Invective Problem Solving – and still Dicing with Death: British Land and McAleer & Rushe show their mettle


Arrant attitudes to health and safety at 2-14 Baker Street site on Baker's Mews

So, here we have it. British Land who, at a meeting with a neighbour of the site at 2-14 Baker Street (10 Portman Square) – who had been treatened by McAleer & Rushe thugs, on Tuesday 7th June, stated “We have a long successful track record of building of buildings. And part of that is understanding that [the] contractor might be the builder but we are responsible for it. So we have project managers, we have people who monitor their work. But also, we in turn are monitored by people at Health and Safety.”

And further clarified with the additional rider of “We have independent health and safety advisors to regulate the site. But in terms of any health and safety breaches, we take that very seriously. So we don’t just sit back and allow McAleer & Rushe to do as they will. We monitor that very very carefully.”

But the issues with the rear of the development site at 2-14 Baker Street (10 Portman Square) remain such that one must reasonably conclude that this is a case of ‘you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.’

Or maybe it’s the old ostrich story of having one’s head stuck in the sand or having you head stuck so far up somewhere else…. Whatever it is, something is seriously wrong at British Land’s 2-14 Baker Street (10 Portman Square) site.

Having raised and written about tangible, real and documented (including video and still image records) safety issues in Baker’s Mews, to the rear of the 2-14 Baker Street (10 Portman Square) development, the farce continues.

The words ‘arrant’ and ‘invective’ are polite description of conflict resolution at work in relation to this site.

To respond to site vehicles driving at pedestrians and on the pavement endangering life with barriers to prevent such errant behaviour would normally be commendable. A visual sign that the issue is being taken seriously.

But in this case one wonders whether the barriers are there to protect te errant drivers and not pedestrians. Or is all just for show? To put barriers and cones on the pavement in the manner depicted in the above image is to stick two fingers at health and safety. It is sticking two fingers at those passing through the Mews and, in particular, it is sticking two fingers at the local residents who have to deal with this ‘crap’ every day.

Is it acceptable that a pedestrian has to physically move cones and barriers just to walk down a pavement? Is it too much to expect safe and unimpeded pedestrian access AT ALL TIMES? Is it safe practice to place cones or any tripping danger in the way of pedestrians? Is it acceptable to block the way of wheelchairs and parents with buggies?

Of course, the site work and shareholder value must take precedence. That seems to be the rule of thumb with British Land and McAleer & Rushe.

The only reason the barriers and cones are as they are in the photo is because site traffic continues to mount the pavement and continues to be facilitated by McAleer and Rushe in mounting the pavement.

Maintaining risk to the young, to the old and infirm, to wheelchair-bound, to the blind and to any other users of the pavement appears to be acceptable and preferable to the inconvenience of safe practices.

After all, safety takes time. Time is money and that’s just what McAleer & Rushe don’t seem to have.

Who in their right mind would award such a build and development contract to an effectively bankrupt company who ride roughshod over public safetly – and in a manner that is so blatant? Can this company really be so arrogant that it believes itself above the law and/or that it is not accountable for its actions?

And as to British Land – where is the evidence of “….in terms of any health and safety breaches, we take that very seriously. So we don’t just sit back and allow McAleer and Rushe to do as they will. We monitor that very very carefully.”?

If only Boris Johnston did some cycling around this part of London… we migh see more action than from Westminster City Council who clearly should not allow this site to operate.

About 10 Portman Square | 2-14 Baker Street

10 Portman Square | 2-14 Baker Street Campaign This blog makes no claim of association or representation of the development known as 10 Portman Square | 2-14 Baker Street in London. This blog is a communication tool only and serves to highlight issues affecting members of the public and residents in the vacinity of that site. The development site at 2-14 Baker Street (10 Portman Square) was acquired by McAleer and Rushe in 2005 with a loan from Bank of Ireland. The price paid was £57.2m. Unable to repay the loan, the debt was designated for NAMA. Before NAMA assumed the debt, McAleer and Rushe sold the site back to British Land in 2010 for nearly £30m less than it had paid. The deal appears to have benefited McAleer and Rushe in a number of ways that may not be realised financially by NAMA. This includes a share of the development profits and the awarding of the construction contract to McAleer at a time that their auditors (KMPG) suggest that this company may not be "a going concern". According to McAleer & Rushe's latest available accounts (filed 2011) all the company's debts are "payable on demand" suggesting that they have not met their repayment schedule on their loans. There are ongoing issues at the site at 2-14 Baker Street (10 Portman Square) affecting members of the public and local residents. Members of the public and local residents have been put at risk many times and, too date, neither British Land or McAleer & Rushe appear to have faced no real consequences from a regulatory or legal persective. McAleer & Rushe have resorted to threats, harrassment and intimidation towards local residents objecting to unsafe practices and affected by the practices employed on and around the site. There have been a number of safety failures leading to deaths on other McAleer & Rushe sites in the UK. Full information and supporting evidence is available on request to interested parties.
This entry was posted in Boris Johnson, British Land, Building Site, Commercial Development, Congestion Charging London, Construction, HSE, London, London Mayor, London Olympics, Mayor of London, McAleer and Rushe, Mob, NAMA, Parking in London, Retail Development, Thug, Thuggery, Tourism London, Uncategorized, West End, Westminster, Westminster City Council and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Invective Problem Solving – and still Dicing with Death: British Land and McAleer & Rushe show their mettle

  1. Pingback: Dicing with Death – Update: McAleer and Rushe’s Health and Safety Record | 2-14 Baker Street

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