Wednesday 20 September 2023

Kilburn tower block fire shows the necessity for Brent Council to engage with tenants - contribute to the engagement strategy and make it REAL!



Yesterday I asked a supplementary question on the Building Safety Act following the written answers provided prior to the meeting LINK. I will leave readers to judge whether the question was answered. 

Coincidentally, a fire broke out on the 13th floor of the tower block in Kilburn Square as the Council Meeting went on and Kilburn councillors left the meeting to go to the scene.

Life in Kilburn tweeted that there had been previous warnings about fires in that particular flat and these had gone unheeded by Brent Council.


The Daily Mirror followed this up and published a full piece HERE.

Three people have now been arrested in connection with the fire.




In 2017 I wrote an article on Wembley Matters about how the Kensington and Chelsea Council tried to silence a local blog, the Grenfell Action Group that had written about their concerns over the risks at Grenfell LINK prior to the fire and deaths. If one major lesson has emerged it is that residents who actually live in the blocks should be listened to and councils should engage with them.


That is being implemented six years on through a Resident Engagement Strategy. The council have a legal duty to set up a Resident Engagement strategy for each of the 41 Brent high-rises, including Kilburn Square.


Each strategy will allow anyone living in each building to engage with the council in making any decisions on both fire safety and structural issues in each high-rise.


These Resident Engagement strategies come within The Building Safety Act with most of it coming into force on the 1st October 2023.


The council are currently holding a consultation into what each strategy should include and they want to hear from anyone who lives in any of the 41 buildings in scope.


The Consultation can be found HERE. Brent Council explains:


The Building Safety Act (2022) introduced new requirements for building owners to demonstrate their ability to identify and manage safety risks in the properties they have responsibility for.

The Act specifically requires landlords to establish an engagement strategy for 'higher risk buildings' (18m in height OR seven storeys or more and containing at least 2 flats) and the document attached is a proposed engagement strategy for the 41 'higher risk buildings' owned and managed by Brent Housing Management.


The strategy details:

  • What information will be provided to residents
  • What decisions they will be consulted on
  • How residents views will be taken into account; and

How the appropriateness of consultation undertaken will be measured


The draft strategy is embedded below:



1 comment:

Martin Francis said...

Comment received by email:

It is now only 10 days for most of the building Safety Act to be implemented with the council having to meet all their statutory obligations by the 30th Sept

But we still have no idea what info. will be given to the Building Regulator (HSE) apart from knowing that they have registered all. 41 buildings in scope.

In particular, the consultation only mentions 'safety case reports' but not 'safety cases' which need to be published by the 1st October 2023.

As I understand it they need to publish a safety case for each of the 41 buildings in scope, including Kilburn Sq. but the council seem to be unaware of this. Resident profiles, including for disabled people are required in each safety case and for me they are the most important part of the whole Act.