Enquiry hopes over solicitors

Politicians in Erewash are hoping for a national enquiry into the Solicitors Regulation Authority after its investigation into former Ilkeston solicitors Walter, Scott and Ross.

Chair of Erewash Labour, Helen Clarke, has received a response from shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry after asking her to investigate allegations that the solicitors firm the SRA appointed to clean the offices in St Mary’s Street of all clients’ paperwork.

“The SRA is a national watchdog and it has singularly failed in its duty to supervise the proper winding up of that business,” she said.

“How do we know it isn’t behaving in a similar way with other firms under enforced closure in other parts of the country?”

Questions were asked at an Erewash Borough Council meeting on Thursday about asbestos found at the offices last week, which was causing distress for neighbours.

But Cllr Barbara Harrison said that the public were ‘not at any increased risk’ as the asbestos found on-site was small and has now been removed.

“This building is private property,” she said, “the council can only take action on that site in very limited circumstances and under certain specific statutory powers.”

But former client Charles Hirons said her response was not good enough.

“It’s a travesty – there are kids playing on that site and we have a duty to protect them.”