Posted: Mon 9th Mar 2020

Mobility scooters to be banned from communal areas at council flat blocks in Flintshire due to fire risk

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Mobility scooters are set to be banned from communal areas at council flat blocks after a warning that they pose a fire risk.

Flintshire Council is also set to prohibit other items including bicycles, doormats, prams, plants and old furniture from being stored on stairways and landings.

It follows a recent fire audit which said clutter left in open spaces could help blazes to spread and stop firefighters from accessing buildings.

Similar steps have previously been taken by other authorities and housing companies in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 which killed 72 people.

A senior councillor said residents could face enforcement action if they don’t comply with the new rules.

In an e-mail to other politicians, Daves Hughes, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said it could contradict its policy for people living in high rise flats to stay in their properties during a fire if it is safe to do so.

He said: “The policy is undermined when items are stored in communal areas – such as shared stairways and landings – as they provide fuel/ fire loading for fires to spread between properties, while potentially impeding access for firefighters.

“Of particular danger to tenants are mobility scooters. These vehicles have a poor safety record and have been the cause of many serious fires.

“As a consequence, they are now banned from being stored and charged in all of our communal areas.

“We intend to commence communication with our tenants shortly regarding the above which will involve writing to all tenants and meetings to discuss the importance of keeping communal areas clear and the potential enforcement action that we may take to ensure that this approach is adhered to.”

The ban is also expected to be discussed at a meeting of the authority’s community and enterprise scrutiny committee on Wednesday.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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