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Parliament probes Calpe House asbestos concerns

Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon yesterday told Parliament that she was concerned over a number of ‘discrepancies’ surrounding the discovery of asbestos inside the new Calpe House buildings in London after the purchase had taken place.

The subject drew a strong response from Joe Bossano, Minister for Economic Development, who underscored that the issue had been resolved and accused the Independent MP of “stirring it up for the sake of getting attention”.

In a question and answer session, Mrs Hassan Nahon asked if the Government intended to launch an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the discovery of asbestos in the building after the purchase had already taken place.

She flagged up “discrepancies” in the comments of Albert Poggio on the matter and the guidelines of the Health and Safety Executive Authority.

Mr Poggio, she said, had remarked that a ‘restrictive’ non intrusive survey was carried out on the property due to regulations.

Whereas the guidelines “say quite the opposite” and actually recommends that intrusive and thorough checks are carried out on Grade II listed buildings with regards to asbestos management.

She told the House that the matter raised a number of questions as to why the purchase was made without the proper checks being carried out.

The asbestos was discovered in voids under the floorboards of the 155-year old, Grade II listed buildings in Norfolk Square, London, which the Calpe House Trust purchased in order to keep up with demand.

The buildings are being refurbished at a cost of £6 million to re-home Calpe House from its current location and increase capacity threefold.

Mrs Hassan Nahon’s comments drew flak from Mr Bossano who drew a distinction between the Government and the Calpe House Trust as a private charity.



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