London tenants discuss government proposals for fire safety in high rise blocks

Published on July 23, 2019

Published on July 23, 2019

[Updated 21st October 2019]

On 6 June 2019, the government launched a 9-week consultation on its 192-page proposal document, Building a Safer Future: Proposals for Reform of the Building Safety Regulatory System.

To discuss and agree how best to respond, over forty tenants and residents representatives from across London gathered in Ampthill Square Tenants Hall on Friday 19th July.

The event was led by Phil Murphy of Manchester Sustainable Communities and Dr Stuart Hodkinson, author of Safe as Houses: Private Greed, Political Negligence and Housing Policy After Grenfell.

Participants not only discussed how the proposals should be improved but generated ideas for changes that could be made at the local level in the short term to keep communities safer.

“We had an absolute masterclass this afternoon,” said Andy Bates, Executive Manager at Leathermarket Joint Management Board, a Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) in Southwark. “It was technically spot-on, very practical but also resident focused, and probably the third one we don’t get from a lot of people who come and talk to us about fire safety.”

Tower Blocks UK and MySociety were also on hand testing their joint initiative, FixMyBlock, which aims to develop a website which will make tower block issue reporting clearer and more transparent for everyone.

Following the meeting we published a briefing produced by Phil and Stuart, alongside a model response to the consultation, drawn together from discussions at the event.

The government’s consultation closed on Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 11.45pm. LTF are aware of fifty responses made by tenants and tenant representatives, the majority of whom made use of our model response in full or in part.

Slides from the event are available here.