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Complainant Name:
Brent Council

Clauses Noted: 1, 2

Publication: Kilburn Times


Mr James Diamond, Principal Communications Officer for Brent Council, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper included an inaccurate quote that "half of the parents" had taken their children out of Brentford Primary School following discovery of asbestos in the building. He was further concerned that the newspaper had failed to make clear that the asbestos had, by the time the article was published, been removed from the school. The complainant considered that the terms of Clause 2 (Opportunity to reply) had been breached by the newspaper's failure to publish the council's letter.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following letter:

I feel it was irresponsible of your newspaper not to report the fact that material containing asbestos had been removed from Brentfield Primary School by 9 September.

Your newspaper was told prior to publishing the story that the removal of the asbestos material was started on 30 August and completed on 9 September, ahead of schedule. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was informed about the discovery of the asbestos material and the removal work was carried out safely and securely in strict accordance with HSE regulations. Furthermore, pupils could not have come into contact with the material, which was sealed under a window sill and had not been disturbed previously. Air tests subsequently showed the environment at the school to be safe.

Brent Council understands parents' worries about the discovery of material containing asbestos at Brentfield Primary; however, we can reassure them that the council and the school have done everything necessary to assure their children's safety and to address their concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Krutika Pau
Director Children & Families

Brent Council

Date Published: 12/12/2011

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