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Council slams ‘scare stories’ around Bromley’s fire safety in wake of Grenfell Tower fire

PUBLISHED: 17:37 08 August 2017

Grenfell Tower in west London. Rick Findler/PA Wire

Grenfell Tower in west London. Rick Findler/PA Wire

No concerns have been flagged by the borough’s housing associations thus far

Residents around the borough are being urged to avoid what the council is calling “thoroughly despicable scare stories” in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

In the wake of the high rise blaze which killed more than 80 people, the council claims it has received more than 30 phone calls from residents fearing their home is unsafe.

Pressure group Backing Bromley claim to be aware of fire safety concerns around the borough, on top of “shocking” housing complaints from residents, despite the council claiming to have “continued reassurance” on the borough’s housing safety.

When questioned further by the Bromley Times, the Unite-backed group declined to give further details, saying it was still “compiling evidence of perceived failings”.

Deputy leader Colin Smith branded the claims as “despicable scare stories and misinformation/innuendo”.

He added: “Backing Bromley really must desist from playing such vile gutter politics with people’s lives.

“In recent days our housing department has received more than 30 calls as well as upsetting written stories from residents so frightened by being told their homes are unsafe by people not connected with a housing association, the council or the fire brigade, that they now wish to move.

“I want to make it absolutely clear to people across our borough – especially those who feel worried and vulnerable – that we are looking out for their interests and are continuing to work with housing associations and others to make sure everything that can be done to ensure residents’ continued safety is being done.

“I would strongly encourage anybody offered ‘advice’ by Backing Bromley to directly challenge them to source and justify their advice.

“Their behaviour remains nothing less than utterly contemptible.”

A spokesperson from Backing Bromley said: “We have received large numbers of complaints from residents about housing, many of which appear to be quite shocking. We do not want them to be ignored. Instead of trying to deflect attention away from the council it is time Colin Smith took the complaints seriously.”

A spokesperson from Clarion, the borough’s largest housing provider, said: “The safety of our residents is our highest priority. None of the blocks that we own in the borough have ACM cladding.

“We are continuing to carry out comprehensive checks on all of our blocks and are providing residents with relevant fire safety advice.”

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