Pilgrims Hatch Lib Dem councillors David Kendall, Barry Aspinell and Vicky Davies were contacted by concerned residents that a communal walkway to the rear of their properties was locked and bolted by a newly installed resident.
This communal walkway acts as a fire escape as well as the only access to the rear gardens of these particular properties.
Despite several approaches from the council's housing officers the resident refused to remove the bolt and padlock. A subsequent visit by a Fire Safety Officer recommended that the lock be removed and additional rubbish blocking neighbours access also be removed. Still, the resident took no notice.
Former firefighter, Cllr Barry Aspinell, said "I can't believe this individual is putting not only themselves, but also those of their neighbours at risk".
The three ward councillors have now written to the Council stating that they have done all they can to resolve the issue, that the Fire Service is aware and have made recommendations that are being ignored and that the Council is fully aware of the situation and must therefore accept full responsibility. Within hours contractors from the council had removed the padlock and bolt and the next day further contractors removed the obstructions and rubbish blocking neighbouring gateways. The resident concerned has also been written to in order that the terms of their tenancy can be fully understood and complied with. The bill for the work will arrive at the door of the offending tenant shortly.