Latest Public Sector News


Almost all council landlords silent after Grenfell tragedy

Fire Door Safety Week has kicked off with the release of information revealing that since the Grenfell disaster only 10% of social landlords have been in direct contact with their tenants to discuss fire safety measures.

In total, 40% of renters have said that their escape routes are not clear, and 39% reported that they had seen fire doors propped open in a clear health and safety breach.

There were widespread reports of damage to fire doors, and of those who reported a fire safety concern to their landlords, almost a quarter said that they waited weeks for a response.

Worryingly, over half of the tenants questioned said that they did not feel prepared for what they should do in the event of a fire, while almost a quarter of those living in a rented apartment felt understandably anxious since the tragic fire – which killed an estimated 80 people, ripped through the tower block and highlighted the fire safety concerns within social housing.

Paul Fuller CBE, chief fire officer of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and chairman of the Fire Sector Federation, said: “It is simple. Proper fire doors save lives, but only if they are correctly made and installed, and certainly not if they are wedged open or in disrepair.

“Too often our officers walk into a building and see fire doors in an appalling state. We do what we can to advise and enforce the responsibilities of a building owner, but it is time for the Responsible Person to really step up.”

Since the tragedy took place in London, government-appointed investigators have discovered that just eight council housing buildings that are over 18 metres tall have passed key fire safety tests. In total, 165 tower blocks were deemed not to comply with proper regulations.

Some local authorities, such as Salford and Southwark, have earmarked millions of pounds’ worth of investment to safeguard their tower blocks considered to be at risk, but many have complained that there are insufficient funds available to carry out proper checks and install necessary safety measures.

(Top image c. Victoria Jones PA Wire)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >