This is a problem which persists to this day. I have taken evidence and made notes about it whenever I hear or see such motor vehicle travelling on the footpaths outside my window. My suggestions were completely disregarded including those of posting signs at strategic points around noting that operating and parking motor vehicles was forbidden. I even suggested that a clamping scheme be instituted similar to the one for parking autos in the other areas where road approaches used clamping autos for parking on the street or in someone's parking place. The motor bikes and scooters were a direct threat to the safety of all pedestrians and would warrant such a measure ahead of someone being put out of a parking place in a vehicle parking area. I was amazed that this suggestion was dismissed out of hand.
Worse, however, was the failure to even post prohibitive signs for several months until I had written numerous letters to the ******* and Council Chief Executives. Instead, they wanted log times for the activity. The point of this was to involve all tenants in the activity over several months (June to September 1998) by deliberately prolonging this serious hasard to the safety of the tenants.
The point of this activity as I perceived it was to build tenant management and not immediately address a serious safety hasard to protect all those using the footpaths. I have this entire sequence of events fully documented. It is without a doubt that this was the intent and purpose for delaying remedial and effective action. This has been the pattern of tenant management which has all but cost me my life at present as regards my problems the foundation of which are outlined herein too.
I have pursued this problem at both the tenant management and Council levels to end the operating and parking of motor vehicles (motor scooters and motor bikes) on the footpaths. I had personally encountered a motor scooter at the front door of the building exiting whilst I was entering because this tenant parked his motor scooter inside the building. In addition upwards of six such vehicles were parked nightly out on the footpath area between two of these buildings for a large part of 1997. These vehicles continued daily trips back and forth along the footpath in front of the building under my window to this parking area amid tenant and visitor pedestrians including old people and children oftentimes driving around them or honking at them if they were in the way on their own pedestrian footpath. Such parking had been going on since I occupied the premises in May 1996 but grew more extensive in 1997 after no one had done anything about it.
For six months I corresponded with the tenant management and the Council about this problem. Although prohibitive signs were promised in June 1997, they were not put up until September 1997. They were effective but only specified one particular area for no parking. Thus, these vehicles moved to another area. Throughout this delay the tenant management sought to individually notify violators rather than place the signs up first to make a clear statement about this forbidden activity.
Thus, confusion existed about what was permitted and what was not and who may or may not be getting away with operating and parking a vehicle on the footpaths. The fact that the signs were inadequate has led to the continued use of this area once again as a parking area for these vehicles. A couple such vehicles had only moved a short distance away and now have returned to using this area despite the posted signs. The failure of the tenant management and the Council when so informed to make a clear and posted policy about operating vehicles on the footpaths has led to this continuing hasard to all tenants.
I was basically afraid to use the front footpath for fear of an accident. Just recently I saw one of these vehicles leave in the morning exiting around the end of the building, driving across the pavement and entering/crossing ************ Road next to a Zebra Crossing. Not only is this a threat to the tenants but to everyone in the neighbourhood. There is an elementary school across the street and many people arrive from the tube station for work along *********** Road and the *********** Road areas. It is a direct result of the ********** and Council's failure to properly deal with this problem that has left it to be a hasard to the safety of everyone since at least May 1996 up to the present. In even walking along the pavement by *********** Road I risked encountering one of these vehicles exiting the footpath area and endangering me and others.
One of these persistent violators lives directly over me and has been a participant in the recent harassment against me in conjunction with the tenant in the flat below me. Last year it was clear that I was involved in providing information about those who operated and parked such vehicles on the footpaths to both the tenant management and the police the latter of which visited the persistent violators at the end of the year after the signs were vandalised which have now remained when replaced properly.
Thus, this issue is one which the tenant above is keen that I do not continue to bring to the attention of those in authority who might curtail this hasardous operating and parking activity which is most convenient for these tenants. This has happened as I had recently brought this to the attention of the Council's Chief Executive only to experience stepped up harassment amid a direct indication that this communication had been noted. It is my belief that this tenant is active in the tenant management and assumes special privileges for doing so. It is also my belief that this is why the provision for prohibiting such operating and parking activity are inadequate in order to permit these tenants with special management access and activity to operate and park these vehicles on the footpaths. Recently, the ********** Chief Executive sent around a letter which stated that it was strictly forbidden for any vehicle to be operated and parked on the footpaths. The ******** continues to turn a blind eye to this activity and puts the tenants at serious risk in doing so. This is a major failure of tenant management.
This situation also persists to this day. The written response to this issue which I received stated that the tenants had "voted" to accept the situation as it existed. I considered it in violation of an implied clause to the Tenancy Agreement which requires that the Landlord provide adequate refuse disposal facilities. This is a key problem where the tenant management has usurped the Tenancy Agreement that I have with the ************ and reflects the manipulation of the management and lawful contract obligations. The tenants cannot "vote" to abrogate implied Tenancy Agreement obligations.
The rubbish facilities are inadequate and not used in this area by the tenants for the most part which has been the case since May 1996 when he occupied the premises. Despite repeatedly bringing this to the attention of the management, the Environmental Health Department and the Council's Chief Executive this condition has been deliberately allowed to persist.
The rubbish accumulates almost every night with numerous bags of rubbish placed on the floor under the open chute whose safety door is removed and sits on the floor a distance away thus constituting a safety hasard for children. The chute opening is just too small for large bags of rubbish to be placed in them, and the tenants leave them on the floor. This has been sanctioned by the management so that bags of all sizes are left on the floor for the management's contract cleaners to come each morning to put down the chute. These bags remain out overnight, are open and spill garbage on out the floor near drains. This produces a risk of bacterial infection for everyone who walks in the area and feeds the rodent population daily. This area has been noted as one of the most serious areas were the rodent population has exploded reaching a point where the British Telecom linemen refused to go into the underground wiring pipes last year due to the number of rats there. It is no secret who is feeding this rat population.
In April 1997 I brought this to the attention of tenant management and the Council's Environmental Health Department with no results. The matter was then taken to the Council's Chief Executive with the same lack of results. A "phoney" inspection was cited by the Environmental Health Department where only one bag of rubbish was noted as present. This was completely contrary to an extensive log kept which I kept during this period and to the present. I noted this mis-statement of facts to tenant management and the Council's Chief Executive and received what was an admonishment for calling the tenant management chairperson a "liar" with a refusal from the Council to further correspond about the matter.
I complained about the phoney inspection to the Council's Chief Executive as well only to receive a whitewash statement from the Environmental Health Department which the Chief Executive accepted. I had a letter published in the autumn of 1997 about this health threat in the ********** newspaper due to the extensive publicity about the increasing rat population and "passing the buck" between water company and council:
"Who will save us from the rats? [Headline supplied by the newspaper]
"There is far more to the irresponsibility with regard to rat control than just buck passing and liaison failure between council and water company . . . .
"The [Council] refuses to accept responsibility for inadequate refuse disposal facilities in its own estate. As a result, up to 20 refuse bags accumulate each night next to drains.
"This refuse is in plastic bags, often open at the top, or is apparently chewed open. The garbage spills onto the floor. At the beginning of this year, the [tenant management] acknowledged in its newsletter that this problem was . . . wide and the Fire Brigade had provided a written notification that it is a fire hazard.
"This is most serious for me as I am a former cancer patient who suffers from lymph oedema in my right arm and am especially at risk from bacterial infection.
"Until local government acknowledge the problem and acts responsibly, the rat population will continue to grow."
After this was published, I finally received a letter directly from the Council's Chief Executive asserting that the current situation was proper and would continue as is. I had kept a log of this daily rubbish accumulation since that time, and it has not subsided. I had noted this fact in subsequent correspondence with the Council's Chief Executive, but the problem persists to the detriment of all tenants, visitors and especially myself due to my vulnerability resulting from cancer surgery.
In addition please note the following events. In the middle of May 1998 when I was returning about 10:30 am one morning, there was a dog trying to eat a piece of fat in front of the third floor rubbish chute. The dog was standing at the top of the stairs as I ascended them from the second floor. It had one paw on one end of a long piece of fat while it had the other end in its mouth trying to pull it apart. It was trying to break it to make it more edible I would guess since the long piece of fat was too long to eat as is. The dog was standing amid numerous rubbish bags laying on the floor at least one of which was open where it had evidently rummaged for and found this piece of fat. It is possible that the dog might have torn open a bag being attracted by its smell.
I have also noted as I have in recent weeks that the hinges on the door to the chute were broken. This comes from trying to ram down bags of rubbish that are too large for the rubbish door and its chute which is designed to be child proof so that small children cannot climb down into the chute without the chute door being fully closed. The chute doors eventually break, are removed and are then left on the floor with the rubbish chute wide open as a hasard to children who might want to "play" there.
It was and is absolutely imperative for me to address this matter to preserve and protect my health since I was and am especially vulnerable to bacterial infection. In addition, the rubbish constitutes a night fire threat which could block the only closest fire exit for myself and other tenants at this end of the building who live above the Walkway level one floor down. Smoke, fire and the absence of electricity could make it impossible for tenants to find their way out of the building safely. Just recently there have been huge stacks of rubbish on the floor with the bags open and garbage spilling out constituting both a serious health and safety threat as described. The problem continues almost daily.
In August 1997 I had to call the police in another matter as a weapon was taken from an auto in the street below my kitchen window following a verbal altercation and the breaking of glass which I heard outside my front window from the road area. The police arrived immediately and took the matter in hand. One of the people turned out to be a young male relative/friend visitor to the flat below. This vicious violence was what I had been hearing over the previous year and would continue to note for the following year. This same young male was the one who, subsequent to this event, I heard choking the young boy in the flat below on several occasions. I took notes of the worst of it.
On or about 5th May 1998 to locks to all three access doors to the building were rendered inoperable and became unlocked by means of removing the metallic plates on the doors which allowed the magnets to keep the doors locked. In addition to the front door, there are two doors (upper and lower) at the ************ Road exit at the north end of the Walkway. I live at the south end of this portion of the building. These are emergency exit doors only and cannot be used for entrance except by those who have a key. Thus, for those who do not have these electronic keys, they usually find some way of propping open these doors for access. I have found this to be the case numerous times and removed these devices each time. I have even found nails in the door jam of the front door used to prop it open so it would not lock.
I notified the tenant management immediately on or about 6th May 1998 about the fact that now all three access doors to the building were unlocked by this most recent vandalism and urged immediate repair. After two weeks when the repair was not effected, I again wrote to the Council's Chief Executive which also brought no results. The matter was simply one of replacing the metal plates in the doors and involved no electronic work or devices at all.
I then experienced an attempted burglary on the morning of 3rd June 1998 when the front door was unlocked. First the burglar attempted to ring my flat with the front door buzzer and intercom system. I did not respond as I never do when I am not expecting anyone. A minute or two later the burglar was at my front door trying to get through it. It was obvious that without the protection of the locked front door this burglar could simply walk right into the building.
After failing to gain access through my front door, the burglar broke my bathroom window which can be used as a means of access as I had been earlier warned. I was able to see the burglar through the front door's peephole and called the police after it was obvious that he was trying to gain entry. The police arrived just a minute late to catch him, but one of my neighbours saw him leaving. In providing a description to the police this neighbour stated that he had been burgled some three months earlier.
It was still another two weeks before the front door and the other two exit door locks were fixed. This attempted burglary was no incentive at all for the tenant management or the Council to get this repair accomplished immediately despite notification of the burglary attempt and further requests to repair these doors. I have done everything I could to prevent a burglary which would destroy my employment activity and render me unemployable. I would never recover in my current financial circumstances from a burglary.
Thus, all the activity I pursues to preserve and protect the security of the building which has been done since mid-1996 is one of the most important things I can do. However, I have met with a failure to maintain building security in a meaningful way and have ultimately been subjected to an attempted burglary as a direct result. Had I not been here my life could have been destroyed with respect to my employment activity. This is also the reason why I have insured the newly purchased computer hardware and software for its protection in case a burglary does happen. The attempted burglary occurred within two weeks after the initial acquisition of this computer system and would have been stolen in a successful burglary had I not been present to prevent the burglary.