Wednesday 19 July 2017

Specialist to visit each Brent tower block between now and September to establish fire safety works needed

Monday's July 24th Cabinet Meeting will set things moving on the £10m extra agreed to enhance fire safety measures in Brent's high rise blocks.

The report states:

Council agreed that the Chief Executive should write to the Government as a matter of urgency to request that the Government provide direct financial support to meet the costs that will be incurred. The letter has been sent to the Government requesting financial support, as well as requesting that the Government urgently consider revocation of the permitted development rights for office to residential conversions; that the Government review the building control laws which allow the use of building control teams from both the private sector and other local authorities to inspect buildings which can mean a total lack of oversight by local authority inspectors of the fire risk level in some privately owned high rise blocks and that the Government address whether licensing laws for landlords in the private sector are stringent enough to ensure that all dwellings are fit for human habitation.
Actions to develop the detailed work programme for enhanced fire measures in High-rise blocks
A specification is in the process of being developed, which will outline the enhanced fire detection equipment that could be installed, over and above the required standard. In order to establish the exact works required, a suitably qualified specialist will carry out a survey of each building, and specify the schedule of works. This will be specific to each block, but may include detection systems localised alarms in communal areas and/or dwellings, fire suppression systems such as sprinklers, or smoke extraction systems.
The appropriate procurement framework will be accessed in order to appoint the relevant specialists required in order to complete this preparatory work.
Surveyors will visit all blocks between now and September in order to carry out these surveys, which will inform the detailed plan which will be brought back for consideration by Cabinet in October 2017.
It will be important to keep residents informed and reassured throughout this process. A letter has been sent to all tenants and leaseholders to advise them of the outcome of the Full Council discussion, attached at Annex 3, and a programme of communication will continue throughout this process.

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