Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

West Berkshire Council to assess cladding in wake of Grenfell Tower blaze

Move follows calls for a local review of fire safety measures and procedures

Chris Ord


01635 886639

West Berkshire Council to assess cladding in wake of Grenfell Tower blaze

WEST Berkshire Council has said it will be carrying out safety assessments on any cladding used on council buildings – including schools – following the tragic Grenfell Tower blaze.

The assessment will form part of a wider fire safety review by the local authority which it says is to “reassure itself” that all practical measures are in place to reduce the risk of fires in council buildings.

In June West Berkshire Council said it had an “ongoing rolling programme of reviewing and renewing its fire risk assessments” when asked by the Newbury Weekly News if any action was being taken in the wake of the tragedy, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 80 people.

However today (Monday) Deputy leader of West Berkshire Council, Hilary Cole, has confirmed further safety work will in fact be carried out.

This work includes: 

  • Reviewing all Council building fire risk assessments
  • Liaising with the people responsible for individual council buildings – including schools – to assess whether cladding is used and, where it is, arranging for a survey to be undertaken
  • Writing to the providers of council services to seek assurances that they have appropriate fire safety measures in pace

West Berkshire Council has already begun reviewing key areas including residential properties, schools and council buildings as well as its contingency planning.

The Newbury Weekly News reported last month how the tragedy at the 24-storey block of flats in north Kensington prompted calls for a local review of fire safety measures and procedures.

Mrs Cole, who is also the Executive member for Planning and Housing said: “The fire at Grenfell tower was desperately sad and has, understandably, caused concern across the country that a similar tragedy could occur elsewhere. Here in West Berkshire we have plans in place to reduce the likelihood of a similar incident happening in our district.

“West Berkshire Council has always, and will continue, to take its responsibilities around fire safety very seriously. This includes both the occupants of, and visitors to, its own buildings and those of partner organisations and privately owned property.

"We are not complacent however and we have begun some specific activity to further reassure ourselves, and our communities, that our plans are as robust as they can be."

For more on this story pick up a copy of Thursday's Newbury Weekly News.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000

Article comments

  • NewburyLad

    03/07/2017 - 19:07

    I do hope they are they checking to ensure that they have no illegal sub-letting going on in their property and that every property is inhabited by only those legally entitled to be in the properties., as well as checking that they are using only building reg / fire authority approved materials.