On 24 September 2017 many questions were put to Wandsworth Borough Council regarding retrofitting water sprinklers. These questions were;
“In Council Paper 17-269 it states –“Wandsworth Council has 99 blocks of ten storeys or more containing 6,401 residential flats and maisonettes – 4,043 tenanted, 1,315 resident leaseholders and 1,043 away leaseholders”.
Please provide the following information per 99 blocks (and am happy to receive this an Excel attachment);
- The name of the block.
- The ward where the block is located.
- The number of tenants.
- The number of resident leaseholders.
- The number of away leaseholders.
- Per block, what is the estimated savings through buildings insurance through the introduction of water sprinklers, both to the Council and the individual leaseholders?
- Since 2007, on a per annum basis what are the number of fires and deaths which have occurred per block.
- The last date a Fire Risk Assessment was completed.
In Council Paper 17-266 it states the following: “Ms Kingham was concerned that although meetings would be held with relevant organisations including the London Fire Brigade and the relevant trade association as stated in paragraph 15 of the report, little consultation had taken place with residents. The Director of Housing and Regeneration advised that all the AHPs had received a presentation on the „Fire Safety in Tower Blocks‟ at the last cycle of AHP meetings as well as this report being presented, prior to consideration by HROSC, to the BRF.”
- Does the Council believe that the response from the Director of Housing and Regeneration answers Ms Kingham’s query that there has been “little consultation” with residents?
- If the Council believes that this is the case, please explain how this consultation has been fulfilled.
At the Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Thursday 14th September Mrs M Price from the Eastern Area Housing Panel spoke.
- Is this normal practice at these meetings to have a Borough Residents Forum (BRF) member speak at these meetings?
- Where any other members of the BRF invited to discuss water sprinklers?
- If yes, which BRF members?
When the Section 20 consultations begin,
- If residents in a block are against the installation of water sprinklers will the water sprinklers still be installed?
- If yes, please explain the reason(s)?
Hammersmith & Fulham Council are not charging leaseholders for the installation of water sprinklers –https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/sites/default/files/section_attachments/hf-fire-safety-plus-web.pdf
- Did WBC consider the option of leaseholders not paying for water sprinkler installation?
- If it did, then what was the reason for not charging leaseholders?
- If WBC did not consider charging leaseholders then what is the reason for this?
Wandsworth Legal has opined that leaseholders are liable for the costs of water sprinklers being installed within blocks,
- Please provide the documents which was provided to Legal which requested the advice.
- Please provide a copy of Legal’s confirmation that leaseholders are liable along with the supporting explanation.
- On a per annum basis, what does WBC estimate will be the ongoing maintenance cost (subject to caveats that WBC may wish to include)?
- On a per annum basis, what does WBC estimate will be the ongoing maintenance per annum maintenance costs to leaseholders (subject to caveats that WBC may wish to include)?
Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) are commented on as “FRAs were completed for all our blocks in 2016 by an independent expert and are reviewed annually”. [Accessed 24 September 2017]. Having seen four FRAs for the Alton Estate after recent requests by residents they were all conducted in May 2016;
- Should another FRA have been conducted by May 2017?”
The answers should have been answered by now. If interested in the answers it might be worth asking the Freedom of Information team at firstname.lastname@example.org with the reference 2017/15626.
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- Alton Regeneration Watch Twitter – https://twitter.com/altonwatch
Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;
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- Jeremy Ambache – JAmbache@wandsworth.gov.uk
- Sue McKinney – SMcKinney@wandsworth.gov.uk