Tuesday, 8 December 2020

No 'peace of mind' regarding high rise fire safety for disabled resident as Brent Council lights up for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Brent Civic Centre lit up  for International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 (Kilburn Times)

Brent's symbolic gesture for International Day Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 LINK has left a local resident with disabilities feeling jaundiced as his repeated efforts to persuade housing officers and councillors that he needs rehousing because of his mobility and hearing disabililities, have failed to elicit positive action.

He feels trapped and fearful.

The resident is currently housed on an upper floor of a South Kilburn estate tower block that is scheduled for demolition. This means that fire safety measures such as sprinklers have not been installed. He has requested rehousing at a lower level.

The resident, whose case has been covered before on Wembley Matters LINK, said:

In yesterday's Cabinet Agenda papers on Council assets  they said "All our high-rises are safe and we are bringing in additional measures to reassure our vulnerable tenants".


But I do not feel safe, or reassured as there is still only one escape route in my block and if a fire was to start on this escape routebelow me. I feel I could be trapped, or my mobility issues may affect other residents who would also be in a hurry to escape the building.


The Cabinet paper said "Our Fire Safety works provide peace of mind for all our resident's" but I do not have any 'peace of mind because of my mobility issues if I need to evacuate my tower block by the only escape route which my building has.


Could you through Wembley Matters ask the Council what  I  and possibly other disabled residents in a similar situation  can do to get 'the peace of mind' that they refer to?


Just to add, a disabled resident at Grenfell was told before the fire, that she had nothing to worry about, as the building was safe and this is what Brent Council are saying about all their own high-rises -they are completely safe.


The resident pointed out that the latest Brent Council Fire Safety Policy document LINK   had nothing to say about evacuating from a high rise block in the event of a fire or how disabled people would evacuate in an emergency. Although at Cabinet they used the term 'vulnerable' to describe people eligible for additional safety measures there is no detail about what measures are available or planned.

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