Asbestos left in road for months
Slabs of potentially lethal asbestos have been left crumbling in a Streatham street four months after they were first reported to the council, it has been claimed.
Ali, of Ali’s Car Service, said he rang the council about the toxic hazard in Gleneldon Mews behind Streatham High Road when he first spotted it four months ago, and was referred to a toxic waste body which failed to respond to messages.
He said: "It’s obviously toxic waste and cancerous. We have been trying to get it sorted, but with no luck."
Last week he took to Twitter in a bid to get some action and within days a council employee did a site visit and said it would be removed by Tuesday.
He said: "Twitter seems to be the magic tool at the moment."
Jonathan Bartley, chairman of Streatham Green Party, said that he followed up with the council after hearing about the asbestos from Ali last week.
Mr Bartley said: "It was posing a health risk. What was of great concern is that it was breaking up.
"If it is not gone today I will go back chasing Lambeth and they will chase the city of London."
A Lambeth Council spokesperson said it had no record of the original complaint and its Streetcare department was only informed of the asbestos last Wednesday.
Its highways manager visited the site the next day.
She said: "It is disgraceful that someone dumped asbestos in Gleneldon Mews, and we took action as soon as we were informed about it.
"We immediately contacted the Corporation of London which has responsibility for collecting hazardous waste in London and sent them some photographs and relevant details.
"The corporation have told us that they will collect the asbestos sheets as soon as possible, as part of their hazardous waste collection service."
Margaret Sharkey, adviser at the London Hazards Centre, said she thought a person reporting something as dangerous as asbestos should be put through to the right person in the council.
Ms Sharkey said: "You need an easy system to get through to the people you need. It’s quite shocking the council have known about potential asbestos for so long and done nothing about it."
She said probably just walking past asbestos did not put people at too much risk, but asbestos fibres could have been given off.
She said: "Anybody still getting exposure to asbestos has got the possibility in 10 or 15 years time of getting asbestos-related cancers."