Lead members and senior council officers from Richmond Council met with the largest social housing provider in Richmond to seek reassurances that all possible measures are being taken to ensure their housing stock is safe from fire.
Richmond Council does not own any social housing stock. All previously owned Council housing was sold to Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) and transferred into their ownership and management in July 2000.
Following the Grenfell Tower fire, Council officers and the Cabinet Member responsible for housing met with RHP.
At the meeting, RHP reassured the Council that they own and manage only two fifteen-storey blocks in Richmond upon Thames (Slade House and Jamieson House in Heathfield) that have recently been refurbished and over clad. RHP identified that both have a Rockwool cladding, a product that has been tested and is highly fire resistant.
The other tall building in their ownership, a nine-storey block (Peldon Court) in Sheen Road, Richmond is not clad.
RHP has also assured the Council that all their blocks have up to date fire risk assessments. RHP has communicated this, along with a reminder of fire safety procedures, to their tenants. Council officers also confirmed that RHP would be writing to tenants as appropriate to provide additional reassurance and will be making checks of their blocks to ensure that fire procedures and exit ways are clear.
Richmond Council can also confirm that emergency planning arrangements have also recently been reviewed. Whilst any major or significant incident may require a response that involves agencies and other councils, as has been the case with the Grenfell Tower fire, the up to date plans in place will provide reassurance to Richmond residents.
Cllr David Marlow, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
“Our thoughts and condolences are with those who have lost family and friends in the Grenfell Tower fire and to those who have been made homeless by this tragedy.
“We understand how concerned people in this borough will be about what has happened, particularly those who live in social housing.
“Richmond upon Thames does not have many high rise social housing blocks. Only three. One of which has not been over clad. The other two have been re-clad and the Chief Executive of RHP has been able to confirm to me that the material used is highly fire resistant.
“I have met with senior colleagues from RHP to seek reassurances that their fire safety measures are robust and comprehensive to ensure the safety of residents. Any tenants concerned should consult with the RHP website or contact their customer services.”
For guidance on Fire Safety, go to: https://www.rhp.org.uk/rhpui/news/fire-safety-advice