CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

There is massive corruption in the building industry

13 July, 2017

• I AM very suspicious of contracts handed out to private contractors for public works and this suspicion is based on my own experience when I worked for the Grater London Council 30 years ago.

That has led me to conclude that there is massive corruption in the building industry with substantial sums of money involved.

At the GLC I was offered numerous bribes including:

• All the timber for a boat I was building.

• A good quality watch (when I refused they said couldn’t they lay it on the grass in front of me and I just pick it up).

• A 35mm camera.

• A trip to Chelsea Flower show.

• One architect was given all the bricks for his new house provided he specified the same brick for a massive GLC scheme.

Margaret Thatcher is to be blamed for introducing the idea of self-regulation and the abolition of state regulation which was established by Charles II after the Great Fire of London in 1666 when he charged Sir Christopher Wren to make fire prevention regulations using district surveyors.

Self-regulation must inevitably be a nonsense. For example after the King’s Cross fire in 1987 with 51 dead, an Evening Standard journalist and I had a bit of stolen tube lining tested by the Boreham Wood Fire Research Station which showed that while the spread of flame was not bad (only four inches a minute), the carbon monoxide given off would kill you in 11 seconds.

As a result of that test the entire Underground had to have the stuff ripped out.

NICHOLAS WOOD
South Hill Park Gardens, NW3

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