CLEANERS have been sent in to empty a derelict Ilkeston solicitors, described as ‘an accident waiting to happen’, after calls were made by the Advertiser to sort it out.
Two weeks ago, former clients told us they were convinced that there were still confidential documents inside the former Walter, Scott and Ross office – more than three years after it was shut down by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA).
Neighbours have reported numerous break-ins at the St Mary’s Street building since it closed and fear it is only a matter of time before a serious fire breaks out there.
Windows have been smashed and there is evidence of homeless people sleeping in and around the building and drug use on the site.
Cleaners from Active Hygiene Services were there from Wednesday to Saturday this week, clearing out the building.
They said they were taking about 500 boxes of documents to be stored securely in Coventry.
One of the team said vandals had taken every bit of lead from the roof and all the wiring, piping and taps from inside the building.
Former client Charles Hirons said: “I’m glad the job has been done at last.
“But what gets me is they are taking hundreds of boxes out of there – there are three floors of stuff in there piled floor to ceiling.
“It’s wrong for the SRA to say they got it right first time – complaints haven’t been dealt with in the proper manner.”
Owner Alastair Ross denied that the cleaners were there to clear out confidential material as that had already been dealt with by the SRA.
He said they were there simply to empty the building.