Tag Archives: meeting

Q&A about water sprinklers at Council meeting (11 October 2017)

At the Council Committee meeting of 11 October, amongst the many questions, it seemed that two were related to water sprinklers. At this meeting, all three of the Roehampton & Putney Heath ward Councillors (Carpenter, McKinney and Ambache) attended.

In section 8, Questions to the Leader of the Council, the following questions and answers were provided. It would be interesting to receive comments from readers regarding these?

(2) Sprinkler Systems: Question raised by Councillor Hogg to the Leader of the Council:

The BBC and other media have reported that the Department of Communities and Local Government has written to a number of Councils (including Wandsworth) who have asked for Central Government funding for the installation of Sprinkler Systems in their High Rise blocks, advising them that they regard this expenditure as „Additional expenditure‟, not „Essential expenditure‟ and so have declined to fund it.

Would the Leader confirm that the DCLG has given Wandsworth such an indication?

If the Government is correct in its classification of Sprinkler Systems as „Additional expenditure‟, would the Leader confirm that a statutory consultation of leaseholders would be required if such expenditure is to be recovered from leaseholders?

Would the Leader further confirm that should such costs not be recovered from leaseholders, then they would fall to the General Fund, rather than the Housing Revenue Account?

Answer:

I can confirm to the Councillor that the Government has made a general statement that no additional funds would be made available for either the works to replace cladding systems or any other fire safety measures, including the installation of sprinklers. The London Fire Brigade, although a strong advocate for the retro-fitting of sprinklers in high rise blocks, have stated that sprinklers sit alongside a suite of other fire safety measures and should not be considered separately.

The fact that the Government may not fund the Council‟s programme of sprinkler installation does not have a bearing on the chargeability of such works to leaseholders. The legal advice indicated that the Council under the terms of its standard lease can undertake work that improves the security of the block and in doing so protects residents and their possessions. As sprinklers unquestionably offer this additional protection the Council‟s view is that the works are necessary rather than optional and should be rolled out across all blocks over 30m tall in line with the requirements for a newly built block of the same height. In these circumstances, the Council is under a strict obligation to bill and collect service charges that fall due under the terms of the lease.

I was delighted to note that Cllr Hogg‟s colleagues on the HROSC wholeheartedly endorsed the Council‟s commitment to this programme, demonstrating that when it comes to measures to improve the safety of our residents in high rise accommodation that some matters are above political posturing.

I can confirm that the programme will take some years to deliver, allowing residents to plan for the cost of the works. The Council has also agreed to extend the interest free re-payment period to 48 months for resident leaseholders, easing the financial impact of the works.

Whilst the Council consults with residents on all major works it is a statutory requirement to do so if the works are chargeable under the terms of the lease, and the appropriate notices and residents‟ meetings will be confirmed as the programme unfolds.

The costs of all works to the Council‟s managed housing stock falls to the Housing Revenue Account, as do all service charges collected, so there will be no impact on the General Fund.

 (36) Sprinklers: Question raised by Councillor Grimston to the Cabinet Member for Housing:

Does the Cabinet Member have sprinklers in every room of her home?

If not, would she support the Government if it came to her and explained that it was going to install sprinklers in her home at a cost of £3-4,000 whether she wanted them or not?

Is she aware that living in a house she would be more likely to die if a fire broke out than if she lived in a 10+ storey tower block?

Answer:

Councillor, if I lived in a high rise block with a single stairway as a means of escape I would certainly be reassured to know that both my property and those of my fellow residents were fitted with sprinkler systems. If I was looking to purchase or rent a property in a new high rise development sprinklers would be in place as a mandatory requirement as they are presumably regarded as an essential fire safety measure in taller buildings. Whilst you continue to use statistics to pursue your individual agenda to oppose the installation of sprinklers your views are not shared by the London Fire Brigade Commissioner or her senior staff or indeed a number of coroners or the Building Research Establishment or the Chartered Institute of Housing or it would seem any other elected members on this Council. It remains obvious and true that it is much more difficult to evacuate from a high rise block in the event of an incident and fires at height are harder to tackle; measures such as sprinklers that are proven to improve the safety of residents should be welcomed by members rather than resisted.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

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Safer Neighbourhood Board meeting October 6th

Have your say on how crime is tackled

“The people of Wandsworth are invited to quiz senior police officers and councillors on how they are tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.

 The Safer Neighbourhood Board (SNB) holds the borough’s police commander and the Community Safety Partnership to account.

 It ensures crime reduction targets are being met and influences future community safety policy in the borough. It is also a crucial forum to ensure the borough’s residents can influence how crime is dealt with in their community.

 Everyone going to the meeting on October 6 will get a briefing on crime, disorder and general policing issues and will get the chance to take part in a ‘Question Time’-style question and answer session with those responsible for keeping Wandsworth safe”.

For more information click this sentence

You might wish to go along and ask about matters that concern you regarding the Alton Estate.

Other documents/articles of interest

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Peter Carpenter – pcarpenter@wandsworth.gov.uk

Jeremy Ambache – JAmbache@wandsworth.gov.uk

Sue McKinney – SMcKinney@wandsworth.gov.uk

Or email the Wandsworth Council team managing the ‘regeneration’

Team Roehampton – Roehampton@wandsworth.gov.uk

Alton Regeneration Watch meeting 6th May 2015

The latest meeting by the Alton Regeneration Watch (ARW) was on the 6th May at the DARA. There was a very good turn out from the local resident and many topics regarding the regeneration were discussed, such as;

> student housing in the Town Centre,
> leaseholders and freeholders not keen on the Council’s explanation of what is to happen under the regeneration,
> some background for Council tenants as to what they should consider under the Council’s housing offer,
> highlighting that even leaseholders that are not having their homes demolished will be impacted as there is an “estate charge” in addition to the “block charge” and the impacts of this will not be known until the “procurement” stage,
> a brief summary of the comparison of the Labour 2008 survey “What Roehampton Wants” regarding the previous regeneration attempt and this regeneration,
> maintenance of the estate,
> some history was shared as to what the ARW have been up to on various other topics such as trying to find out what benefits the proposed “modern GP surgeries” would bring,
> the progress of the 20th Century progress on the listing of the library and Allbrook house, and
> some discussion about the current Supplementary Planning Documentation consultation and what is in it, such as the new library being a “may” be included in the development and not a “will” be included (section 4.3B).

One point that was clear, there is no general feeling of this regeneration being reflective of local opinion.

Another point that was raised, the Council seems to prefer to handle residents individually rather than as a group. One comment was made that it seems that to have anything done on the estate one must email the Council copying in lots of local residents, citing the example of the bollards just put up in the Ibsley Garden neighbourhood.

Watch this space as this had a lot of interest and many new members were signed up.

Contact ARW for more information at – info@altonwatch.org.uk

Keep an eye on their website for details of the next meeting – http://www.altonwatch.org.uk