Work underway to fix wind damage to council tower block

Published: Tuesday, 2nd November 2021

Work is underway to assess and repair damage to a council tower block in Blackbird Leys caused by high winds on Sunday morning.

Cladding panels on the sixth and eleventh floors of Evenlode Tower were blown off during a 55mph storm which inflicted significant damage across Oxfordshire, with other panels loosened but still in place.

Nobody was hurt.

Oxford City Council’s direct services company ODS attended Evenlode Tower on Sunday morning and worked with the emergency services to secure the site. With visible damage confined to the western elevation of the building, a cordon was put in place which includes the closure of Blackbird Leys Road, footpaths and the erection of safety barriers.

ODS also carried out visual inspections on the council’s four other tower blocks, where there is no evident damage as a result of Sunday’s storm.

The cordon will remain at least until Wednesday (3 November), when contractors Fortem – who are responsible for cladding on all the council’s tower blocks – will assess the full extent of the damage and work needed to put this right.

Fortem will then undertake inspections of the council’s remaining four blocks to ascertain whether any wider damage has been caused.

Comment

“I’m grateful to the emergency services and ODS for their work in securing Evenlode Tower ahead of a full inspection by Fortem on Wednesday.

“Once this has taken place we’ll know what work is needed to put the damage right and we can then inspect our other four tower blocks to make sure they remain safe. We will not compromise on standards and the health, wellbeing and safety of tenants and residents in our tower blocks is paramount.”

Councillor Susan Brown, leader of Oxford City Council