William Eichler 23 August 2018

Council puts tenants at risk by neglecting fire safety regulations

Council puts tenants at risk by neglecting fire safety regulations image

Arun District Council put tenants at risk by failing to meet statutory health and safety requirements in relation to fire and water safety, social housing regulator finds.

The Regulator of Social Housing has found that up until 2016 Arun council did not have a programme in place to carry out fire risk assessments across its stock and only did so when issues were reported.

This contravenes the council’s statutory duty, under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, to regularly assess the risk of fire in properties where it has responsibility for maintenance.

The council also has a statutory duty under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 to identify and assess the risks of exposure to Legionella and to implement any necessary measures to control risk.

However, the regulator found that Arun District Council did not have a programme in place until recently to carry out risk assessments, and only did so in response to concerns raised.

The regulator considered the case as a potential breach of the Home Standard which requires registered providers to meet all applicable statutory requirements that provide for the health and safety of occupants in their homes.

Responding to the findings, a spokesperson for Arun District Council said the safety of residents was of ‘the utmost importance to the council’ and that they were ‘fully committed’ to ensuring their homes meet statutory health and safety requirements.

‘As soon as the Council became aware of the historic issues in relation to fire risk and legionella we have been working to address these as a matter of urgency,’ they said.

‘We are now in possession of a full and detailed suite of fire risk assessments and a programme of works formulated to ensure that the actions identified in respect of both fire risk and legionella are undertaken as our priority.’

The Regulator of Social Housing’s report noted that the council had taken steps to rectify the problems. However, it also criticised the authority for delays.

‘Although there is now a programme of works in place to resolve the issues relating to fire and water safety, the regulator also noted that Arun District Council had not previously addressed these issues at a speed which would reflect the level of risk to its tenants,’ the report read.

‘Taking into account the seriousness of the issues and the durations involved, the regulator has determined that it is proportionate to find a breach of the Home standard in this case.’

The council reassured tenants that it was taking action to ensure their safety.

‘Arun District Council recognises the seriousness of the situation and can assure residents that we are continuing to work with the Regulator to provide documentary evidence that the breach is being rectified and that our ongoing commitment to the safety of residents is paramount,’ the spokesperson said.

Declaring a climate change emergency image

Declaring a climate change emergency

Local authorities can play a key role in tackling climate change – and there is plenty for them to do. Never before has thinking globally and acting locally been more important, says Mark Whitehead.
Open letter to Boris Johnson image

Open letter to Boris Johnson

The MJ's editor Heather Jameson asks the new PM a simple question: do you want to fund local government or do you want to scale back services to the basics?
Highways jobs

Senior Practitioner - Placement Finding Team

Essex County Council
£28500.0 - £50400.0 per annum
Senior Practitioner - Children and Young People Placement Service- Placement Finding Team Interviews to be held on the 10th September at County Hall, England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

People Information Analyst

Essex County Council
Up to £33330 per annum
Please note this is a fixed term contract role for a duration of 12 months. Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local au England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Key stage Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£32430 - £34794
Key Stage Education Officer (Secondary Phase) to work with children in our care, supporting them in classrooms and in their homes with their education SE18 6HQ
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Solicitor/Barrister Advocate - Children’s x4

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band I, SCP 44 - 47 (£46,564 - £49,538 per annum) (£24.14 - 25.68 per hour)
To act as the principal advocate for all aspects of advocacy legal work relating to the children’s social care in the county court and high court. Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury B69 3DE
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Business Support Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band C, SCP 5 - 8 (£18,795 - £19,945 per annum) pro rata (£9.74 - £10.34 per hour)
The successful candidate will provide administrative business support to service teams within Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing. The Lyng, Health & Social Care Centre, Frank Fisher Way, West Bromwich, B70 7AW
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The June issue of Local Government News contains the full details of all the winning schemes in the 2019 Street Design Awards. From Children's Play to Pedestrian Environment, find out who has been recognised for their innovation and use of best practice.

This issue also explores how local government pension funds can hedge currency risk, how councils can best address the shortfall in school places, and an update on the number of authorities banning the use of Roundup over safety fears.

Register for your free magazine