Tower block blaze

At last night’s meeting of the Council’s Executive, Kingston’s Lead Member for Housing made a statement on the recent tower block blaze in the London Borough of Southwark.

Cllr Penny Shelton said: “In the light of the tragic fire in the block of flats at Camberwell, I would like to make a short statement about the implications for our own housing stock.

“Fire safety arrangements and risks in all Council homes were assessed and reviewed at the time of the introduction of the new Fire Safety Regulations in 2006. All of our properties currently comply with these regulations.”

She added: “Kingston does not have any blocks of the same construction as those affected at Camberwell. However, we do, like most social landlords across the country, have some blocks where there is a single means of escape aside from lifts.

“It will be some time before the full report into the Camberwell fire appears and it may be that Government guidance and requirements are changed as a result. Kingston will, of course, learn any lessons that emerge from that report and comply with any changes in regulations that follow.

“However, in the light of Camberwell, it is right that we should make a fresh assessment of risk in our housing stock to identify whether there are any areas we would wish to upgrade immediately. This assessment will be made for the whole of our housing stock over the next few weeks, starting with the four blocks on the Cambridge Road Estate, where the assessment will be carried out within one week.

“If any works are assessed as being required now, over and above the existing Regulations, these will be carried out as soon as possible.”

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