High rise cladding is safe is say Council as safety review is launched

Kirkcaldy councillor Rod Cavanagh will meet with Ravenscraig  tenants following Fife Council's reassurances.
Kirkcaldy councillor Rod Cavanagh will meet with Ravenscraig tenants following Fife Council's reassurances.

Fife Council has reassured its tenants living in high rise flats across the region that fire safety remains its ‘top priority’ following the Grenfell Flats tragedy in London.

John Mills, head of housing services has sought to reassure concerned tenants and residents within the council’s 12 multi-storey block sites in Fife, that the over cladding materials used on properties are non-combustible boards with a Class O fire rating.

He added: “However, a review group has been set up to discover if there are any health and safety improvements the council can make to further reassure tenants in Fife’s multi-storey blocks.

“And we will be writing to all affected tenants this week to explain the steps we’re taking.”

Inspections have already started on blocks that have recently had over-cladding and those due to get it. Low-rise blocks and other properties, will then follow, Fife Council has confirmed.

“From Wednesday, June 21, we’ll be carrying out inspections of cladding and health and safety procedures, focussing first on the multi-storey blocks that have already been over clad, and those in the 2017/18 over cladding programme,” said Mr Mills.

This will include Raeburn Heights in Glenrothes, which is a privately owned block.

“To further reassure tenants and residents, we have agreed to start a review of our specification for future projects, and this will include a review of the existing over cladding that has been used in Fife,” explained.

“We will issue information updates as this review is taken forward.”

The three 18-storey blocks at Ravenscraig in Kirkcaldy were among those refurbished in 2014, with a thermal external wall cladding system added to improve the energy efficiency and the external appearance of the 1960s high-rise tower blocks.

Specialists, on behalf of Fife Council on Wednesday, carried out a further detailed inspection of cladding used at Ravenscraig as part of the Fife-wide review.

Housing officers are also due to meet with residents groups and those living in multi-storey flats across the region in the coming weeks to discuss any concerns.

Low-rise blocks and other properties, will then follow, Fife Council has confirmed, with the review expected to be conducted over the next 12 weeks.

Kirkcaldy councillor Rod Cavanangh is also set to meet with RavenscraigResidents Association next Thursday.

He said: “There is understandable anxiety and I hope meeting the Residents Association will allow reassurances to be given, allow details to be provided and ensure that any questions residents may have will be answered.

“It is fundamentally important that people feel safe in their own homes and my fellow councillors and I are dedicated to making sure that is the case.”

The next meeting with Ravenscraig Residents Association will be held at the St Clair Tavern on Thursday, June 29 from 7pm.

All residents are urged to attend.