The cross-party committee called a special meeting to look at the issue in depth following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. While the committee was confident that proper fire safety procedures are in place and up to date, the purpose of scrutiny is to research, support and review commitments to fire safety to ensure it remains a priority going forward.
During the meeting, senior members of the housing team and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service outlined the position of Tamworth Borough Council in respect of fire safety within all council-owned residential properties, including the high-rise flats.
Assurance was provided to the committee around all aspects of fire safety, including the current policies and procedures, ongoing commitments and about the reassurance issued to residents of Tamworth’s six high-rise buildings in the immediate wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Answers were also provided to a series of questions posed by members of the committee on issues such as cladding, the frequency of fire checks, smoke alarms, fire doors and sprinklers.
All questions were answered to the satisfaction of the committee members, including confirmation that there is no aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding on any buildings within the council’s landlord stock.
In addition, Tamworth Borough Council had already committed to fitting sprinklers throughout the high-rise buildings as part of a planned refurbishment programme and consultations about this work are due to take place over the summer, with installation work to hopefully begin later this year.
Chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Andrew James, said, “It was a good, positive meeting with a great presentation from leading members of the housing team and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service who offered reassurance that everything that can be done is being done to ensure that Tamworth’s council-owned flats are safe.
“All of our questions were answered to our satisfaction and we are confident in the excellent work being carried out by the housing team.
“This was a great example of scrutiny at its best and of all parties working together to research, support and review commitments to fire safety now and in the future.”
Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Housing, Cllr Michelle Thurgood, said, “The housing team has once again demonstrated their commitment to residents in our high-rise flats by showing the focus on continual improvement and development.
“I welcome the work undertaken by the Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee and their conclusions that we are exactly where we need to be.
“We will continue to lead the way on our policy and procedures, including the installation of sprinkler systems in the very near future”
Full minutes of the meeting are available on the Tamworth Borough Council website by following the links for ‘Council’, ‘Council Committees’ and ‘Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee’.