Council receives reassurance from largest social housing provider that buildings are safe

Council officials met with Clarion Housing Group, who own and manage the majority of social housing in Merton this week, who gave reassurance that residents living in their housing stock are safe.

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Housing, Councillor Martin Whelton and Director of Community and Housing, Simon Williams met with senior managers from Clarion Housing Group following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower. They confirmed that their tall buildings in Merton are free from cladding containing aluminium composite material (ACM), that they are doing a detailed review of other fire risks in these buildings and have provided guidance for residents living in blocks over six storeys or more.

In addition, the council has written to the other 20 housing associations who provide social housing in Merton, asking for the same reassurances. So far responses back suggest there are no tall housing blocks with the flammable cladding and all fire safety measures are up to date.

The council is also writing to landlords of private residential housing blocks which are six storeys and over, following the government’s instruction that tall buildings should be tested for flammable cladding material. The council has so far identified just under 30 private residential buildings which fall into this category including Brown and Root Tower in Colliers Wood. The council has written to Criterion, who own the building, as well as the private Approved Building Control Inspector who approved the materials when the new glass cladding was installed. They have confirmed that any cavities and voids between the cladding and the original structure were filled and that the material used was not flammable.

Council officers have also played their part in supporting the rest centres and other arrangements set up near Grenfell Towers and in Camden. So far, 25 Merton Council staff have supported the hundreds of residents affected as part of the London wide effort.

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Housing, Councillor Martin Whelton said: “Grenfell Tower fire has had a devastating effect on the west London community and the subsequent evacuation of Camden has shown the importance of ensuring residential buildings are safe. Today we received assurances from the largest social housing provider in Merton that their housing stock is safe. It is important as a local council we maintain an overview of the residential buildings in our borough, which is why we are taking an active role in writing to all those who own and manage tall buildings. We will continue to push for those reassurances on behalf of our residents.”

A book of condolence is open at Merton Civic Centre in London Road, Morden in honour of those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. A one minute silence at the Civic Centre  took place led by the Mayor’s chaplain, Reverend Gerry Stanton.

If you would like to support those affected by the Grenfell fire, please donate via local organisation the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation who are collecting contributions on behalf of the community