Agenda item


To receive a report from the Corporate Director of Place and Trafford Housing Trust.


The Chair introduced the report stating that it had been written in response to a series of questions from Mr Stevenson. The Director of Property Services for Trafford Housing Trust (THT) went over the pertinent points of the supplementary update which was circulated. The Committee were assured that all residents were safe and that there had been regular communication between THT and their residents throughout the process. The work commenced early summer of 2019 and was originally scheduled to have finished before the end of 2020 however a number of issues arose which delayed the programme of works and was exacerbated by the Covid 19 pandemic. Princess Court and Empress Court were scheduled to be completed by in July 2021 with Clifford Court to be completed in August 2021, Grafton Court to be completed in September, and Pickford Court to be completed in October 2021. THT were confident that they would be able to complete by those dates as long as there were no other delays caused by the Covid 19 pandemic.


Following the overview Mr Stevenson was given the opportunity to respond to the answers received to his questions. Mr Stevenson expressed that he was satisfied with the response received but asked for clarification around some of the points. The first was around the fire alarm system within Pickford Court where there had been five times as many alarms raised due to a fault within the system. Communication had gone out to residents stating that the system was to be upgraded and would like to know when this would be completed.


Mr Stevenson noted that in January THT had spoken about advice from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service not to remove the cladding until the replacement was ready. The cladding had been removed in Princess Court and Empress Court and asked THT to confirm that residents were safer with the cladding removed than with it on.


Mr Stevenson spoke about his experience as a resident in the tower blocks during the time since Grenfell and the impact the delays to the replacement of the cladding had. Mr Stevenson asked for more clarity from THT around the delays.


Mr Stevenson asked about the heat retention of the flats which had cladding removed and whether THT were in contact with those residents to find out whether it had any impact.


Mr Stevenson offered to meet with THT to discuss the issues that he had. The Director of Property Services for THT asked Mr Stevenson if he would like to join THT’s high rise living panel Mr Stevenson agreed and an invite was to be sent out.


The alarm system would be looked at and the outcome of the review would be shared with residents and the Scrutiny Committee.

The Director of Property Services for THT explained that after the programme had been delayed they had met with the contractor and had revised the process for replacing the cladding so that it would be able to be completed sooner.

Regarding heat retention no complaints had been received, but THT would raise the issue with the High Rise Living Panel and look at the impact of removing the cladding. 


Councillor Williams noted that in the response to question ten there was mention of a balcony fire and residents having to report it to the fire warden. Councillor Williams asked whether balcony fires would not be picked up by the fire detection system within the tower blocks. The Head of Building Safety for THT responded that balcony spaces were classed as an outside space within the regulations and so would not have a detection system in place. THT were currently looking at the risk associated with balcony fire and what could be done to ensure compartmentation to prevent possible spread.


Councillor Williams asked whether the trust had any indication around the time frame for retrofitting sprinkler systems within the tower blocks.  The Director of Property Services for THT responded that THT had consulted with residents regarding retrofitting sprinkler systems to the tower blocks but had not yet reached a decision. The Director of Property Services for THT offered to come back to the Committee to provide a more detailed update around the retrofitting sprinkler systems.


The Chair noted that THT had originally had stated that they would do the utmost to rehouse any residents who wanted to move, this had since been changed to residents would be provided guidance on how to be rehoused, and the Chair asked why the emphasis had changed. The Director of Property Services for THT responded that the first statement was made during the initial aftermath of Grenfell and the trust had provided that support at the time. As the situation changed, by THT making the tower blocks safer, so had the position around rehousing.


The Chair thanked Mr Stevenson and the THT representatives for attending the meeting and the questions and responses provided.



1)    That the report be noted.

2)    That Mr Stevenson and the THT representatives be thanked for attending the meeting.

3)    That Mr Stevenson is to be invited to the High Rise Living Panel.

4)    That the outcome of the review on the fire system at Pickford Court be shared with Mr Stevenson and the Committee.

5)    That an update on the retrofitting of Sprinklers come to a future meeting of the Committee.


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