Council housing safety chief gone weeks after scandal revealed

New Wroxham chairman Lee Robson. Picture: Wroxham FC

Lee Robson is out as head of housing and community safety at Norwich Council - Credit: Archant

The head of city housing safety has left his council role just weeks after a safety scandal was revealed - but City Hall will not say if he was sacked.

Lee Robson was head of housing and community safety at Norwich Council until this month, covering tenancy services and housing assessments.

On October 14 it was revealed that hundreds of people in Norwich council homes had potentially been put in danger because crucial safety inspections of fire, water and electrics were not done.

The failure in oversight meant electrical safety checks at nearly 900 homes, some of which should have been carried out at least five years ago, were never carried out.

Normandie Tower, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Hundreds of council homes had overdue safety inspections. Normandie Tower's fire safety assessment has now been done. - Credit: Archant

And water supplies in up to 500 homes may have missed vital checks for legionella, a germ that can cause lethal illnesses.

It has now emerged that Mr Robson, the officer in charge of the department, is now no longer in his post.

Mr Robson's departure was confirmed to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), after an email to him returned an automated response, that said: "This person no longer works for Norwich City Council".

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But when asked for an explanation for Mr Robson's departure, Norwich City Council refused to answer several questions. 

The LDRS asked: 

  • Are you able to confirm the circumstances that Mr Robson left under - was he sacked by the council or did he resign?
  • Was the departure related to the safety checks failures? 
  • Has Mr Robson been offered any form of payout?
  • Mr Robson is also listed on Companies House as an officer for the Three Score development - what does this mean for the development?

But in response to the questions, a spokeswoman for the city council said: “The city council’s head of housing and community safety, Lee Robson, has left the organisation to pursue other opportunities outside of the council."

Norwich City Council is taking contracted-out services back in-house; Photo: Nick Butcher.

Norwich City Council was unable to clarify why Mr Robson had departed the council - Credit: EDP pics © 2007

Asked for clarity on Mr Robson's departure and if he had worked a notice period, the spokeswoman said she was unable to provide further comment.

Councillors on Norwich City Council's scrutiny committee will be holding a meeting on December 2 to discuss the safety failures.