Council to take further action on fire safety and estate improvement

This week Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, announced a series of actions to tackle fire safety and estate improvements in the borough.

Published: Thursday, 13th July 2017

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This week Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, announced a series of actions to tackle fire safety and estate improvements in the borough.

“We take the health and safety of our residents and our responsibilities for managing the safety of our housing stock, very seriously. 

“The Council owns and manages 35 high-rise properties over six [6] storeys; seven (7) of which have had a rain screen cladding treatment. 

“While we stand ready to respond to whatever local authorities are recommended to do in the light of the Grenfell Tower fire, there is a lot we can do now.

”We have already taken action and removed the cladding at the one high-rise block in our borough, Clements Court Tower,  that had the ACM cladding which central government required to be tested.

“We also held a series of public meetings with residents of our high-rise properties in Feltham, Heston, Brentford and Isleworth.

“Residents have a lot to say. They have many concerns, and they are uneasy about the fire safety of their homes.  They are looking for reassurance.

“That is why we will work quickly and closely with the fire services on the following actions.

“First, we will carry out new Fire Risk Assessments [FRAs] for all our high-rise and sheltered housing blocks, and review the design of their reports so that we can make them available online.

“We will also display summaries and key actions from FRAs in the lobbies of every high-rise and sheltered housing property.

“Secondly, we will prepare an Estate Fire Safety and Improvement Plan, which will set out priority works for tackling fire safety and the quality of our high-rises.

“This will include plans for replacing internal and communal fire doors; and improving coverage of safety lighting and signage.

“Having listened to the feedback from residents and while we await the outcome of the inquiries, we have reviewed our plans to re-clad the six [6] Brentford Towers.   I can confirm that we will not be proceeding with the cladding.

“We will be, however, continuing with urgent improvement works, including concrete treatments, window and fire door replacements, and extensive grounds improvements.

“Finally, our tenants and leaseholders want to engage better with our housing management services. 

“So, we will set out plans for working better with them to make visible improvements in the cleanliness of estates; waste management and recycling; plus providing safe storage for bicycles, buggies/prams and mobility scooters.

“Our priority is and remains the safety and welfare of our residents and we will keep speaking to them and letting them know what is happening and when.

“We will also want them to take greater care for the safety of properties where they live.”