Venue: Council Offices, Farnborough
Contact: Panel Administrator: Adele Taylor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel:01252 398831
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 11th September, 2017 (copy attached).
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 11th September, 2017 were approved and signed by the Chairman.
Fire Safety Issues in Rushmoor
On 27th July, 2017 the Council agreed that a Motion submitted by Cr. J.J. Preece should be referred to the Borough Services Policy and Review Panel for detailed examination. At this meeting, the Panel is being asked to consider this part of the Motion.
“Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority to ensure that HFRS is fully funded and resourced to keep the residents of Rushmoor safe, including having all the necessary trained personnel, equipment and procedures in place so that fires at all levels of the tallest residential building can be tackled effectively”
Representatives from the Hampshire Fire Authority, the Fire Brigade Union, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Accent Housing and the Council’s Housing Services have been invited to attend the meeting alongside the proposer of the Motion, Cr. J.J. Preece, and the Portfolio Holder for Health and Housing, Cr. Barbara Hurst.
The meeting will receive an overview from the Hampshire Fire Authority and Accent Housing prior to an open Panel discussion on all aspects of the issue with the representatives from the organisations in attendance.
The Chairman welcomed guests and Members to the meeting and explained that the meeting had been arranged to examine in more detail the Motion that had been submitted by Cllr J.J. Preece to the Council in July, 2017. The Council had agreed that the Motion should be referred to the Borough Services Policy and Review Panel. The element of the Motion to be considered was as follows:
“Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority to ensure the HFRS is fully funded and resourced to keep the residents of Rushmoor safe, including having all the necessary trained personnel, equipment and procedures in place so that fires at all levels of the tallest residential buildings can be tackled effectively.”
In attendance were:
· Neil Odin – Chief Officer Elect Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority
· Rob Cole – Head of Community Safety Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority
· Gary Jackson – Fire Brigade Union
· Ryan Thurman – Group Commander (North Hampshire Group) Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority
· Robert Mills – Regional Housing Director, Accent Housing
· Neil Cox – Director of Asset Management, Accent Housing
· Hilary Smith – Private Sector Housing Manager, Rushmoor Borough Council
Mr. Odin stated that the fire at Grenfell Tower in London had been unprecedented, and it was thought that a number of elements had contributed to the disaster, including the cladding and internal maintenance controls. It was reported that several fires had occurred in high-rise buildings in the past, but never on the scale of Grenfell.
The Panel noted the fire at Shirley Towers, Southampton where two firefighters had died in 2010. Since the events at Shirley Towers, the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) had invested heavily in advanced firefighting equipment. This, combined with well-maintained housing stock and well trained fire fighters, ensured the best possible level of protection for residents. HFRS, as the enforcing authority, had the ability to restrict use of any building that was deemed unsafe.
Mr. Cole advised that all high-rise buildings should be built/converted to a certain standard and areas should be compartmentalised to hold fires inside proportioned areas. The responsible person/owner of a building was responsible for ensuring the building was safe and up to standard. The Fire Service audited buildings and had the power to enforce restrictions where necessary. Site specific operational support plans were available for residential buildings above 18 meters and each included risk information. The information was available on all fire vehicles and crews regularly visited the blocks to check water supplies and dry risers and familiarise themselves with the buildings.
The Panel was informed of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum (HIOW LRF), a group consisting of representatives from the emergency services, local authorities and other organisations who potentially may be involved in an emergency. Post Grenfell Tower, a decision had been made by the HIOW LRF to assess each of the 272 high-rise buildings in Hampshire, five of which were located in Rushmoor. All cladding had been tested to determine if it was Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
To note the Panel’s work programme (copy attached).
The Panel noted the current work programme.
A request was made to invite the Stonham Group to attend the meeting on 22nd January, 2018.