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Copper thieves leave Norwood civic buildings at mercy of flooding

Published by in English ·

CIVIC buildings were badly damaged by water after theives stripped copper from the roofs.

The weekend’s downpour saw water pouring into the crematorium at West Norwood Cemetery, and Norwood Library and Nettlefold Hall in Norwood High Street.

The copper was stripped from the crematorium between Saturday afternoon and Sunday last week when the deluge began, according to Lambeth council.

Funeral services went ahead as usual on Monday after a temporary tarpaulin was erected.

Councillor Florence Nosegbe, Labour cabinet member for culture, said: “This appalling act had the potential to disrupt funeral services.

“Thanks to the hard work of our staff, who worked quickly to dry out the flooding, we were able to keep the crematorium open.”

Thurlow Park ward councillor Clare Whelan said: “They clearly came in over the weekend and came back on Monday to take the rest.

“It’s utterly heartless.”

Norwood Library and Nettlefold Hall will be closed for at least two weeks after a temporary roof erected following an earlier copper theft leaked on Sunday.

The tarpaulin has been in place since thieves stole the metal in March last year.

The roof also leaked in July, causing flood damage to carpets.

Copper can fetch up to £3,000 a tonne at scrapyards.

Lambeth council’s insurers refused to provide cover for the library if the town hall used copper to replace the roof.

The Norwood Forum was due to hold its annual general meeting in Nettlefold Hall on Thursday.

Chairwoman Susan Deswarte said: “The thieves are on to this copper lark.

“They are coming around in the middle of the night taking it off and it’s mega mayhem.”

Dulwich and West Norwood MP Tessa Jowell has also cancelled today’s advice surgery because of the leak.

A Lambeth spokesman said the hall and library roof was being replaced in stages and copper was not being used.

He said: “Unfortunately heavy rain and wind caused parts of the temporary roof structure to come away which led to flooding.”




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