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Important information following the Grenfell Tower fire

Information for local residents.

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Although the cause of the fire at Grenfell Tower will not be established for some time, Uttlesford District Council would like to reassure residents that safety is our top priority.

Cllr Julie Redfern, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "Our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies are with everyone who has been affected by this awful tragedy.

"This event is likely to cause concern for our own tenants, but we would reassure them that the council takes fire safety extremely seriously.

"We have been investing in fire safety measures in our own housing stock for a number of years and are continuing to do so. New replacement fire alarm systems were recently installed in all of the council's sheltered accommodation and regular weekly fire alarm tests and monthly inspections are carried out.

"All council-owned blocks of flats and sheltered schemes are regularly fire risk assessed and we work closely with Essex Fire and Rescue Service to ensure that they are as safe as possible.

"In addition, we work with private sector landlords, offering support and advice around fire safety, and taking regulatory action where appropriate to ensure landlords are meeting legal requirements.

"The council has installed external wall cladding on some of its houses as part of its energy efficient programme. The cladding used has been tested to European standards and has been assessed as having a high flame-spread prevention class rating. We will be writing to residents living in these properties directly to offer reassurance.

"In the meantime, if you have any concerns about your property, please contact the council on 01799 510510.

"Residents are also reminded that Essex Fire & Rescue Service will carry out home fire safety visits to anyone living in Essex completely FREE of charge, where they will run through escape plans and fit smoke alarms, if required. To book a visit call 0300 303 0088 or book online at www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book."

16 June 2017