Grenfell Tower

A few days ago we all witnessed on our TV screens the terrible devastation and loss of life when something goes badly wrong in our system.  Grenfell Tower fire should not have happened.  To hear the harrowing tales of those who survived and see the pictures of those who did not, your heart simply goes out to people at this time and words fail us all.  But like everyone, we want answers.

I am a builder in my blood and I was a shocked as anyone that a building could be refurbished with materials that failed so tragically in this day and age.  That should not happen.

Worse still, is that Residents have been raising concerns about other aspects of the infrastructure and fire safety of the building, and appear to have been ignored.  That should not happened.

All too often recently, we again saw our outstanding emergency services rushing into horror as people ran for their lives.  However, it appears in the aftermath, the emergency planning and response by the council was poor.  That should not have happened – one of our County Council’s guiding principles is that we are there in an emergency.

So there are lessons to be learnt and here in Suffolk we are already seeking to learn them.  The Suffolk Fire Service has been out reassuring residents giving them information about the fire safety in the few hi rise blocks we have here in Suffolk.  They, alongside District officers have been making extensive check of the fire precautions and testing of equipment has been stepped up.  There are 14 residential blocks over 8 storeys high and 13 with between over 4 & 8 storeys in Suffolk.

However, Suffolk County Council is not a housing provider and it’s a mixed picture of ownership of these buildings across Suffolk, but today I will be written to the providers of each of the blocks stressing to them, the need to make sure that they work with Residents, building control and our Fire Officers to make sure all of our residents are as safe as they can be.  Our Fire officers are not aware of any building that have the same cladding system as that of Grenfell Tower but those checks continue.

At Suffolk Public Sector Leader’s next meeting we will be reviewing our emergency plans across all of our Councils to make sure as a Suffolk family if something happens we can be sure that the system is there to help immediately to support and protect people and in the longer term should it be needed.

As the questions get answered and new advice and legislation is produced we will to make sure all advice is adhered across Suffolk make sure that residents are as safe in their homes as they can be, irrespective of living in a sheltered bungalow or a High Rise building.

Much of the work our great fire fighters do is about prevention.  So I will leave you with one simple but vitally important question.  Do you have a smoke alarm?  If you do have you checked it recently?  Test it now – just to be sure.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Kerry Buist on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

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