Fire safety information requests may be diverting landlords, says GWSF

West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative's Benmore Tower in Cambuslang

West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative’s Benmore Tower in Cambuslang

The extremely tight deadlines attached to Scottish Government requests to local authorities for information on high rise stock, following last week’s tragic fire in West London, may be diverting landlords from even greater priorities over fire safety, according to the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF).

The government has urged all Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) in the country to provide tower block stock information to assist a ministerial review of Scottish regulations in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in West London.

At least 79 people are expected to have been killed after a blaze broke out at the 24-storey tower in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Councils have been given until 2pm today to collect and submit information on high rise stock, including data on district and communal heating schemes, with the second part of the data request issued to councils only on Friday afternoon.

This means councils have had to issue even tighter deadlines to their local housing associations, such as (in at least one case) 11am this morning.

GWSF director David Bookbinder told Scottish Housing News: “However speedily we all want to see this information collected and submitted, the awful events of last week mean there may be even greater priorities for landlords, including checking out specific facts about particular buildings – such as those which have had cladding work carried out to them – and providing reassurances to anxious tenants. Doing these things locally does seem even more pressing than submitting data, much as we recognise Ministers’ keenness to be seen to be acting quickly on this.

“The Forum has contacted the Scottish Government to express concern about this.”