Mr. JAMES GORMAN, Sworn
Examined by Ms. BHALOO
MS. BHALOO: Thank you, Mr. Gorman. Could you give his Honour your name and business address?
A Yeah. My name is James Gorman and I work from 100A Chalk Farm Road, Chalk Farm.
Q Mr. Gorman, there is a bundle which should be labelled B1 somewhere amongst those bundles in front of you.
Q If you turn to tab 14 of that. (After a pause): Is that your statement?
A It is.
Q If you could just turn through to the end, p.62, is that your signature?
A It is.
Q Have you had an opportunity to read through this statement recently?
A I have, yes.
Q Is there anything you want to change in it?
A No, there isn’t.
Q Are the contents true?
A Yes, they are.
MS. BHALOO: Your Honour, again, I would ask that it stand as his evidence in chief.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes. Just let me read.
MS. BHALOO: Mr. Gorman, if you wait, there will be some questions for you.
JUDGE COWELL: (After a pause): So I am just going to para.4. It is 9th June 2006, “the leak in the electricity cupboard situated” -- so this is 9th June ’06. (After a pause): Just a minute, you say, “He asked me to inspect the property” at the end of para.4. Did you go and inspect it?
A Yes, I did.
A It would have been soon after 9th June. I don’t recollect exactly when I went there, but it would’ve been certainly in the -- soon after that instruction from my senior surveyor, Ed Coster.
Q Soon after 9th June. This is all very well, all the email exchange. (After a pause): Are you quoting in para.6 from the emails? Are you doing anything other than that?
A I’m not quoting from the emails, no.
Q How do you ----
A What I’m saying is that I have seen the email exchange between Jacqui Greene and the former area surveyor of WC1, Richard Ukhueleigbe.
Q Richard ----
A Richard Ukhueleigbe. There was also an email exchange when I was away on leave in August 2006.
Q Yes. This statement has just been prepared by a solicitor looking at the documents, as far as I can understand. Then, at the very end of para.6, “Richard told Jacqui Greene that I would follow up on this issue once I returned from annual leave on 14th August ‘06”. That is taken from an email, is it not? Let us have a look. Tell me, you say you went after 9th June.
A Soon after 9th June, yes.
Q What did you do when you went?
A I met with ----
Q “On 9th June 2006, I met” ----
A With the leaseholder, Ms. Jo Gavin. I could see that there was certainly localised patches of damp in the electrical intake cupboard.
Q “I could see patches of damp” -- in where?
A In the electrical intake cupboard.
Q “… in the electrical intake cupboard”. Did you look at the premises in 104 or 106 to Q Yes, I can help you with that.
A And, from there, I was led down to the intake room to look at the damp in that room.
Q Yes. So did you have occasion to look at the state of the walls in 104 or 106 to 108, or did you not notice?
A I did not notice. I was primarily -- the intake room, from memory.
A From recollection, I can’t quite remember.
Q “I can’t remember”.
A I went to the main entrance, which was the art gallery, which I think is ----
A -- 104.
Q I see. “I did not notice walls in 104 or 106 to 108”. So you saw the patches of damp in the electrical intake cupboard.
Q First of all, did you do anything about it?
A Well, from my inspection, as I said, it was quite localised in small patches on the flank wall.
Q “Quite localised, small patches on the flank wall”.
A That’s right.
Q That is the wall which borders which property, the gallery or the ----
A Well, it doesn’t, but that actual -- but that wall isn’t so much a party wall. It’s -- the wall, if you like. It’s a retaining wall against the -- sort of, the pavement area, if you like, directly on the outside of that.
Q At the front?
A At the front. That’s right, yeah.
Q I see, the flank wall at the front, next to pavement. Yes, I follow.
A I was of the opinion at the time that as it wasn’t a habitable space that the level of dampness there wasn’t a risk.
Q “As not habitable, level of damp was not a risk” ----
A Not a risk to the occupants as it wasn’t a habitable room.
Q -- “to occupants”. Yes?
A And, at the time, the location of the damp was at some distance from the electrical equipment in the room.
Q “Location was some distance from the electrical apparatus”.
A Yeah. From experience of similar ----
Q That was up against another wall, was it not?
A It was. If you entered into the intake room, it was on the right-hand side party wall, which would be 104.
Q Yes, “electrical apparatus on party wall with 104”. So did you do anything in the sense of reporting it or taking any kind of action?
A I went back to my senior surveyor, Ed Coster ----
Q “I went back to Ed Coster, senior surveyor” ----
A -- who at the time was in contact with Ms. Gavin, and reported my findings back to him.
Q -- “in contact with …” ----
A I was under the belief that both Ms. Gavin and Ed Coster then were going to make contact with Thames Water ----
Q -- “believing that they would contact Thames Water” ----
A -- to advise them of a possible leak on the supply side.
Q -- “to advise … leak on supply side”. So that is as far as your involvement went on that occasion.
A That’s correct, yes.
Q Yes. Then in para.7 you say you attended in September 2006.
Q How did that come about?
A I can’t quite remember exactly how the inspection was booked. It may have been through our customer contact centre, asking for the inspection to be there, or it may have been an occasion when I was on the estate; I would pop in or bump into Ms. Gavin and look at the situation again.
Q “May be centre, may be looked in”. Yes?
A On that occasion the situation was very similar to when I was last there in June.
Q I see, “very similar situation”, as you say in para.7.
A That’s right, yes.
Q Yes. (After a pause): You say there it was situated on the wall opposite the electric elements.
A Yes, that’s ----
Q But it was at a right angle.
A It was a right angle, yes, sideways, sir.
Q Then para.9: you attended 104 in October ‘06 to deal with a leak from the flat above.
A That’s right, yes.
Q Then you quote from various emails. Do you recall looking at the electricity room, or cupboard, in October ‘06?
A I do. The reference to Les Robinson: he was a contract supervisor at the time for our term contractor, FWA West.
Q “A contract supervisor with West”.
A FWA West.
Q “FWA West”.
A They were our building contractor at the time. He was also a qualified electrician as well.
Q Yes, “and an electrician, October ‘06”. Was this when the asphalt was put down?
A That was a separate occasion, the asphalt situation, to the ----
Q When it was done by FWA?
A FWA did some asphalting works.
Q Yes, and then they were redone by Kingsbury later on.
A That’s correct, yes. That’s right.
Q Yes, I see. So was it on the day that FWA was doing the asphalting?
A It was a similar period but not on the -- it wasn’t ----
Q Not on the same ----
A -- the same day, no.
Q Not on the same day, not on 3rd October. Anyway, Les carried out a pressure test.
A That’s right. I believe Thames Water had been out to the -- to Cromer Street quite a bit from complaints from Ms. Gavin. And, as far as I gather, they couldn’t locate the problem. So to ensure that it wasn’t on the customer’s side we carried out pressure tests from the main rise into the block at Cromer House to see if we could find any leaks that side of things. We couldn’t find any leaks on the customer’s side on the pressure test.
Q “Couldn’t find a leak on customer’s side by pressure tests”. So it looks as though that was your last visit to the premises. Was it your last in October ’06?
A I believe so, yes.
Q The visit on 19th July, which you refer to in para.10, was done by someone called ----
A Yeah, Babetunde.
Q -- Okenule.
A That’s right, yeah.
Q (After a pause): I think everything else is all about -- you say what the documents say. (After a pause): Paragraph 16, near the end: “There is a reference to my visiting the property the following day on 15th January 2008”. Did you?
A From recollection, I do know I was there in January 2008.
Q Yes. “It appears by this time the leak to the electrical cupboard had been resolved”.
A It’s in that period soon after, a month or so after, Thames Water replaced the old Victorian cast-iron main in the street.
Q Yes. You went on 15th January, according to the document.
Q Was everything all right then?
A The electrical intake cupboard did appear to be dry on that occasion.
Q “15th January ‘08, electricity cupboard appeared to be dry”. (After a pause): You say, “At no time did I see any evidence” - this is para.17 - “that the leak had spread into 104 to 106”, but your evidence earlier was that you did not notice.
A Well, on my first visit there I didn’t carry out a full survey to the property, but on my subsequent visits there I did a full survey to both 104 and 106.
Q You did a full survey.
A In October. My first visit there in June, the survey was primarily to the intake room and it was … the intake room.
Q In October, you did what?
A I did a more thorough survey with Les Robinson from our contractor to both 104 and 106.
Q What did you notice in 104 and 106 in October ‘06?
A At the time, there was certainly -- it was the same sort of period where there was signs of mould growth near the glass bricks in the road in 106 area.
Q “Signs of mould growth in 106”, from what?
A There’s glass bricks ----
Q From glass bricks.
A -- that are sited in the -- give natural lighting to the basement area. This is a completely opposite end from where the intake cupboard is, and I was of the opinion then that it was probably more due to the fact that ventilation in the basement areas was quite poor and that it was more likely to be condensation rather than a fracture in the glass brick. But, to be on the safe side, I think … we’d agreed to replace certain bricks.
Q Yes, and I know that they were in fact replaced. Did you order the asphalting?
A I did. Initially, it was with our term contract at FWA West. The work was quite poor, and that’s when we instructed Kingsbury to attend ----
Q Kinsbury, yes.
A -- to renew the asphalt to the outside.
Q Yes, I see. When you went, it was before FWA West did the asphalting.
A Before they did work, yeah. My first visit there was before the … works.
Q It was before asphalting, yes. So you noticed the mould in 106.
A That’s correct.
Q Did you notice anything in 104?
A Not from -- I don’t remember seeing anything of -- any damp or condensation in 104, other than what I saw in 106, the condensation in the glass bricks.
Q Yes. (After a pause): I take it, if you go to paras.20 and 21, that you raised the job order without going to the premises.
A That’s correct, yes.
Q Yes, fine, as a result of complaints. Then you made a visit in July ‘07, para.22, or at a later date. Was that in July or how much later?
A It would have been late July, early August 2007.
Q Yes. (After a pause): Were you involved in the job orders in para.23 or were you just looking at the documents?
A No, I was involved in raising works orders ----
Q You raised them.
A -- to the subsequent contractors, yes.
Q Yes, “I raised …”. (After a pause): Were you involved in any way with the leak from the glass bricks in 2004?
A No, I wasn’t.
Q No. (After a pause): Then in para.26 you are simply setting out what the documents show, are you not?
Q Yes, then we are back to October ‘06 in para.27.
Q (After a pause): In para.29, when you refer to the damage caused by the water leaking, you are referring to the ----
A The glass blocks.
Q From the glass blocks, nothing to do with the electricity meter.
A Nothing at all.
Q I see. (After a pause): You refer to the floor in para.30. Do you remember when in 2007 you ----
A I think, from memory, it would have been quite early in 2007. It was two or three months after the incident from flat 3, the minor leak, that I reattended again. Again, I don’t think that was a -- it was a pre-planned appointment, I think.
Q It was or it was not?
A It was a planned programme -- pre-organised appointment.
Q What were you asked to look at?
A It was primarily to look at the floor in the area ----
Q To look at the floor.
A -- as I believe Ms. Gavin had been in contact with Jacqui Greene, our leasehold manager, or commercial manager, and Chris Natt, development director, saying that she was unhappy the floor may have been damaged by the leak, I thought, in October 2006.
Q The damage was in October ‘06?
A That was the belief that I was given at the time, that it was to reattend again to see whether or not the damage from a quite minor leak in October 2006 ----
Q What leak was that?
A That was the very small leak that we attended on the same day to redecorate
Q I see, “small leak”. Where had that come from?
A That had come from flat 3, where a ball valve had become stuck and the overflow had disengaged.
Q “A ball valve … stuck”.
A And the overflow pipe ----
Q “Overflow disengaged”.
A Which meant that there was quite a slow leak from the cistern.
Q I see. Is that what you refer to in one of the earlier paragraphs?
A It would be, yes.
Q Which one is that?
A 20, the last sentence of para.20.
Q “I received an email on 14th March ‘07 complaining … lights were tripped. She asked me to check … upstairs to ensure that the problems had not reoccurred”.
A That’s right.
Q Yes, you had not been to the property that day, but that is what you were referring to. You inspected in 2007.
A Yeah, that’s the email from 14th March 2007, yes, where Jo had asked -- or Ms. Gavin rather, had asked me to -- the lights had tripped. The works order was raised for those works.
Q But you did not go there then.
A No, I didn’t go there, no, no, but I did go to flat 3 with a plumber to ensure that there was no further leaks from the cistern in flat 3, and it was found to be fine.
Q I see. Just a minute, “I did go”. I am sorry, I am getting muddled. At para.30 you said you went to look at the floor in 2007.
Q Then I have a note, “In October ‘06 there was a small leak from flat 3 when a ball valve stuck and there was an overflow engaged”, and you did go to
A At a later date. On the occasion in October when the leak occurred into the art gallery an emergency plumber was called out.
Q But you did not go.
A I didn’t personally go, no.
Q But you did go to flat 3 later.
A Later on, yes.
A Because ----
Q Or, first, when?
A It was -- that would have been in March 2007.
Q In March ‘07. Why?
A That was on the basis, from the email that I received from Ms. Gavin, that she was concerned that perhaps the lights tripping were caused by a leak from flat 3 again. It turned out not to be the case.
Q What was the cause?
A To the lights tripping? I honestly don’t know.
Q “Not cause”.
A But I am sure -- it certainly was not water damage.
Q “I don’t know cause, but …”. So I have rather lost the connection between all that and the going there to look at the floor.
A That’s right.
Q Is there any connection?
A The only connection I can see is that I think Ms. Gavin had been in contact with Jacqui Greene and Chris Natt and made clear to them that she was concerned the floor had been compromised by the leak in October 2006. And that’s when I attended, in January 2007, based upon that instruction I got
Q I see. Just a minute, “Floor compromised by … October ‘06”. So you were instructed to go some time in ----
A It would’ve been, I believe, again from memory, in early 2007.
Q In early ‘07. Yes, I see. Then you say what you told her in para.30.
Q Then you took some photographs on 15th January ‘08.
A Yes, unfortunately I haven’t got those. They were lost off our system.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, thank you. Ms. Flores, do you have any ----
Cross-examined by Ms. FLORES
MS. FLORES: Jim -- should I call you Jim or ----
A You may, yes.
Q -- Mr. Gorman?
JUDGE COWELL: I think in court it is rather better to refer to people ----
MS. FLORES: As their surname.
JUDGE COWELL: -- formally, “Mr. Gorman”.
MS. FLORES: Okay, Mr. Gorman. Mr. Gorman, as a surveyor for the responsive team -- is that right?
A I now currently the maintenance manager for the team. At the time we first -- when I went to your property, I was the area surveyor and then, after that, I was promoted to senior surveyor, so I was in charge of half the team. Now I’m in charge of the whole team.
Q Okay. I think both Chantal and myself are quite confused about the word “surveyor”. It seems that there’s lots of different levels of surveyors -- sorry, it seems to apply to lots of different levels. And we heard from Chris Natt the other day that he was a valuation surveyor. That’s his specialism. And after the flooding of the gallery in 2005 we heard that Jessie Cooper, who was the loss adjuster, was also a surveyor, obviously to survey the damage and … damage. And, more recently, because of this court case we’ve had a couple of surveyors: the defendant’s surveyor, John Byers, our own Lloyd Gustov(?) and then a third one -- and both of them are surveyors. And we’ve now got a third surveyor.
JUDGE COWELL: You can always ask him about his qualifications. Do you have professional qualifications?
A I do. I’m not a chartered surveyor, but I hold a master’s degree in building surveying.
MS. FLORES: And is there a specialism? When you say “building surveyor”, is there a specialism that you ----
A Well, in relation to -- what we do is similar to other social housing providers. We are maintenance surveyors. Invariably, as a maintenance surveyor, you’re not -- it’s unusual to be chartered to be a maintenance surveyor. We don’t usually do schedule of dilapidations, party wall agreements. Those sort of specialisms will be done by an external chartered surveying consultant, which may be what happed with your -- in your case with other surveyors being involved. So, if you like, in terms of levels of professional qualification, the maintenance surveyor is at the low end, but then the chartered building surveyor or valuation surveyor, such as Chris Natt - he’s a chartered surveyor - will be at the higher, more professional end of the profession.
Q I see. And so who do you report to, the senior surveyor?
A At the time, when I first met you, it would have been to a senior surveyor, Ed Coster.
Q That was Ed Coster.
A That’s right, yes.
Q And who is the senior surveyor at the moment?
A At the moment it’s a man called Lefty Andreou. He’s our senior surveyor.
Q And when did he start? Because Ed Coster left, didn’t he ----
A He did.
Q -- around, what, 2006?
A About that time, yeah, I think. 2006, yeah.
Q You say in your statement you worked for the CHA in 2001.
A That’s right, yes.
Q And Mr. UK said you took over from him in 2006.
A Yes, that’s right.
Q So does this mean it was -- sorry, that you were employed as an area surveyor in the beginning and then you got promoted?
A My ----
Q I seem to recall when you came into the shop you said you had just been promoted, and that was when Richard Ukhueleigbe had just left.
A Yeah. Well, my first job with CHA in 2001 was as a voids surveyor, so my job then was simply to inspect empty properties.
A Voids. That’s what they call empty properties in social housing. So from 2001 to 2006 that was my main task, to inspect empty properties to ensure they were up to electrical standards before they were let to residents. And then I was sort of transferred from that team, sort of a promotion, into the reactive maintenance team and took on the WC1 area, which was formerly done by Richard.
Q That’s right. So basically from 2006 you took over from Richard.
A That’s correct, yes.
Q And you’ve explained your qualifications, but is there training experience in your position as a maintenance manager? What does it entail?
A Well, there’s just regular in-house training provided by the company in terms of customer relations, in terms of managing the software that we have to use on a daily basis.
Q Software, did you say?
A Well, our software, our computers, our computerised systems, raising works orders, that sort of thing.
Q That’s Orchard.
A Orchard, as it was then, yes. And then, with that, there’s other professional qualifications that we have to take on. It’s primarily in relation to asbestos management, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, which is a piece of legislation that came in 2005 that requires housing associations to ensure their residential properties meet a certain standard. If, obviously, they are below that standard, then we’re liable for disrepair claims from our residents. So we do updates on that sort of thing.
Q Okay. And what about the other surveyors? What’s the difference between an area surveyor and a senior surveyor?
A An area surveyor is -- has a patch based upon postcodes. It will be his function to visit properties, to inspect, raise works orders, as required. A senior role will be more office based. You wouldn’t be expected to have to go out and do inspections, unless it was a serious case. They would line manage the area surveyors and advise them and instruct them, as required.
Q Right. So, as we understand it, they don’t effect repairs at all, the area surveyors, themselves. They raise work orders and employ contractors.
A They go out, they specify and then they instruct a contractor through the raise of a works order.
Q Is it sometimes the case that the area surveyors may have had themselves a work experience involving the carrying out of repairs themselves?
A It does happen on occasion, yes. I mean, the qualifications for a maintenance surveyor doesn’t always need to be an academic qualification. It can be a trade qualification through City & Guilds. So there have been ----
Q So they would know it inside out.
A So there may be some area surveyors who have previously worked with qualified plumbers and perhaps moved into a maintenance surveying role.
Q So when an area surveyor is sent out, what is he expected to check and report about?
A I’m not too sure. In terms of ----
Q When an area surveyor is sent out to investigate a repair, what is his role? What is he meant to check?
A Well, the primary function is for him to go out to diagnose what the defect is. So, for instance, if ----
Q So a typical investigation, for example.
A A typical investigation: we use the example of, say, the toilet cistern.
Q Yes, toilet cistern.
A So a resident may call in and say, “I have damp in my bathroom. Would you please come out and inspect?”. So the first thing the surveyor would be expected to do, to check the pipework in that bathroom to see whether or not -- to take the lid off the toilet cistern and see whether or not there’s a problem there with the ball valve and an overflow that could be causing the damp, also to check on ventilation within that room and see whether or not that’s a -- it’s a cause for condensation. So it’s usually quite basic: trace and remedy the defect and then raise an order to either a plumber or whoever, whatever trade may be required, to go out there and to remedy that.
Q Right. And would you take records from what the resident is verbally saying and would you do a visual inspection? Is that more or less what you’re saying? Because Richard said that he doesn’t do hands-on as a surveyor. He doesn’t tend to do hands-on. You just said that they would lift the toilet and check.
A They would be expected to do minor diagnostic works. So Richard would be expected, I’m sure he would agree, really -- if you’re in a resident’s home, to lift up a toilet cistern doesn’t require any specialisms or tools. He wouldn’t go as far as to remove a bath panel, for instance, so the bath panel would be left there. So he wouldn’t touch that. But a toilet cistern would be reasonable, in my belief, for him to remove the toilet cistern lid to see inside, to see whether or not there’s a problem with the syphon.
Q And would he then have access to records, for example, the Orchard system, floor plans, the layout of pipes or electric -- or stack pipes?
A Not really. With some of our new build properties, we could get that information quite easily because, obviously, we’ve designed and built a property and those files and records are kept to hand. With some of our older properties, it would be difficult to find, to get a plan of pipework, electrics, that sort of thing. It would be quite difficult to get a hold of that. So it’s a question of using your judgment and referring back to the contractor and asking them, could they also give professional opinion on where pipes or electrical equipment may be located?
Q So, say, in a case of an emergency and you had to have that knowledge available, you wouldn’t have that. The surveyors wouldn’t have that knowledge available to them.
A In terms of an emergency, the surveyors that we have … social housing landlord, in an emergency a surveyor wouldn’t actually be expected to attend, as such. If there was -- for instance, if there’s a major electrical fault in someone’s home, there would be no point to send a surveyor. An electrician would be required. If there was a major plumbing related fault in someone’s home, would require a plumber to attend, the surveyor wouldn’t usually go as an emergency service to that incident. It may go after the incident to see what occurred and take an assessment of any damages that may have happened. But we wouldn’t have a response, if you like, blue light service, for residents; it would be more the contractor, as an out of hours service as well, that could attend within two hours’ notice.
Q And would you consider Hillview to be, as you said, an older building rather than a new development?
A It’s a pre-existing -- as you know, it’s a 19th century built estate which had major refurbishment work in the late 90s, mid-90s, but I would consider Hillview as being an older property because ----
Q In the period sense, but in terms of -- I think Ms. Bhaloo mentioned yesterday the development is seven-plus years old. That was to do with the cause of action, but what I mean is the development is just relatively new. So therefore there are some plans -- for example, the piping work has been renewed. So there are some plans as to ----
A There will certainly be plans located somewhere, probably within development archives, but it will be archived certainly. I mean, the refurbishment would have certainly -- would have taken account of, I’m sure, renewal of pipework within the blocks.
Q So, for example, there wouldn’t be any records to do with, I don’t know, maintenance of something that needed some upkeep, for example.
A Well, there’s ----
Q It would be archived.
A No, no, no. There’s a -- we have a programmed planned maintenance system in place as well. So, for instance, we know that every five years the externals need to be repaints, things such as that nature. So that’s something separate. That’s part of our stock condition, asset management based database.
So we ----
Q Is the bitumen on the -- sorry, is the asphalt -- it is not bitumen, is it?
Q It’s asphalt.
Q Is the bitumen -- sorry, is the asphalt part of the role of maintenance?
A It wouldn’t be, no, not specifically for that area. The asphalt was in quite an unusual place given that it was, we thought, on a public footway. So there was some debate over that, whether or not that would be done by -- would be best done by CHA or by the local authority. But there wouldn’t really be a programme of works to go out to properties to re-asphalt those sort of areas; it would be more reactive maintenance. If there was a failure within the asphalt, then we would re-send somebody out to renew that area.
Q So you have to wait effectively for a failure; it’s not regularly maintained.
A There’s no planned maintenance for those sort of areas, as far as I know, because there isn’t that many, really. There isn’t really a -- there isn’t a volume of areas such as what you had there ----
Q It’s pretty unique.
A -- yeah, that would require us to put a planned programme of works in place.
Q And that would be quite expensive.
A One-off jobs such as that ----
JUDGE COWELL: Sorry, what job is this?
MS. FLORES: This is the asphalting of the glass brick pavement, your Honour, the black seal.
JUDGE COWELL: There is no planned maintenance in the sense that there is not someone who goes along and inspects regularly to see if it is needed.
A No, that’s right.
MS. FLORES: Or, for example, because there’s been a couple of -- well, it seems to reoccur every year and a half to two years. So there’s not a regular, planned -- because I know you’re not insured for wear and tear and you seem to adopt the problem every time. I don’t know the ins and outs of the debate of who owns what. That’s not to discuss right now anyway, but it would seem you adopt it every time and get it fixed. So why wouldn’t you perhaps plan ahead and not let it ----
A Asphalting, in that area, would, I would imagine, be -- it would get at least 10 years’ life out of those works.
Q Really? There’s a guarantee of that, is there?
A It’s not a guarantee, but in terms of when we carry out, say, stock condition surveys … asphalting flat roofs ----
Q Flat roofs.
A -- which is, since that, we would expect to have a 10-year ----
A -- life expectancy from that. There’s no guarantee, as such, from the contractor, but that’s what we would -- when we estimate ----
Q So it would be more that Kingsbury Construction, who originally did that asphalting, would provide you with a guarantee ----
A There would be ----
Q -- for 10 years.
A Well, not so much for 10 years. There would certainly be a defects period after the major works on the Hillview Estate, which usually lasts one year after that. At the end of defects, there would have been a survey carried out by someone from development that would go around with, say, a clerk of works and an employer’s agent.
Q A clerk ----
A A clerk of works. There would have been a clerk of works working with us at the time in the mid-90s when they were doing the major works on the Hillview Estate.
Q Would that be Katherine Wooler?
A Katherine Wooler was the development manager, so it wouldn’t be her. But she would be part of that end of defects inspection, and that would have required them to go round to all the properties on the estate, speak to residents and see if there was any problems there in their homes, and then we would then make an assessment of whether or not that was a defect which meant the development contractor had to return to attend to -- or if it was a reactive problem which would mean that it was up to the maintenance team to resolve.
Q And Richard explained yesterday that “reactive” was more overall, planned works -- no, sorry, not “reactive”. What’s the other one called? “Planned” works.
A “Planned”, yeah.
Q “Planned” maintenance.
A Yeah, we’ve got a ----
Q Which one are you, “planned” or “reactive”?
A Reactive team.
Q You’re “reactive”.
Q So you just deal with repairs, okay. Now, in para.7 of your statement you say there was a minor leak evidenced by a damp patch. Can we go to -- there’s a picture folder, Jim, G1.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, G1.
MS. FLORES: I’m sorry, Mr. Gorman.
JUDGE COWELL: Sorry, this is in relation to paragraph which of Mr. Gorman’s statement?
MS. FLORES: It’s tab 7.
MS. BHALOO: Paragraph 7, your Honour.
MS. FLORES: Sorry, para.7.
JUDGE COWELL: Paragraph 7, “I attended the property”, p.55. This is about September ‘06, is it?
A Sorry, I’ve lost my -- I’ve lost track, sorry. Where’s my statement again within this ----
Q Your statement is in B1.
A B1, yes.
Q I think you are being asked about para.7, which is at p.55 of B1.
A Great. Thank you very much.
Q Then G1 is the photographs.
MS. FLORES: Now, it’s p.100, tab 13. (After a pause): Mr. Gorman, is that what you saw in the electricity cupboard? Would you say that is the electricity cupboard, for a start? It’s page ----
A It seems ----
Q Yes, go on. 100 and then 101 as well is a close-up of the same leak. Would you say that that was a minor leak?
A Looking at these photographs, it’s hard to say, to be honest with you. When I inspected the property ----
Q So in your opinion it’s not minor -- I mean, sorry, it’s still minor.
A … I was there … minor.
JUDGE COWELL: On 10th October, when these photographs were taken, was the situation worse than when you saw it in September?
A I was actually there in October as well, your Honour. From memory, the patches were quite -- there was certainly damp on that flank wall.
Q It looks ----
A It looks pretty bad on ----
Q -- in the photo as though the whole wall is damp.
MS. FLORES: And also do you ----
JUDGE COWELL: One moment.
MS. FLORES: Sorry.
JUDGE COWELL: So is it your evidence that in September, when you went, it looked different?
A From memory, when I went to the property, I don’t remember seeing -- I did not see the wall as bad as it appears in these photographs. There was certainly damp there, but ----
MS. FLORES: You took some photographs yourself, didn’t you?
A I did, yeah.
JUDGE COWELL: “In September not as bad as in the photo”.
MS. FLORES: And it also says on this that the photographs were emailed to you. Do you remember these photographs being emailed to you?
JUDGE COWELL: Do you remember that?
A No. I don’t remember seeing -- from memory, I don’t remember seeing photographs.
Q “Don’t remember”.
MS. FLORES: And you also mentioned the floor on a number of occasions to various people in different emails. What was with the floor in that space?
A The floor in the intake room?
Q Yeah. So, I mean, you can see the wall. What was the floor like?
A There was quite a few items in there. The floor was a concrete screed floor, from memory.
Q Yeah, I was talking about specifically the damage the leak was causing.
A I didn’t see any. I mean … when I was there, soon after I went there, there was a number of items in there that I think belonged to you.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, but you did notice whether the floor was wet or dry or did you not notice?
A No, I did not notice the floor being wet.
Q Did you notice that it was dry or did you not notice?
A When I went to the property, the floor appeared dry, but I didn’t take any readings on the floor at all.
Q “Didn’t notice floor was wet, but no readings”.
A No, I didn’t.
Q Did you take any readings then of the wall?
A I had a damp meter at the time and I could see there was localised patches on the wall.
Q What was the reading? Do you remember or do you not?
A It was ----
Q Do not guess.
A I won’t guess. It was certainly -- it did show that there was high readings there, but I can’t remember the exact ----
Q “Minor patches, high readings”.
MS. FLORES: Did you take readings of the wall, you said?
A The wall.
Q Did you take readings of the floor and the ceiling, perhaps?
A No, I didn’t, no.
Q Just the wall.
A That’s right.
JUDGE COWELL: Did you take any readings on the wall where the electrical apparatus was?
A No, I didn’t.
JUDGE COWELL: “No readings on wall where electrical apparatus was”.
MS. FLORES: Jim -- sorry, Mr. Gorman, you sent an email to Pauline Whatling(?) around that time, saying that you believed that the incident was reported -- sorry, around October. You believed that the incident was reported -- sorry, start again, on July 17th, which is p.727 of evidence file D3 ----
JUDGE COWELL: D3, 727.
MS. BHALOO: Your Honour, may I help the witness find that?
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, of course.
A (After a pause): 727?
MS. FLORES: 727. First of all, who’s Pauline Whatling?
A I need to check this, but I believe Pauline Whatling was the main contact at the time with Farr Insurance.
JUDGE COWELL: Contact with?
A Farr Insurance. She was ----
Q With Farr Insurance.
MS. FLORES: You say you got promoted around -- well, you took over from Mr. UK, who’s obviously an idiot. So you took over from him. Were you in touch with the insurers quite a lot in 2006? Because we can reference it, if you like, but, I mean, from memory, would you say you were in touch with -- would you say you had knowledge of UKU, for example, pulling out in 2006, July?
A UKU? Who are they?
Q You don’t know who UKU are.
A No, I’m afraid I don’t.
Q Okay. You don’t know who your own building insurers are.
A UKU, no. I mean, I know Farr Insurance, but UKU -- I mean, I don’t deal -- we have -- at the time, the main person who would liaise with insurers would have been Anita Tomecki. We very rarely had direct contact with our insurance people other than just putting the claim to them. We had Farr Insurance as our insurance at the time. Then we had Zurich Insurance. So UKU -- I don’t know if that’s been something that Farr, sort of, delegated on to somebody else, but I wasn’t -- I’ve never had any dealings with UKU.
Q Well, sorry, just for your information then, Farr Plc is your broker, who you had some contact with around that time.
A Possibly. Other than what’s in the emails here, I wouldn’t have had a great deal of contact with Farr Insurance.
Q You wouldn’t.
A No, other than if they asked specific questions on different claims that have been made against CHA. They would, on occasion, email me directly and ask for clarification, but I wouldn’t be -- I wouldn’t, if you like, handle that claim or push that claim with Farr; it would be dealt with by -- either by Tushar Shah, who was our main sort of -- main manager in charge of insurance related cases.
Q So you may not know the name of, say, Alan Hines.
A I don’t know who Alan Hines is.
Q No. So have you ever then read the statements of Jacqui UK[sic] and Richard Ukhueleigbe?
A I’ve not read their statements, no.
Q So when you took over from Richard, you didn’t read the file. You didn’t -- you weren’t aware that there was a claim outstanding.
A I was aware that there was a major claim in 2005 from a leak in one of the upper flats, but that’s as far as I was given a brief on … didn’t give me any more details other than that.
Q So, just to ask you, the email of that day, p.727, that’s in reference to the glass -- you see, what ----
JUDGE COWELL: Sorry, if it is a question, let him answer.
MS. FLORES: I haven’t asked a question yet, your Honour.
JUDGE COWELL: You said something about something to do with the glass bricks.
MS. FLORES: I haven’t asked a question yet.
JUDGE COWELL: All right. What is the question?
MS. FLORES: Right. The question is: you said earlier in your evidence that you went to see the electricity room in June 2006.
A … my first visit there, yeah.
Q Yeah. And at that time did you see the pavement lights’ leak as well?
A I don’t believe so, no.
Q You don’t.
A No, I noticed it at a later date.
JUDGE COWELL: “Don’t think I saw pavement lights on first visit”. The first visit was June or July?
MS. FLORES: June ‘06, your Honour.
JUDGE COWELL: June ‘06, yes, “in June ‘06”. Yes?
MS. FLORES: So you didn’t see the glass brick pavement.
A Not from memory. I don’t remember seeing the glass bricks on my first visit there. I know at a later visit we looked at the bricks, which I think was more in October.
Q Well, this email says:
“Pauline, I was mistaken in saying they were in touch with maintenance in June 2006. We had a call in October 2006 regarding a problem with the bitumen which was resolved within days of it being reported.”
But that’s not true, is it, Mr. Gorman? Because it wasn’t resolved within days of it being reported, was it?
A Well, from memory, when you reported it to me in October and we raised an order straight away to resolve the issue and they failed to resolve it satisfactorily, we then instructed Kingsbury. So I would say that it was reported and, in October, we did complete it quite soon after that.
JUDGE COWELL: Is this the position, that, so far as you were concerned, when you saw the pavement lights in October, you made arrangements for them to be dealt with, but what you cannot know is what other complaints or reports may have been made to anybody else?
A That’s right. In June, from memory, it was primarily the intake cupboard that I was there to inspect.
Q It was within days of your receiving a report -- well, it was within days of your actually seeing the problem with the pavement lights.
JUDGE COWELL: That is the point, is it not, Ms. Flores?
MS. FLORES: It was just that it was at the same time. And essentially, your Honour, I would generally take Mr. Gorman on a number of issues, probably, you know, the floor, the electric cupboard, the fact that the fire exit still didn’t have -- swing in the right direction, the pavement lights. No, there would have been a hell of a -- sorry, a number of issues I would have brought Mr. Gorman to to investigate at that time. And I suggest that he wasn’t mistaken when he said June 2006. He just read the statements and realised he’d made a mistake and didn’t concur with the evidence.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes. Maybe ----
MS. FLORES: Anyway, I’ll just move on. So, yeah, you say -- re that October incident, just sticking on that for now, you say there was some minor damage to paintwork.
A That’s right.
Q Is that from memory or is that ----
A No, that’s a very clear memory.
Q That’s a very clear -- where was the paintwork that was damaged?
A It was located in the main art gallery space.
Q Was that 104 or 106?
A The main art gallery, where you go from the main entrance there. I think that’s 104, isn’t it?
A As you come in, it was located about seven or eight feet away from the main facing wall as you come into the art gallery.
JUDGE COWELL: Sorry, are you talking about the damp in the electricity room? Sorry, I am lost.
MS. FLORES: Jim made a report that there was some minor damage to paintwork in the incident of the bitumen on the floor.
A Oh, right, okay, I didn’t realise you meant that, sorry.
Q What did you ----
A I thought you were referring back to the leak that happened ----
JUDGE COWELL: Which leak?
A The leak from flat 3 that occurred in October, at the same time.
MS. FLORES: Richard Ukhueleigbe was dealing with that.
A No, I was dealing with that.
Q The flood?
A No, not the flood, the less serious leak.
JUDGE COWELL: The leak from flat 3.
MS. FLORES: You mean the streak across the ceiling when we had the door broken down by a contractor on flat 2.
A No, no.
Q You mean, just the lights tripping.
A No, I mean, where -- in October where we had, like, a very minor leak into the main art gallery space, and I attended the following day with Les and a decorator as an emergency to stain block and paint the patch.
MS. FLORES: That’s right. It was ----
JUDGE COWELL: This is not a matter of which complaint is made.
MS. FLORES: Sorry, I wasn’t referring to this. However, the one that Mr. Gorman is referring to, I know about and we could divert on to that, but I’d rather stick on 106.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, stick on the matters that ----
MS. FLORES: It’s clear -- it’s obvious that we need to stick to one subject, Jim. You said you were unclear where the minor -- sorry, the minor damage of paintwork was. Where was that?
A Can you give me what paragraph you’re referring to in my statement?
Q You say it in your own witness statement.
A Well, can I ask what paragraph, please?
JUDGE COWELL: Which paragraph is that?
MS. FLORES: It was the October ‘06 magazine launch incident.
MS. BHALOO: I think it is the email on p.727, which is to do with the pavement bricks. Is that what you are referring to?
MS. FLORES: Yes, it’s just underneath. There’s several references to the
MS. BHALOO: It is just trying to get clear which area so that he knows what he is talking about. I think it is the pavement bricks.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes. He says:
“We were informed at the time by Ms. Gavin, and she stated that she would contact Jacqui Greene. We carried out the works to the bitumen surround. There was no damage to artwork and only minor damage to paintwork within the basement. She instructed her own contractor regarding the replacement of the glass block.”
MS. BHALOO: I think that is what is being asked about, your Honour. I am not sure.
MS. FLORES: Well, it certainly references the incident. That certainly will suffice, your Honour.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, you instructed Kingsbury, but then that was paid for by the defendant, was it not?
MS. BHALOO: Yes, your Honour.
MS. FLORES: Your Honour, I will in a few moments just -- could I ask the witness the question?
JUDGE COWELL: Yes.
MS. FLORES: Right. Jim -- Mr. Gorman, you say in that email:
“We carried out the works to the bitumen surround. There was no damage to the artwork, only minor damage to the paintwork within the basement.”
What was the minor damage to the basement and to the paintwork -- sorry, to the paintwork within the basement? From memory, or from a report or from photographs, is there any clue as to what you mean, “minor damage to the paintwork”?
A Again, it’s really from memory … I do remember seeing in 106 there was mould growth near the glass blocks which could be related to the condensation, which I was more inclined to believe it could be condensation, or, from your assertion, there was a failure in the glass blocks.
Q I’m sorry, I’m not talking -- I’m talking about minor damage to paintwork, Jim.
A That’s ----
Q That’s glass blocks. That’s bricks. That’s condensation.
A That’s what I ----
Q You’re bringing in a lot of issues that have nothing to do with my question. I’m asking you a straightforward question, what was the minor damage to the paintwork? You say, “Clearly, there was no damage to the artwork. We carried out the work to the bitumen surround and there was only minor damage … minor leak in the …”. I’m wondering what you mean by “minor damage to the paintwork”. If you just stick to the question, that would be useful.
MS. BHALOO: Your Honour, the witness’s answer was “mould growth near the glass blocks”.
MS. FLORES: No.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, near glass blocks.
MS. FLORES: “Minor damage to the paintwork”, not mould, the paintwork. Please let me question the witness myself. Mr. Gorman, what did you mean by “the paintwork”?
JUDGE COWELL: Where was the paintwork that was damaged?
A The paintwork was very near the glass blocks.
MS. FLORES: So it was the wall.
A The wall, yes.
Q It was minor damage to the wall, thank you.
A Yes, paintwork to the wall.
Q That’s all I wanted to know.
A Okay, sorry.
Q Okay. So that was the only damage in that incident with the bitumen surround. Now, could you turn to page -- on G1 file, at tab 9 of the file, tab 9 to start with. Is that what you meant by some “minor damage to the paintwork”?
A No, it isn’t. It wasn’t.
JUDGE COWELL: Which, on tab 9?
MS. FLORES: Sorry, G1, your Honour.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, G1, but on p.37 or 38?
MS. FLORES: That picture is 43.
JUDGE COWELL: Page 43, there we are, yes. Does that look like the damage?
A That’s certainly not minor, but at the time I was there it wasn’t like that.
MS. FLORES: It was not minor.
JUDGE COWELL: It was not like that.
MS. FLORES: So that is the 8th, 2006, that picture.
MS. FLORES: So it definitely wasn’t that.
JUDGE COWELL: Was it in that area?
MS. FLORES: I’m very confused, Mr. Gorman. You carried out work to the bitumen surround. You say there was no damage to the artwork, there was minor damage to the paintwork. Those photographs were taken around the time. You’re saying it wasn’t that bad in September -- I’m sorry, August, and the repair was carried out in October, which you say was not reported -- well, you say wasn’t reported even until October and was carried out within a few days. Are you talking after the incident that you went and surveyed the property, perhaps, and there was some minor damage to the artwork, or the paintwork, as you put it?
A I don’t recollect seeing this area in that sort of condition when I was there. I believe I was there in October and the damage wasn’t as ----
Q Wasn’t bad.
A -- serious, like that.
JUDGE COWELL: It was not as bad in October.
A Wasn’t as bad.
MS. FLORES: In October. So what date did you come out in October? Would you say after the ----
JUDGE COWELL: Well, it must have been before the 3rd because we know from some document that the two lads from FWA West attended on the 3rd.
MS. FLORES: That’s right.
JUDGE COWELL: Then on the 14th, I think it was, Kingsbury came along.
MS. FLORES: So do you have any dates that you ----
A I don’t remember, other than what’s in the statement. I know it was in October.
MS. FLORES: What’s in the statement? It just says October. It doesn’t give a date.
JUDGE COWELL: No, I know, but it must have been before the 3rd.
A It may have been late September.
Q It may have been what?
A It could have been late September, early October.
Q Yes, it could.
MS. FLORES: Well, just to say that on p.49 of tab 9 -- that’s some of the damage that was created by the bitumen, p.49 ----
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, I know that.
MS. FLORES: -- p.51.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, that was after his visit.
MS. FLORES: Just so Mr. Gorman understands the minor -- paintwork. Maybe he would still agree that that’s a minor incident.
A Excuse me, can I just -- in p.49 you’re showing the damage by the bitumen, are you?
Q That’s right, which is still there to this day.
JUDGE COWELL: At p.49. That was after your visit, I think.
MS. FLORES: Obviously, it’s … and it’s gone into the wood floor. So you were saying the damage was just minor, Jim.
A No, I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t see this damage.
JUDGE COWELL: No, he did not see that.
MS. FLORES: You can’t remember, didn’t see this damage, but you can’t identify where the damage to the paintwork was. Actually, you say “no damage to the artwork” when this gallery does not have artwork in it.
A The time I was there last, I do recall there was pictures on the wall.
Q I suggest to you you just, really, had this made up by your solicitors, really, didn’t you, Jim? Anyway, let’s move on. So at this point you were the area surveyor or the maintenance manager. How long had you been in the post in October 2006?
A 2006 ----
Q As the promotion. When did you get promoted?
A I can’t remember now. I was promoted to senior surveyor, I believe -- I need to check and see exactly when I was promoted to be a senior surveyor.
Q I remember because you told me at the time you had just been promoted and taken over from Mr. UK. Anyway, so are you saying that you didn’t read Jacqui Greene’s and Mr. UK’s statements round the time of the loss adjuster being in at that time also?
A No, I’ve not seen those.
Q You just absolutely had no awareness of the situation whatsoever.
A I had an awareness that the situation was occurring, there was a major claim against CHA for various items, but I wasn’t aware of the specifics because it was ----
Q You are obviously very involved with it all now. You’ve been to lots of meetings with different insurers and ----
A No, I haven’t.
Q You haven’t?
Q You haven’t. You’re not involved much at all.
A I’ve not been involved with the insurance side of this case whatsoever other than some time ago when emails were going between myself and Pauline, but I’ve not been involved in any sort of case conferences or anything.
Q Well, we’ll see. You were very much involved in a coordinating role since RSA and UKU were in a dispute. You were aware that there was a dispute.
JUDGE COWELL: No, I do not think he was, was he? He just knew of Farr Plc, who dealt with insurance, but he did not know anything beyond that.
MS. FLORES: He didn’t know anything.
JUDGE COWELL: That is the impression I got, but I do not know if that really matters.
MS. FLORES: Okay. So it just seems you’re cc’d into very many ----
JUDGE COWELL: Ms. Flores, I think the matters that concern me are whether you allege that ----
MS. FLORES: I do understand.
JUDGE COWELL: -- Mr. Gorman ought to have done something different from what he did.
MS. FLORES: Okay. Right, okay. Well, let’s move on to the other involvements that you had. You say that you didn’t -- you had some pictures. You photographed the floor of the electricity cupboard and you took a survey, but where is this stuff?
A Can you ----
JUDGE COWELL: Did you make any notes when you were there of readings and that sort of thing?
A I would -- the notes that were taken at the time would’ve been translated into works orders unfortunately. So it would’ve been notes of further what’s required.
Q I see, yes. You would throw them away afterwards.
MS. FLORES: And the notes that you took in January 2008 and photographs, would they have been transformed into works orders as well?
A In January 2008 ----
Q And how does that happen, actually? What happens? A photograph turns into a work order; how does that work?
A In January 2008 -- I think in January 2008 it was simply, I think, from memory, a request from Oliver Barnett to attend. And that’s all I did then because Jacqui Greene, I think, had since stopped working for CHA. And that was -- I think I simply went there to look at the floor in January 2008. I did take photographs to show them, but ----
JUDGE COWELL: Sorry, I forget now, when was it you took photographs?
A In January 2008.
Q January. What was the purpose?
A It was -- I believe a claim had gone through to Jacqui over the costs of renewing the floor.
Q Yes, I know, it was the photo of the floor.
Q “Claim had gone through about cost of renewing the floor”.
A At that time in January the floor had been … final tiles had been removed and disposed of.
Q The tiles had been removed and disposed of.
A Yeah. But there was no follow-up works orders after that because there was no requirement for further works for the reactive team.
MS. FLORES: Were you aware of the environmental health involvement in the issue of the -- I mean, you say you weren’t involved with the insurance thing, but I’ve got so many emails where you’re copied in to do with RSA, UKU. You say you don’t even know, but that’s fine. But were you aware in September 2006 that the environment health risk assessment officer had written to Mick Sweeney about the electricity cupboard and he was suggesting it would have a negative effect on the fabric of the building? Were you aware of the environmental health’s involvement at all?
A I don’t remember. I don’t remember being involved with an environmental health notice. I’m not saying there wasn’t one, but I don’t remember seeing anything from Camden. So if Camden had served a notice upon us, then I would certainly know about it because obviously that’s quite a serious situation.
Q So who’s Mike Brookes?
A Mike Brookes is the assistant director of construction within our development department.
JUDGE COWELL: “Assistant director of construction”.
MS. FLORES: I mean, you certainly had quite a lot of contact with him about the fabric of the building.
A He certainly, from memory, did email. I think he was working primarily with Chris Natt, whose job title, job, changed, I think, at the time, but I can’t remember. I know Mike was involved in it in some respect, but I can’t remember exactly what.
Q Right. So you say you weren’t in direct -- any direct contact with Mike.
A No. Mike wouldn’t be -- I mean, Mike is an AD, assistant director. Mike Brookes would have referred to my AD at the time, who I believe would have been Michael Connor. So the instruction I would have worked from, really, would have been from Michael Connor rather than from Mike, Michael Brookes.
Q So on 11th July 2007 there was an email from yourself that says to Mike:
“Please continue to deal with this. I need to establish who is responsible for the repairs. The list below appears to be a mixture of repairs and modifications, and I will need to see a copy of the lease. The project is seven-plus years old and would have had to have Building Regulations’ approval on completion. My initial reaction is that this is the lessee’s responsibility with the exception of the water leak, which would be part of CHG’s responsibility to maintain the fabric. Please find out if the escape issues that have arisen are a result of fire protection.”
So you are saying you just don’t remember dealing with Mike Brookes at all.
MS. BHALOO: Can we have a reference for that document?
MS. FLORES: Sure.
JUDGE COWELL: What document?
MS. FLORES: I mean, I just want to ask him a question before you interrupt me.
JUDGE COWELL: I am finding it difficult to follow without knowing what email that is. I am really sorry.
MS. FLORES: I don’t know the page. It’s very difficult ----
JUDGE COWELL: What is the date?
MS. FLORES: It’s 7th July 2007. I do apologise, your Honour, but for me -- I was given this file very late on.
JUDGE COWELL: No, do not worry. 727 was ----
MS. FLORES: It was 11th -- sorry.
JUDGE COWELL: 11th July. The one you are referring to is the 7th?
MS. FLORES: It’s sort of around p.714. Here it is, 712, I think.
JUDGE COWELL: 712.
MS. BHALOO: I think that is in D3.
JUDGE COWELL: D3.
MS. FLORES: 712, bundle D3.
JUDGE COWELL: On 7th July is the email, is it, or 11th July?
MS. FLORES: 11th July on p.712.
JUDGE COWELL: The 11th, and it is from?
MS. FLORES: Sorry, the one I am referring to is at 10.36. So let’s find that.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, I have it. 714, from Mike Brookes to James Gorman, copied to other people, “Please continue to deal with this. I need to establish who is responsible for the repairs”. What was this? Is this the lighting in the basement?
MS. BHALOO: It seems to be in response to the email below, your Honour.
JUDGE COWELL: Yes, I see, the water leak and all sorts of things:
“Please … deal with this … mixture of repairs and modifications … I will need to see a copy of the lease … project is seven-plus years old.”
(After a pause): Yes. So it is all the things that are mentioned below. Do you remember whether you did continue to deal with this?
A Yeah, I did.
MS. FLORES: Or have since?
A No, the works that are detailed there ----
Q No, I mean about the whole insurance thing. You’re actually heavily involved, aren’t you?
A No, I wasn’t. I was not involved in that.
Q Because your statement just, really, makes you out to be a little surveyor that covers the tracks of Richard UK, but actually you’re really quite well involved in all of this, aren’t you, Mr. Gorman? And that’s why you were promoted to take over for the face of maintenance of CHA, weren’t you? Because you’re a little bit more presentable perhaps.
A I don’t know.
Q You say you don’t know. “I don’t know who I’m dealing with. I don’t know who I speak to. I don’t remember my photographs, don’t remember anything. In fact, I’m just a good bloke”.
A I maintain I have not sat down with any of our insurance people about your particular case, and that is ----
JUDGE COWELL: I am so sorry. I did not hear what you said.
A I’ve not sat down with any of our insurance people about this particular case. Mike Brookes ----
MS. FLORES: Okay. So ----
JUDGE COWELL: Just a minute, let him finish.
MS. FLORES: He’s such a liar. He’s a total liar.
JUDGE COWELL: “I’ve not sat down with insurance people to discuss this case”. I am sorry, what was the other point, just before you were interrupted?
A It’s -- what I’m trying to say is that that’s correct. The email sent to -- sent from Mike Brookes, who works for the CHA, to me does not include, from what I can see, any insurance people … but the instruction that was given to me by Mike Brookes, which included John O’Brian(?), who’s my -- at the time my line manager, was, as you can see there -- he’s obviously saying that there’s a -- I’ve reported back to Mike … a number of issues there. I referred back to Mike for those issues, for clarification on what we should do with these issues. And, in the end, all those issues were then resolved. We did go in and we did carry out repairs to the lighting and change the fire exit door.
MS. FLORES: Well, you say you did, but then, you know, that’s just what you say. And, as the claimant, I say you didn’t do those things. You certainly didn’t do them on time. You may have eventually cleaned up the mess, but you didn’t do that. And, you know, to say things like things are minor damage when they are clearly major damage, Jim, you know, I think you’re just presentable and covering for the association and you’re heavily involved in all of this. Obviously, I’m right.
A You have the right to your opinion, but I disagree with it.
Q Well, it’s obvious. You’re roped into every single conversation. There’s conversations where RSA have said that they’ve put £100,000 reserve. You say you don’t know anything when you know everything.
A To be frank, it would not have been the list of my priorities as a reactive maintenance manager. Insurance cases are dealt with by Tushar Shah and others. I don’t lead on insurance cases for CHA whatsoever.
Q Sure you don’t.
A I don’t.
Q And you don’t get promoted. You said you’ve been now again promoted again.
A I have been, yes.
Q So you’re the head of it all now, are you?
A No, I’m nowhere near the head of it all, no.
Q So obviously Lefty’s the head.
A No, Lefty is senior surveyor, but I’m ----
Q You say you’re in charge of the whole of the maintenance team.
A No, I’m not, no.
Q What is it you said you were?
A We have an Assistant Director who’s in charge of asset management, property services. It includes the maintenance team and other teams. I’m in charge of five surveyors and one senior. That is my team. I’m certainly not the head of property services.
Q Okay. I don’t think I’ve got much further questions, apart from -- those photographs that you took in 2008, have they disappeared as well, January 2008, about the floor?
A I have looked for them. I can’t find them on our shared drive unfortunately. If I had them, I would certainly ----
MS. FLORES: Yeah, okay. Well, no further questions.
MS. BHALOO: I have no re-examination. Does your Honour have any questions?
JUDGE COWELL: Thank you very much. Mr. Gorman, I can release you, which means you can stay or go, whichever you like.
A Thank you very much.
(The witness withdrew)