Monday 19 June 2023

UPDATE VIA COMMENT: Letter: Brent Council are failing to implement post-Grenfell measures, New CEO could face prison if Brent Council has not registered all their buildings in time.

Dear Editor,


I first told you about 'Safety Cases' in 2021 when they were required for contractors presenting their new developments for planning but now it is a legal requirement for all of Brent's buildings in scope (7 storeys or higher) who must publish a safety case by the 1st October 2023.


Several commentators reported on the Grenfell anniversary last Wednesday that almost every landlord in England has not published their Safety Case yet and that includes Brent.


It can take between 2 to 3 months to assemble all the information needed to make a safety case and Brent will need to make one for all the 40 buildings that I know of.


Brent must also register all their buildings in scope and apply for a safety certificate by the 1st Oct. 2023.  


Are you aware that some Council employees could end up in prison if they fail to comply with all the requirements before the 1st October 2023?


The government said all landlords should publish a Resident Engagement Strategy 12 months after it became the law and many councils across London have published theirs, but Brent has not published anything yet.


The government also gave a 2 month extension to all landlords to set up their Resident Panels, which are now due to be implemented on the 28th June 2023 but once again Brent seem not to be doing anything about them.


London Politics show (BBC 1) had a story about Grenfell and mentioned all the recommendations that are due to come in over the next 3 months but Brent seems to not be aware of any of their responsibilities over this issue.


There is a budget available for Residents' Panels, with £1,300 p.a. being available for Residents' Associations to co-ordinate them.


But you probably have guessed by now, the government give the money to the council who in turn pass it on to the Residents' Associations to hold at least one meeting a year with a maximum of 4, to explain how to prevent fires & other hazards in their buildings.


A local resident

(Details submitted)




Anonymous said...

Is there time to aak a question about this at the July Full Council meeting?

Anonymous said...

I fully support the concerns raised by the local resident regarding Brent Council's failure to implement post-Grenfell measures. It is a clear example of how capitalist institutions prioritise profit over the well-being of the working class.

Brent Council's negligence in publishing Safety Cases and complying with safety requirements demonstrates a lack of regard for the lives of residents. This disregard is inherent in a system that prioritises cost-cutting and profit accumulation over ensuring safe living conditions for all.

The government's Resident Engagement Strategy and Resident Panels aim to involve the community in fire prevention measures. However, Brent's inaction and failure to implement these initiatives highlight how capitalist structures often pay lip service to community engagement while failing to empower residents effectively.

The availability of funds for Residents' Panels should be seen as a positive step, but the bureaucratic process involved reflects the inefficiencies and complexities of capitalist systems. This further delays the establishment of panels and hinders the residents' ability to actively participate in their own safety.

The Labour run Brent Council's failure to prioritise the safety of its residents exposes the inherent flaws and disregard for the working class within capitalist institutions. Urgent action is needed to rectify these failures and ensure the well-being of the community.

Martin Francis said...

Comment received by email:

As everyone knows a fire can occur anytime and that is why Brent Council should do everything possible to keep their residents safe.

Even if they wait until the final day to register all their buildings in scope (by the 30th September 2023) they would then have to apply for a building safety certificate within 28 days of registration, making the final deadline the 28th October 2023.

This is a legal requirement and if the council fail to register in time, their 'new' chief executive could be imprisoned for up to 2 years.

Collecting all the information can take a lot of time and a commentator from a safety journal said it was unlikely that landlords hold the information about older buildings and they would also need to contact every resident & tenant in each building to make a resident profile.

The government have not published yet as to what will happen to the residents if a building fails to get a safety certificate but one possibility is that all the residents would need to be decanted to a building elsewhere that did have a safety certificate

Back in July 2021 the government decided that landlords were ignoring the current safety legislation at that time and they decided that a stronger deterrent was needed and they introduced many enforcement duties, including sending landlords, or their representatives to prison for failing to comply with the legislation.

It could see Brent's CEO going to jail for failing to register and apply for a safety certificate but it might be the lead officer for Housing.

To find out all the information required for the safety certificate, they would have to start finding it by the end of next week at the latest.

Last week the Building Regulator added a 60% increase in their staff numbers in order to enforce the Act from the 1st Oct. 2023.