Posted: Thu 22nd Jun 2017

Council chiefs offer more reassurance to Flint ‘Heights’ residents

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 22nd, 2017


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Flintshire County Council chiefs have again moved to reassure resident of Flint ‘Heights’ – the 217 flats within three tower blocks in the centre of Flint.

Concerns have been raised around the type of cladding used on Castle Heights, Bolingbroke Heights and Richard Heights in Flint following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in London.

North Wales Fire And Rescue Service were on hand to offer safety advice to residents of Flint ‘Heights’ on Wednesday.

Deeside AM and Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant has also announced an expert group is being set up in Wales to examine all of the lessons coming out of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The two 14 storey and one 17 storey concrete tower blocks underwent a 17-month renovation program costing £3m in 2015.

The Council Chief Executive said the cladding used on ‘The Heights’ uses different components and a different method of application to that used at Grenfell Tower.

Colin Everett, Chief Executive and Clare Budden, Chief Officer Community and Regeneration said;

Flintshire County Council have received a number of requests trying to establish if the cladding system used on Grenfell Tower in London is the same system that has been put in place following the completion of a major refurbishment of the three tower blocks in Flint, known as ‘The Heights’.

Given the ongoing investigations following the tragic and distressing events at Grenfell Tower it would not be appropriate for the Council to speculate on the exact specification of the system or products that were used on that building.

Flintshire County Council completed the refurbishment project with the Principal Contractor, SERS and during the design process, many methods and material choices of cladding were researched. The final choice of construction method was chosen to maximise the safety of our tenants in The Heights.

The programme of refurbishment which was carried out included a number of protective measures, the most significant of which was the installation of a sprinkler system designed to quickly contain a fire in the event of one happening.

The Council has in place an ongoing programme of fire risk assessments designed to monitor, assess and improve fire safety measures for all our housing stock. These assessments are shared with the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service (NWFRS) for independent observations.

The Council and NWFRS will be holding a reassurance event this week for council tenants at which fire and rescue service and council staff will be available to answer questions and provide information.

The Council’s sympathies and thoughts remain with the victims and their families and all those affected by the tragic events at Grenfell Tower.

Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant has outlined steps being taken following Grenfell Tower fire

Deeside AM and Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant has announced he is setting up an expert group to examine all of the lessons coming out of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and their application to Wales.
The group will include representatives from the social housing and fire sectors and will be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser.

 

The Cabinet Secretary made the announcement during an update to Assembly Members on the steps being taken in Wales following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Carl Sargeant said:

Everyone is, of course, horrified by the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in west London last week. My deepest sympathies are with those who have been affected by it.

Between all residential social landlords in Wales, they own 36 blocks of flats of seven or more storeys.

Social landlords have told us none of those appear to have been fitted with the type of cladding used in the Grenfell Tower.

Seven blocks in Wales have been retro-fitted with sprinklers – and of course where any new or converted blocks are developed here, under the changes introduced as part of the Domestic Fire Safety Measure (Wales) 2011, they would be required to include sprinklers. The requirements were introduced for flats and houses on 1 January 2016.

Installing sprinklers in new housing and as part of refurbishment programmes, which some Welsh councils and housing associations have already done, will go a long way towards minimising the risk of death and injury from fire.

I hope this gives some immediate reassurance to the residents of those premises.

The Cabinet Secretary added that the expert group will also consider how prepared Wales would be to deal with such an incident as Grenfell if it were to occur.

We need to make certain of our capability to do that and learn any lessons that emerge from events in London.

My officials and I are in regular contact with counterparts in England and Scotland, to ensure that we pool intelligence and share learning.

This process is at an early stage and it will be some time before the full truth about what happened at Grenfell Tower is known. However, the Welsh Government is completely committed to acting on those findings, while doing all that we can in the meantime to keep the people of Wales safe from fire.

Fire service working with Flintshire CC on safety of high-rises known to feature cladding

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