Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 2 and 3, Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford, M32 0TH.. View directions

Contact: Alexander Murray, Democratic & Scrutiny Officer 

Items
No. Item

9.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To note the Membership of the Committee for the 2019/20 Municipal Year as agreed at the Annual Council Meeting 22 May 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the Membership of the Committee be noted.

10.

TERMS OF REFERENCE 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To note the Terms of Reference of the Committee for the 2019/20 Municipal Year as agreed at Annual Council on the 22 May 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the Terms of Reference be noted.

11.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To receive and, if so determined, to agree as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 2019.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held 13 March 2019 be agreed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.

12.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members to give notice of any interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

No additional declarations were made.

13.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

A maximum of 15 minutes will be allocated to public questions submitted in writing to Democratic Services (democratic.services@trafford.gov.uk) by 4 p.m. on the working day prior to the meeting. Questions must be relevant to the remit of the Committee and will be submitted at the meeting in the order in which they were received.

Minutes:

No questions were received.

14.

RETROFITTING SPRINKLERS

To receive a presentation on the options available for retrofitting sprinkler systems in buildings from the Watch Manager of Salford and Trafford Fire Protection Team, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

Minutes:

The Watch Manager for Salford and Trafford Fire Protection Team and the Legal Support & Complex Enforcement Lead, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) gave a brief overview of a presentation on sprinklers which covered the way that modern sprinkler systems worked. The officers stated that there was an issue in terms of public perception of sprinklers whereby people believed that they caused as much damage as they prevent. The Committee were told that modern sprinkler systems used smaller amounts of water than the fire service would use if they had to put out a fire. The Committee were informed of a number of incidents whereby retrofitted sprinklers had saved residents lives and how the safety that such systems provided enabled elderly and frail people to stay in their home in safety longer than other options.

 

After the presentation a video was delivered to the Committee, the video covered the legal requirements regarding the fitting of sprinkler systems within England. The video stated that there were still a large number of people across the England living in blocks of flats which did not have sprinkler systems installed. The video showed the difference between a fire in a block of flats without a sprinkler system and one that did. In the building that did have a sprinkler system there was no loss of life, minimal fire damage, and minimal fire crew time compared to the other fire which resulted in deaths, a number of flats being totally destroyed, the full evacuation of the building, and hours of multiple fire crews time.

 

The video then went onto inform the Committee that modern sprinkler systems could be fitted with minimal disruption to the residents. It was no longer required for a building to be evacuated and residents rehomed whilst the system was fitted (which previously represented a large additional cost). The majority of high rise flats were suitable for the systems without any changes being made to the buildings infrastructure, the only ones that did require changes were those that did not have adequate water pressure.  The video detailed a scheme which had been undertaken in Sheffield to retrofit a number of tower blocks with sprinkler systems. The scheme proved that systems could be installed within high rise tower blocks with minimal disruption and at a reasonable cost.

 

After the video the Watch Manager for Salford and Trafford Fire Protection Team informed the Committee that despite the video being almost 10 years old and the fire incidents being real there had not been great interest in adding sprinkler systems to tower blocks that did not legally require them.

 

Following the video Committee Members were given the opportunity to ask questions. Committee Members asked a number of questions relating to the regulations around sprinklers. The Officers responded that there had been no change to the regulations within the last ten years, even following Grenfell Tower, and that housing developers were unlikely to install sprinkler systems in buildings if they were not required to do  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

FIRE SAFETY IN HIGH RISE TOWER BLOCKS pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To receive a report from the Corporate Director of Place.

Minutes:

The Executive Member gave a brief overview of the report which covered the 5 Trafford Housing Trust (THT) tower blocks within Trafford which had ACM cladding that was to be replaced by fire safe standard cladding. The replacement of the cladding was expected to be completed by February 2020. There had been the possibility of a privately owned tower block having ACM cladding but it had been found that this was not the case. During the time from Grenfell additional fire safety systems were put in place to ensure that the residents in the buildings were safe.

 

The Executive Member informed the Committee that he had asked THT why this had taken so long and had not received a full response. The Officer present stated that they had received a response from THT which stated that the delay had been due to issues in accessing funding as the Government had delayed releasing the funding promised in the wake of Grenfell tower disaster. The Exec Member suggested that the Committee have a meeting THT to answer questions as to why it had taken so long for it to be done.

 

The Chair asked about whether the Executive Member knew if THT were considering retrofitting Sprinklers. The GMFRS officers stated that they were aware that THT were consulting with residents in a tower block within Trafford and they were doing what they could to convince residents to allow a system to be put in place. The Executive Member asked whether it could ever reach a point where it was a matter of safety rather than requiring resident agreement. The GMFRS officers stated that THT would not be able to input a system without there being resident consent. If some say no it is then as to whether THT install the system in the rest of the building. The Chair proposed that a spotlight task and finish group be created to meet with THT regarding the changes to cladding, sprinkler systems, and general fire safety. The Officers from GMFRS stated that they would also be happy to attend such a meeting to add their perspective.

 

RESOLVED:

1)    That the report was noted.

2)    That a spotlight task and finish group was to be created to meet with THT regarding cladding, sprinklers, and fire safety.

3)    That Officers from GMFRS be invited to the meeting with THT to add their professional perspective.

 

16.

DRAFT ANNUAL SCRUTINY REPORT pdf icon PDF 320 KB

To receive a draft report of the Chairs of Trafford’s three scrutiny Committee’s and the Statutory Scrutiny Officer.

Minutes:

The Chair gave a brief introduction to the report before asking Members for their questions and views on the report. One Committee Member drew attention to part 1.7 of the report which stated that due to the lack of resources resulting from changes in the team the Annual Scrutiny Review would not be held this year. The Committee Member put forward that this should be revised and that a review should be held. The rest of the Committee agreed to the change and the Chair asked officers to arrange the Scrutiny Review to be held as soon as possible.

 

RESOLVED:

1)    That the report be amended to reflect that the Annual Scrutiny Review would be held.

2)    That Officers arrange a scrutiny review as soon as possible.

3)    That following the above amendments the report be agreed and submitted to Council.

 

 

 

17.

OVERVIEW REPORT pdf icon PDF 326 KB

To receive a report from the Chair of the Committee.

Minutes:

The Chair gave a brief overview of the report before asking Members if they had any suggestions for additions to the Committee’s Work Programme. Councillor Winstanley requested for there be a task and finish group to be conducted looking at disability access. The Committee agreed to add the task and finish group to the work programme and Councillors Winstanley, Williams, Lamb, Acton, Thompson, and the Chair volunteered to be on the group. Councillor Winstanley then requested that this task and finish group be opened up to all Councillors which was agreed by the Committee.

 

Members then asked whether additional items could be added to the work programme at a later date and they were told that they could suggest additional items at any time.

 

RESOLVED:

1)    That the report be noted.

2)    That a task and finish group looking at disability access be added to the Committee’s work programme.