Update on housing safety following Grenfell fire

I know that many people living in tall residential buildings will have concerns about safety after what happened at Grenfell Tower so an update on the national and local response in Walsall.

This morning I was in the House of Commons where the Prime Minister made a statement.

The Prime Minister said, “All social landlords have been instructed to carry out additional fire safety checks on tower blocks and ensure the appropriate safety and response measures are in place.”

“The relevant local authorities and local fire services have been informed, and as I speak they are taking all possible steps to ensure buildings are safe and to inform affected residents. Any results will be communicated immediately to local authorities and local fire services.”

“Landlords have a legal obligation to provide safe buildings and where they cannot do that we expect alternative accommodation to be provided. We cannot and will not ask people to live in unsafe homes.”

I then travelled back to Walsall this afternoon to attend a scrutiny meeting which had been arranged at the Council to look at the local situation. WATMOS, WHG and Accord Housing Association were all represented this evening.

They reported that none of them have high rise accommodation, defined as over 18 metres high, with cladding similar to Grenfell Tower.

All of their high-rise buildings have current Fire Risk Assessments and West Midlands Fire have offered Safe & Well visits to any concerned residents. All housing providers have communicated with residents to offer reassurance.

The scrutiny committee will meet again to discuss once information has been released from the Grenfell Tower inquiry.

I hope this assures people that both the national government, Walsall Council and local housing providers are doing whatever they can to keep people safe.

If you have any concerns please contact me via email:  eddie.hughes.mp@parliament.uk