Southwark Council hires top consultant to lead review of fire-safety strategy for its housing

News Desk (04 July, 2017) Politics Misc Emergency services

The council aims to reassure residents and ensure that all fire-safety policies and procedures will be up to scratch

17541The Grenfell tower block fire (left); Lakanal House (right).

Southwark Council has appointed a national fire-safety expert to carry out an independent review of its fire strategy and the way it carries out fire-risk assessments.

Following the Grenfell tower disaster on June 14, Southwark Council has announced it is committed to commissioning a review, to reassure residents and ensure that all fire-safety policies and procedures will be up to scratch.

Ben Bradford, founder of fire and security consulting firm BB7, works with architects, design teams, building owners and operators. The chartered surveyor and engineer was, from May 2016 – 17, president of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers.

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for housing, said: “Following the tragic fire at Lakanal in our own borough in 2009, Southwark has done a great deal of work to improve fire safety across our estates, and carry out fire-risk assessments for all council properties.

“However, no one can afford to be complacent after Grenfell, and it’s right that we take a fresh look at what we are doing to reassure ourselves and our residents that we are doing all we can.”

The review will begin this month, and is expected to report back to the council in the autumn.

The council is also asking residents to come forward and join a new Fire-Safety Advisory Group that will help steer the council’s next steps following the review.

Cllr Cryan added: “After Grenfell it is starkly apparent that councils need to listen to their residents about fire risks and safety. Southwark tenants and leaseholders already have a number of ways to make themselves heard, through the Tenants’ Council, the Homeowners’ Council, our new Homeowners’ Agency, and the many tenant and resident associations.

“But there is nothing specifically for fire safety, and I feel it’s important to create a new space for local people to air their concerns.”

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