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Harlow Council to spend a further £1m to enhance fire safety in three tower blocks

13 Sep Harlow Council to spend a further £1m to enhance fire safety in three tower blocks

Harlow Council is to spend a further £1m to enhance fire safety in three tower blocks in the town as part of an ongoing improvement programme.

Following the Cabinet meeting on 9 September 2021, £1,060,367 will be spend on fire safety works at Pennymead, Netteswell and Spring Hills towers.

The works include updating fire compartmentation between floors, in service ducts and ventilation systems, and replacing internal and front entrance fire doors because the standards have changed. The works are subject to the necessary consultation with leaseholders.

Following the Grenfell Tower fire the council has an ongoing programme of tower block fire safety enhancements. The work in this programme is prioritised against each of our tower blocks’ fire risk assessments and the changing building standards issued as the Grenfell public inquiry continues. So far as part of the fire safety programme the council has allocated £1.8m for works on two towers in Joyners Field and a further £1.4m for fire safety enhancements for Willowfield, Nicholls Field and Moor towers. It has now allocated a further £1m for three more tower blocks. Contracts for safety works to the remaining high rise blocks are due to be awarded towards the end of the year, based on the latest fire risk assessments

Councillor Simon Carter, portfolio holder for housing, said: “The safety of residents in high rise blocks has always been the council’s principal priority as a landlord. Harlow was one of the first councils to publish its fire risk assessments on its website, even before the tragic fire in Grenfell Tower. Updated fire safety information for our blocks are provided to tenants and updated annually. Our tower blocks are inherently safe and none of them have any unsafe cladding. They are inspected weekly by Housing staff and regularly by the fire services and this is to ensure that our tower blocks are kept safe. Since the Grenfell fire, money has been put aside for ongoing major works to meet the latest and updated building safety guidance. This ensures that we can continue improving fire safety to reassure those living in our tower blocks.”