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Fire safety work in progress at Independent Living Schemes

Published on Friday, 2nd October 2020

Building work is well under way in council-owned Independent Living Schemes across Nuneaton and Bedworth, after routine maintenance checks highlighted the need for urgent fire safety work.

Over 700 residents live in 25 Independent Living Schemes affected by the £3.3 million programme of work.

A routine maintenance inspection revealed the need for a wider assessment of buildings, and subsequent Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) showed work was required. Full details of all the FRAs have been uploaded to Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council’s (NBBC’s) website.

Explained portfolio holder Cllr Chris Watkins:

“Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council take fire safety extremely seriously. This process shows that the FRAs have been undertaken and used in the correct way to highlight, mitigate and advise on what remedial work is required at which schemes. We took action as soon as we recognised there might be fire safety issues to address, and promptly took measures to reduce any risk. Now we are working to put these matters right.”

Measures included changing the evacuation policy at the relevant schemes, along with putting in a waking watch officer with fire safety training to help in case of an emergency evacuation.

This approach has been taken with advice and guidance from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Services, who have helped by carrying out site visits to the schemes and will continue to do so to offer further assistance as required.

Added Cllr Watkins:

“We have put in place a programme of remedial work to put these issues right, with residents fully informed and contractors on site now.

“Council officers and contractors have worked to ensure that the issues can be put right within the shortest possible timeframe, and bring the schemes back up to the standard expected. Despite shortages in some materials and issues with availability of labour due to the pandemic – they have however ensured continuation of the project throughout.

“All residents in those schemes have been informed and liaised with and should not feel any increased risk due to the mitigation factors NBBC has put in place. The work required will be completed during this financial year, and we are pulling out all the stops to try and get everything finished by December.”