Search

Council spends over £25,000 protecting empty West Hampstead offices from squatters since 2012

11:00 06 March 2014

Cllr Theo Blackwell.

Cllr Theo Blackwell.

Archant

Camden Council has paid a security firm more than £25,000 to protect vacant former council offices in West Hampstead over the last 16 months.

In response to a written question at full council on Monday, Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance, revealed that the council has spent £25,414 securing 156 West End Lane.

The offices, above builders’ merchants Travis Perkins, were ­vacated by housing and adult ­social care staff in November 2012 ahead of the building’s sale.

It is one of numerous council ­offices being sold in preparation for the council’s move to new headquarters in King’s Cross this summer.

Cllr Blackwell said that the ­expenditure ensured “twice daily and twice nightly patrols of the internal and external areas of the building” in order to “reduce the risk of illegal occupation of the premises due to squatting”.

Lib Dem leader Cllr Keith Moffitt said: “It was planned for a long time that this building was going to be sold off. One of our arguments has been, ‘Surely we can find a temporary use for this rather than having it stand empty?’ Instead it’s been left empty, it’s very shocking.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

18:12
Ian Campbell outside Hendon Magistrates' Court. Picture: Polly Hancock.

A man who threatened to burn down a bus packed with Jewish women and children has been jailed for five months for his anti-Semitic tirade.

17:00
Left to right: Jeremy Clynes, Deborah Warland, Hetty Colchester and Jonathan Seres, who all helped to set up Garden Suburb Community Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Campaigners who took over running their local library to save it from closure fear that new multi-million pound cuts will “decimate” Barnet’s library service.

16:45
Will Jenkins, of Highgate School, was a finalist in the 11-14 category at the 50th Wildlife Photograher of the Year Awards

When an 11-year-old Highgate schoolboy leapt out of a swimming pool to capture a striking dragon-like iguana on camera, he had no clue the snap would class him among the best young photographers in the world.

08:56
Patrick O'Leary

A member of a violent gang that burst into a woman’s home and stabbed her in the face with a screwdriver has been jailed.

Most read news

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Another two men were taken to local hospital with serious injuries.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition