, confirmed the organisation still owns the site, which is insured, and said there was no asbestos in the roof, where the most visible damage was done.

He said: “NHS Harrow understands that the London Fire Brigade is currently investigating the cause of the fire.

“We are eager to know what happened and will be able to comment further at that stage.”

 

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Comment from Navin:

This picture was taken before the fire at Kenmore Clinic, when I and fellow councillors initially asked NHS Harrow to secure the grounds properly.

kenmore 2.jpg

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17th November 2010