Multi agency response to high rise fire
A multi agency task group is working to
assess and deal with all issues relating to the safety of high rise residential
properties in Wirral in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Officers and elected representatives from Wirral Council, Merseyside Fire and
Rescue Service and Magenta Living, the largest social housing provider in
Wirral, are working side by side to share all relevant information and deal
immediately with any issues as they arise.
Officers from the fire service and Magenta Living have already carried out
initial assessments and are reassuring residents, particularly those who live in
high-rise properties, that their safety is the utmost priority.
Wirral Council's housing team is contacting owners of privately managed
residential blocks in an effort to provide the same reassurance to people who
live in those properties.
A high rise property is defined as a building that is more than 6 storeys or 18
metres in height. There are 18 premises identified in Wirral as falling within
this definition, 8 are owned and managed by Magenta Living and 10 properties are
in private ownership. Wirral Council does not own or manage any high rise
Initial assessment found that there is no aluminium cladding, such as that used
at Grenfell Tower, on any Magenta Living owned properties. The inspections of
the privately owned properties is still ongoing, but again no aluminium type cladding has been found on the
properties assessed so far.
If concerns about any external cladding do become apparent, samples will be sent
to the Buildings Research Establishment (BRE) as a matter of urgency and the
fire service will carry out a fire safety assessment and advise what remedial
actions may be necessary.
Cllr George Davies, Wirral Council Cabinet member for Housing and Community
Safety, said:- "Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the tragedy in
north Kensington. What happened has shocked the whole country and people are
rightly asking a lot of questions about the safety of people living in high rise
accommodation. We have convened this joint task group to work around the
clock to build a picture of the situation we have here in Wirral and take action
immediately if and when it is required. The group is also receiving and
assessing information and developments across the whole country and our work
will be fed directly back to the Homes and Communities Agency and the Department
for Communities and Local Government. Residents living in high rise
accommodation can be assured that their safety is our number one priority and
everything that can be done is being done to make the buildings they live in as
safe as they can be."
In Sefton, 2 Bootle high rise blocks
have failed fire safety tests and had cladding "removed immediately." The
Landlords, of the blocks, Cygnet and Wren House, on St James Drive, Bootle,
said:- "We have taken this precautionary measure to ensure the continued safety
of our tenants." One Vision Housing, added that:- "The blocks have not been
evacuated while takes place."
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service
said:- "If family members have any concerns over elderly or vulnerable
relatives living in high rise premises, then please do call Fire Service
direct on:- 0800 731 5958, over any working day (week day, 9am to 5pm) or
you can also send them an email via:-