Chi Onwurah MP meets with council leaders to ensure safety of Newcastle tower blocks

Chi Onwurah MP has met with Newcastle council leaders and representatives of Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) to ensure tower blocks in Newcastle are safe from fire.

This follows the horrific fire at Grenfell tower block in Kensington, West London, which has so far led to over 30 confirmed casualties.

YHN, which manages 38 high rise blocks on behalf of Newcastle City Council, assured Ms. Onwurah that none of their blocks are of the same construction as Grenfell and all dwellings have smoke detectors installed.

Since 2010, YHN has spent £3.3 million on enhancing fire safety in tower blocks, with measures including the addition of ‘Class Zero’ cladding (the most fire-resistant category) and ‘dry risers’, allowing the Fire and Rescue service to access water supplies on each floor.

Ms. Onwurah has reached out to the managing agents of private sector tower blocks in the Newcastle area to seek assurances that sufficient fire safety precautions have been taken.

Ms. Onwurah commented: ‘The entire country has been shocked and saddened by the horrific and avoidable loss of so many lives on London. Constituents have contacted me to express their concerns and request action to avoid any repeat of this week’s appalling events.

‘I have received assurances from Your Homes Newcastle that their tower blocks are as fireproof as they can be and written to private tower block management requesting similar assurances.

‘My priority moving forward will be to work with the council, YHN and private management to ensure that all dwellings in the area are as safe as possible to prevent such a terrible fire happening in Newcastle.

‘I will also be working with Labour colleagues in Parliament to ensure the proper resources are available for local councils to meet safety requirement’.

END

Notes:

  • A statement from Your Homes Newcastle can be found here.
  • A statement from Newcastle City Council can be found here.

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