Cheshire West and Chester Council has narrowly avoided headlines about killing one of its own council taxpayers after two instances of glass panels falling out of the overhead canopies at its HQ.
Fortunately, nobody was injured when the panels fell to the ground and shattered but all the glass panes have now been removed for safety reasons at the building that was only completed in 2009.
Cllr David Armstrong, cabinet member for finance and legal, said: “We have removed the glass panels from the canopies outside the HQ building to ensure the safety of our staff and members of the public.
“This follows two separate incidents where a panel in one of the canopies, over the front entrance, has come loose and fallen to the ground.”
He added: “A specialist contractor who investigated the first incident found no visible evidence of any fault and confirmed that the glass was to British standards and therefore fit for purpose.
“No further action was recommended aside from a daily visual inspection.
“Following the second incident we immediately arranged for all panels to be removed from both the entrance canopy and the canopies around the pedestrian walkway.
“We have contacted the architectural company that designed the canopies which is now investigating the issue, and the panels will remain in storage until the outcome is known.”
While the iconic glass structure has not caused any harm to humans, pigeons have not fared so well with incidents of the birds flying into the windows as revealed by a Freedom of Information response sent to The Chronicle from four years ago.
It stated: “During the weekend of 1 and 2 October 2011, a pigeon damaged a window on the fourth floor of the HQ building. The damage was limited to the outer window pane and resulted in the glass cracking. As there were no injuries sustained by staff, an incident report was not compiled, in line with our usual practice.
“However, all measures regarding the safety of staff were assessed and the area was cordoned off with staff being asked to use a different access egress point. A replacement window pane has been ordered with a specialist glazing contractor.”
The council occupies 80,000 sq ft office space at the HQ building, which also accommodates the 78-bed Abode hotel and 35 luxury apartments and two penthouses, with views overlooking Chester Racecourse.