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London councils review tower-block fire safety following Grenfell Tower tragedy

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Local authorities across London, including Westminster and Redbridge, have said they are looking at the safety of their tower blocks following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, west London

Barking and Dagenham Council has also said it will be reviewing the fire risks assessments on all high-rise blocks that have not been checked in the last three months.

At least 17 people died and many more remain missing after the huge blaze at Grenfell Tower, a  24-storey, 1970s apartment block in Kensington, which had recently been refurbished by Studio E Architects.

Other councils have said they will be carrying out additional fire safety checks on high-rise blocks of flats, including Camden, Greenwich, Newham and Haringey.

Westminster Council cabinet member for housing Rachael Robathan said yesterday: ‘We understand how concerned people will be about what has happened, which is why we want to reassure everyone that Westminster makes safety our number one priority.

‘Whilst the investigation is likely to take some time to find out what happened, we have taken immediate action and today reviewed our fire risk assessment policy.’

Many other London councils have released statements providing reassurance to residents living in tall blocks of flats. In addition to the councils already mentioned, these include Brent, Ealing, Hounslow, Islington, Lewisham and Sutton.

Some of these councils, including Wandsworth and Sutton, have said they will seek to implement any recommendations from the London Fire Brigade as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Southwark Council has provided reassurance to its residents, as well as outlining the fire safety measures it has carried out since the Lakanal House fire in the borough in 2009, which claimed the lives of six people.

Southwark’s deputy leader Stephanie Cryan, who is cabinet member for housing, said that the ‘terrible news’ of the Grenfell Tower fire was ‘particularly raw for us in Southwark, bringing back dreadful memories of the Lakanal fire’.

She added: ‘I understand that many residents living in high-rise blocks in Southwark will be concerned, and I wanted to write to you straight away to reassure you that Southwark has carried out a huge programme of works in recent years to improve the safety of our tower blocks.’

Meanwhile, Merton Council said it was ‘seeking reassurances from the housing association Clarion Housing Group, and other housing associations that own and manage homes in Merton, that their fire safety measures are robust and comprehensive to ensure the safety of residents’.

The AJ has contacted Merton Council for confirmation that these fire safety measures are compliant. 

Earlier today, prime minister Theresa May ordered a full public inquiry into the incident.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Gabriela Igelsias

    Were architect involved in the design and supervision of the works? If they were why they are not mentioned any where?

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  • For Gabriela Iglesias - yes, architects were involved, there's a link to their website in the 'Grenfell Tower: residents had predicted massive fire' news item, and Studio E Architects are not trying to hide.

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