The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs has announced additional funding for building safety in the borough. £671,000 will be used to provide a range of additional resources to protect residents.
This builds on the work that Tower Hamlets Council has already done to support residents through the building safety crisis, including through its Building Safety Pledge and investment in fire safety resources.
Tower Hamlets Council applied for £690,000 from the Government which would have funded important fire safety measures, however the Council was only granted less than half of the amount requested. Council officials met with Government officials to lobby for more funding, but these requests were unsuccessful despite Tower Hamlets having the one of the greatest concentrations of High and Medium rise blocks in the country.
Tower Hamlets Labour have acted by proposing £671,000 to improve fire safety across the borough, including growing our fire safety team focusing on fire safety, environmental health and building control, enable the council to engage with a team of fire engineer consultants as and when further investigations are required, and a bespoke database to maintain vital records.
The extra funding is part of the Mayor’s latest Budget proposals, which will be debated at Full Council on Wednesday 2nd March 2021. The proposals can be viewed here.
The Mayor of London has also recently launched his consultation on new guidance to improve fire safety: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-leads-the-way-on-improving-fire-safety
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said:
“We all have a responsibility to ensure that people are safe in their homes. The dreadful events of the Grenfell fire or other disasters must not happen again. And residents need to sleep safely at night. This is a pressing issue that the Government failed to act on urgently. There is finally a new law and we will work with it and it is vital we continue to work with our partners to ensure the safety of our residents.”
Councillor Asma Islam, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning said:
“Tower Hamlets has more tall and modern buildings, many built with new construction methods that have caused concern, than anywhere else in the country. Safety including against fire risk is a key priority for the council. We are always looking at the ways the council can provide support to residents who are understandably worried about their safety, and I am pleased that this proposal invests in key measures to help tackle this issue.”
- The budget proposal is available in detail at page 31 here: https://democracy.towerhamlets.gov.uk/documents/s198931/Annex%202%20-%20Appendix%203B%20New%20Growth%20Business%20Cases%20General%20Fund.pdf