Rivers Apartments and fire safety in high-rise tower blocks in Tottenham
I have been in regular contact with the Chief Executive of Newlon housing association since it became clear that the cladding on Rivers Apartments in Tottenham is a similar combustible form of cladding to the cladding on Grenfell Tower.
My first priority is the safety of constituents living in these properties, and I made clear to the Chief Executive that action must be taken urgently to remove this cladding, a process that Newlon have confirmed is underway.
I met with the Leader and Chief Executive of Haringey Council on Monday 19th June to raise the issue of fire safety in Homes for Haringey properties and urge Homes for Haringey and Haringey Council to ensure that fire safety regulations are being followed and assessments are underway in all blocks in Tottenham.
I also wrote to the Chief Executive of Haringey Council on Monday 19th June to ask for assurances about fire safety assessments, fire safety facilities (e.g. smoke alarms, sprinklers, extinguishers, fire doors etc), tests and steps being taken to ensure that communal areas and fire escapes are being kept clear.
I held a public meeting on fire safety in Tottenham on Monday 26th June to enable local residents to put their questions to the leadership of Haringey Council, Homes for Haringey, Newlon, Haringey Borough Fire Commander, Haringey Borough Police Commander and a number of housing associations with properties in Haringey.
The main issues that were raised were evidence of communication breakdown between Homes for Haringey and local residents, concerns that families with children are being placed in homes very high up in tower blocks, the “stay put” policy for residents of tower blocks, rubbish being left in communal areas and fire escapes, exposed gas pipes, smoke-proofing of properties and problems of anti-social behaviour in tower blocks particularly drug use.
In the coming weeks I will be making sure that Haringey Council and Homes for Haringey take urgent action to address the concerns of residents and I am calling upon local residents to get in touch with me to raise individual issues so that I can escalate this with the relevant authorities. I will be ensuring that the Metropolitan Police Service work closely with Homes for Haringey to address anti-social behaviour and plan to hold a follow-up meeting to give residents another opportunity to put their concerns directly to the relevant authorities.