Valerie writes to Walsall MBC and housing providers on fire safety in Walsall

The tragedy at Grenfell Tower in Kensington is shocking. I have written to the Chief Executives of Accord Group, Sanctuary Group and Walsall Housing Group to ask about fire safety in buildings they manage in Walsall South.

I also wrote to the Chief Executive of Walsall MBC to confirm the policy on fire safety for apartment towers and Houses in Multiple Occupations (HMOs), and to find out whether Walsall MBC’s Housing Standards and Improvement Service are satisfied with these policies.

In my letters to the Chief Executives of Accord Group, Sanctuary Group and Walsall Housing Group, I asked each Chief Executive whether a valid Fire Risk Assessment has been carried out in the buildings and whether any recommendations have been carried out, and if there are any still outstanding. I asked for confirmation of each housing provider’s fire safety measures, including whether there is a smoke detector in every apartment, sprinklers, suitable fire doors, clear escape routes and a fire drill in place that has been communicated to tenants.

Many tenants of Grenfell Tower have had their important personal identification documents lost in the fire. I asked each chief executive whether they have any plans to carry out, or have already carried out, any steps to protect tenants’ identification documents in the event of a fire.

There are many questions surrounding the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. At Business Questions on Thursday 22 June 2017 I asked the Leader of the House why it took a week for the Prime Minister to confirm that all the people who were affected could finally be housed nearby and that any payments made to them will not affect any other entitlement.

In her statement on Wednesday 21 June 2017 the Prime Minister said that the government is ‘ensuring that support and counselling will be available’ to firefighters. At Business Questions, I asked for clarification from the Leader of the House that the number of counsellors for firefighters was reduced from 14 to 2 under the previous Mayor of London—now the Foreign Secretary.

On the issue of resources for firefighters, the Leader of the House said that the Government will ‘look again at those resources’.