to allow gas safety checks
TENANTS who refuse to allow
essential safety checks to be carried out in their homes have been
warned that court action will be taken against them.
The warning comes following the refusal of a tenant of a house in
Kirkdale to allow gas engineers to carry out checks on appliances
until a court warrant was issued.
This is an example of how Liverpool's groundbreaking Healthy Homes
Programme is helping landlords ensure safety at their properties.
Landlords have a legal duty to carry out annual gas safely checks of
appliances and installations, and to provide a record of this check
to their tenants.
Unfortunately however, some tenants don't co-operate with the
landlord and won't allow access for this important safety check.
Landlords have raised this concern with Healthy Homes, who are
tasked with improving health through improving housing conditions.
An innovative system has been developed to
take advantage of Council enforcement powers.
The new procedure provides the tenant with a number of opportunities
to co-operate and allow a Gas Safe registered engineer to visit.
However, as a last resort where access continues to be denied,
environmental health officers from the Healthy Homes team can apply
to the courts for a warrant to access. This procedure allows a more
rapid solution than landlords having to apply for a warrant
If a warrant is granted entry can be made by force if necessary
ensuring that this key safety check by a registered gas engineer is
The Council has pioneered this innovative
approach with several Registered Providers of social housing.
So far, landlords have approached the team about more than 150
properties where gaining access has not been possible. Following the
new system, on all but 2 occasions, when contacted by the Healthy
Homes team the tenant has co-operated and a check carried out.
However, an environmental health officer from the team applied to
the court for warrants at 2 properties where tenants resisted
approaches by the team. The tenant of one of the properties
contacted the landlord before the warrant was executed to confirm
their change of view, but the warrant for the house in Kirkdale was
executed. While the boiler at the property was found to be
satisfactory, the cooker was considered dangerous so was
The landlord, LHT was very satisfied with the partnership, helping
them to comply with health and safety legislation.
Simon Brown, LHT director of asset management said:- "LHT has
a legal requirement to carry out annual gas safety checks to all
properties. This project is a real success and only achieved
by working in partnership with Liverpool City Council.
We are doing all we can to ensure our tenants remain safe in their
homes and we now have access to another tool to ensure we can
undertake a gas service to all difficult to access properties."
Councillor Ann O'Byrne, City Council cabinet member for housing
said:- "These sorts of intervention show how the Council is
helping good landlords meet their legal obligations of providing a
healthy and safe home.
It also demonstrates that responsibility for safe housing not only
rests with the landlord, tenants also have an important part to play
in co-operating with the activities of the owner whether it be in
carrying out repairs or safety checks. This example reaffirms the
importance of annual gas safety checks. Had it not been carried out,
use of the dangerous cooking appliance would have continued.
Gas safety checks are vital in reducing risks. Not only can gas
leaks cause explosions, but gas appliances such as cookers, fires
and boilers burning inefficiently may release carbon monoxide which
can't be seen, smelt or tasted. It is a silent killer, but one which
can be prevented by regular safety checks.
Healthy Homes aims to prevent death and illness due to poor housing
conditions and reduce accidents in the home. While there is still a
lot of work to do we are making very good progress."
Not for profit
organisations urged to bid for funding
ORGANISATIONS which provide
essential services to Liverpool's communities are being asked to bid
for more than £2million funding from the City Council.
Not for profit voluntary and community organisations can put forward
applications for grants from the Community Resources Unit Funding
Programme 2013/16, giving funding for groups which provide the
Community legal advice
Support for victims of domestic violence
CapaCity building community and voluntary organisations
All applications must support the
City Council's vision to develop thriving neighbourhoods, encourage
health and wellbeing in communities, make Liverpool's neighbourhoods
more attractive and accessible and empower local residents.
Liverpool City Council's cabinet member for neighbourhoods,
Councillor Steve Munby, said:- "In these tough economic times,
this sort of funding is pivotal in order to continue to support
groups which have such a positive impact on neighbourhoods across
These not for profit organisations provide essential services which
residents rely on; from legal advice provided by a Citizens Advice
Bureau to transport to luncheons which elderly people depend on to
ensure they feel part of the community.
It will be an extremely difficult task to choose which organisations
to fund as all the work these groups do is so worthwhile, but we're
confident those who are selected will make a positive difference to
the lives of people in Liverpool."
All applications must be received by midday on Friday, 7 December
The total funding for 2013 is £2,397,750, and for the following
years the grants will be reduced in line with the final budget
decisions made by the City Council.
In 2012/13 57 groups received funding
► Liverpool Association of Disabled People – a free, confidential
advice service which includes drop-in appointments and home visits
for disabled people, their families and carers.
► HEAT – Liverpool's domestic abuse service which keeps women and
their children safe from harm.
► Merseyside Network for Change – a support service for some of the
City's poorest communities.
► Afro Caribbean and Friends Lunch Club – provides affordable meals
for isolates BME elders and people with disabilities. Their support
also includes social activities and day trips.
► PERC – a programme of structured activities targeted at lone parents
including parent/toddler groups, interview techniques, personal
development workshops and parent/child play.
For full terms and conditions and an application form visit:-
For more information, contact the Community Resources Unit on:- 0151
MP says:- "drivers at risk on 40% of Britain’s roads"
JIM Fitzpatrick, Shadow Road Safety Minister,
has said drivers are at risk on 40% of Britain’s roads due to fading
road markings in austerity Britain. The MP was responding to a
survey by the Road Safety Markings Association which revealed a
freefall in the standard of markings on motorways and dual
carriageways in Britain. According to the Lifelines survey 38% of
markings on motorways and 36% on dual carriageways maintained by the
Highways Agency in England need immediate or scheduled repairs. Over
40% of markings on Scotland’s and Wales’ motorways and dual
carriageways also need immediate replacement. The survey was the
largest ever of Britain’s roads and covered 7250km of white lines in
England, Scotland and Wales. Jim Fitzpatrick said:-
"Cutting back on our road markings means cutting back on safety.
Markings make the road easy to read for the driver and are by far
one of the most cost-effective safety solutions. The Department of
Transport are watching the pennies whilst motorists are driving on
unsafe roads. This is one basic safety feature we cannot cut back
on." According to the Highways Agency’s own standard
the amount of motorway markings needing immediate replacement has
doubled from eight to seventeen per cent in the past 2 years. Many
in the industry believe this is causing safety issues and the DfT
are failing to find a solution.