Search

Tower block fire safety in Brent could cost leaseholders £6,000 each

PUBLISHED: 16:06 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:06 15 November 2017

Cathedral Walk, one of Brent Council's 37 blocks (Brent Council)

Cathedral Walk, one of Brent Council's 37 blocks (Brent Council)

Archant

Council chiefs in Brent are to install fire safety measures across its 37 blocks that could cost leaseholders £6,000 each.

Brent Council cabinet members approved a fire safety improvement programme which includes sprinklers, smoke detectors and fire alarms in its high-rises, estimated to cost £14m, on Monday night.

Of the 37 blocks in Brent owned by the council, 14 of them are 12 storeys or more, which could be legally required to have sprinklers in the future.

Approximately 20 per cent of the blocks inhabitants are leaseholders and the council has seen from that pool of housing income there is £2.8m of ‘recoverable costs’ which equates to around £6k per leaseholder.

Following a full council meeting in July to discuss the scheme, letters were sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for financial help but it has so far refused.

Cllr Muhammed Butt said: “When we first looked at this we did write to Sajid Javid MP pointing out that we want to make sure all our residents feel safe in their homes.

“The response was disappointing. We want to ensure all residents we are taking fire safety seriously.”

A Brent Council spokesman said: “The Grenfell Tower fire showed that when it comes to fire safety, ‘good enough’ is no longer good enough, which is why despite all of the council’s tower blocks being up to current standards,

“Brent Council took the unanimous decision to roll out these fire safety improvements to ensure that everything that can be done on fire safety, is done.

“Since then, we have been lobbying the government for extra money to pay for these works and have also asked, in case they can’t or won’t provide the money, for the freedom to find the money ourselves through borrowing.

“So far the government is refusing to budge, meaning that we have to fund these works from the housing account, which has to finance all works to council properties. If leaseholders didn’t contribute then there would be less money in the account for other works, however it will take some time to specify the works, and we will be consulting throughout the process.

“We will also be keeping up our pressure on the government. How can it be that under law, the government insist that new tower blocks over 30 metres must have sprinklers, yet older, existing blocks don’t require them as they are ‘to standard’?

“It smacks of utter hypocrisy and there being one rule for the rich and another for the poor.”

A DCLG spokesman said: “Building owners are responsible for ensuring their buildings are safe for residents and we expect them to fund fire safety measures.

“Councils should contact DCLG to discuss their position if they have any concerns about funding fire safety works.

“Ministers have been clear we will consider financial flexibilities for councils who need to undertake essential fire safety work to make a building safe.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kilburn Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kilburn Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kilburn Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Kilburn & Brent News Stories

Mon, 12:59

A man has died following a collision with a lorry in Kilburn.

Friday, February 16, 2018

An Alperton Community School art and textiles teacher has been named as a finalist in a million-dollar Global Teacher Prize.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fire crews rescued a man by ladder as a blaze swept through a flat in Cricklewood.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A jury has failed to agree a verdict in the trial of an immigrant accused of strangling an elderly widow at an allotment.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Prince Harry took a break from wedding planning to play air guitar, hockey and to serve up food to teenagers at a Harlesden youth centre.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A man and a woman from Kilburn are to appear at the Old Bailey charged with the murder of a woman who was found stabbed to death at a flat in a Camden tower block.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The cost of dying in Brent is set to increase by hundreds of pounds in a budget proposal passed by the council’s cabinet.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

An animal charity said a “huge” thank you after kind-hearted supporters raised £17,000 to replace its stolen ambulance.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The Granville has begun taking bookings for workspaces and events ahead of its opening this spring.

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group has announced changes to the community’s cardiology service.

If you have been looking for laser hair removal, beauty salon treatments, or skin care services you may be confused and overwhelmed with so much information out there and so many clinics and salons promising miraculous results.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read Kilburn News

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now