Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram has issued the following statement on fire safety following the disaster at Grenfell Tower in London:
“Following the shocking events in London last week, there is an entirely understandable public concern for the safety of residents of high rise tower blocks or in housing where materials might have been fitted that are similar to those potentially implicated.
“This morning I met with Dan Stephens, Chief Fire Officer, Mike Palin the Lead Officer of the CA for Housing and also the Chair of the Housing Association Group (Mayoral Advisor Barbara Spicer) to understand steps taken since the awful events last week. Between us we considered the whole process of Fire Risk Assessments for residential properties across the City Region, and a number of issues which have been raised since the tragedy at Grenfell Tower.
“I want to reassure residents through the City Region that steps are being taken to ensure that the tragic events last week are not witnessed in our City Region.
“Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) have conducted an immediate reassurance campaign to provide information to residents by visiting all high rise residential blocks over the weekend and delivering a range of communication via social media, website and radio. MFRS are assisting with the co-ordination of an inspection programme with local authority housing teams to inspect all residential high rise blocks on a prioritised basis.
“Housing associations throughout the City Region have all worked with their own Boards to confirm that fire risk assessments are suitable and sufficient. In addition they are providing information about any properties which may have been clad in recent years. I support their advice to tenants across our area that people should continue to follow the fire evacuation procedure for where you live should a fire occur. If you are in any way unsure of what that procedure is then please contact your own housing association.
“I have asked the Chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority and the Mayoral Advisor on Housing, working with Local Authority lead politicians to provide an immediate assessment as to how we think fire safety and building regulations could be strengthened in light of previous experience. It is clear that there have been calls for improvement that have been ignored by the government and I intend taking the matter up directly with government ministers as soon as possible.
“I intend to stay fully up to date on any activity associated with our assurance to local people about fire safety, or any further actions we believe we may need to take.”