‘Milton Keynes Council’s filthy system made me seriously sick’

The pipework for the civic offices air cooling and heating system was not cleaned for 40 years
The pipework for the civic offices air cooling and heating system was not cleaned for 40 years

A ‘dirty scandal’ at Milton Keynes Council has led to threats of legal action from a former officer who claims conditions at the civic offices destroyed his health.

The development management worker sat directly under an air cooling vent at a time when the system’s pipework had not been cleaned out for FORTY years.

As a result, the 36-year-old claims he inhaled mould spores and bacteria that led him to develop sarcoidosis – an autoimmune-type disease that has left him permanently disabled.

“I am in agony most of the time in all my joints. I can’t breathe properly and there’s days when I can’t even get out of bed. I can no longer work and my wife is my carer,” said the man.

“I intend to sue the council because I think their filthy air conditioning system at MK caused my disability. One of the causes of sarcoidosis is said to be inhaling mould and dust spores.”

He worked for MK Council for two years, leaving in 2012 due to his ill health.

Last year the Citizen reported how an inspection of the council’s air cooling system, which also provides heating in winter, revealed the ducts and pipes had not been cleaned for four decades.

The independent survey of the council’s air cooling system confirmed it did not meet with Health and Safety legislation.

An officer’s report admitted the council was “at risk of committing an offence” if action was not taken.

The system includes ducting made from “fibre board material”.

Nobody knew the reason for this failure, but councillors voted unanimously that the whole system be replaced at a cost of £2.6m.

“Until we do this there is a real, but small risk, to the health and safety of people visiting or working in the civic offices,” said cabinet member for resources, Labour councillor Rob Middleton, at the time.

A council spokesman told the Citizen: “We are aware of the claim against the Council, this is being managed by our insurers.”