Agenda and minutes

The Economy, Housing and the Arts Policy and Accountability Committee
Wednesday, 6th September, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Small Hall - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  Tel: 020 8753 2088 / Email  ainsley.gilbert@lbhf.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

15.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

16.

Declarations of Interest

* See note below.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

17.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 322 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 5 July 2017 were agreed to be accurate.

18.

Election of Vice Chair

As Councillor Lucy Ivimy, the previous Vice-Chair, was removed from the PAC membership at Council on 19 July 2017 the committee is asked to consider electing a new Vice-Chair.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Councillor Johnson as a new member of the committee, following his appointment at the last meeting of Full Council.

 

Councillor Phibbs was elected as Vice-Chair of the Economic Regeneration, Housing and the Arts Policy and Accountability Committee.

19.

Fire Safety Update pdf icon PDF 273 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Homan explained that she had been deeply moved by the fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington and that she was determined that Hammersmith and Fulham Council would do all that it could to prevent the same tragedy from affecting its’ residents. A very close relationship with the London Fire Brigade had been developed to make sure that the Council kept residents safe in their homes.

 

Councillor Homan explained that as well as ensuring its’ own residents were safe, Hammersmith and Fulham had first offered support to Kensington and Chelsea Council on the morning of the fire and had provided much assistance since then. Councillor Homan also explained that a series of meetings had been held with residents in the 2 weeks following the fire to provide advice and reassurance.

 

Graham Coupar told the meeting that the Council had started to improve its fire safety systems before the Grenfell Fire, although the devastating consequences of that fire had provided fresh impetus for the Council to get it right.

 

A new Fire Safety Strategy had been developed and its main purposes were to:

-       Protect residents and their homes from fire.

-       State clearly how the Council manages fire safety.

-       Provide clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

-       Establish and maintain a process of robust control to ensure full compliance

-       with fire safety regulations always.

-       Establish a person-centred fire risk assessment regime for specialist

-       housing.

The Council also used expert guidance from the Local Government Association and the National Fire Chief’s Council to help it manage fire safety.

 

Graham Coupar explained that a person-centred fire risk assessment would be completed for all residents in sheltered accommodation schemes, by the staff working at the scheme who knew their needs best. These would then be fed into the fire risk assessment for the building as a whole.

 

The Council had launched the Fire Safety Plus Scheme. This was a targeted investment programme of £20 million over 2 years to improve the fire safety of buildings and residents’ individual homes. The scheme included the reintroduction of concierge services, the installation of sprinklers, improved fire risk assessments, free fire safety checks, free replacement of appliances which failed electrical tests, and free plug adaptors. Lift upgrades to firefighting lifts would also be carried out where this was technically possible.

 

Mr Coupar explained that some parts of the Fire Safety Plus Scheme could be delivered quickly, as an example, he said that plug adaptors had already been distributed across the Council’s housing stock, whilst fire safety checks, including Portable Appliance Tests, fire door checks and heat detector fitting, were starting to take place. Installing sprinklers would take significantly longer as the best solution for each block needed to be identified, with residents’ views and maintenance also needing to be considered.

 

Mr Coupar said that the Council had also started an amnesty for those who had carried out unauthorised works to their homes. This had been introduced because unauthorised works might have impacted on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Date of the Next Meeting and Work Programme pdf icon PDF 119 KB

The next meeting will be held on 8 November 2017 in the Small Hall at Hammersmith Town Hall. The meeting will start at 7:00pm.

Members and residents are invited to submit suggestions for the work programme, either at the meeting or by email to ainsley.gilbert@lbhf.gov.uk

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting and the work programme were noted.