Mayor voices ‘disappointment’ over lack of central funding for fire doors

Hackney Town Hall

Hackney Town Hall

Hackney’s mayor has voiced his “disappointment” at a lack of central government funding for the Town Hall’s sweeping door replacement programme.

Just under £6 million has been set aside to make the borough’s council house doors fire-safe, over and above the £20 million set aside in January’s capital budget.

Of the 3,907 doors identified for replacement in Phase 1 of the works, 1,064 should have been fire-resistant for 30 minutes with a smoke seal (FD30S) on installation, but were not.

These 1,064 were sold to the council by two companies, which cannot be named for legal reasons.

The estimated overall total of doors that were sold as FD30S fire doors which the council think will need to be replaced is 1,200.

Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville said: “The council has now reviewed all its fire risk assessments across its property portfolio, which has resulted in 22,000 individual recommendations, which are being worked through on a risk-based approach.

“Potentially 17,000 doors need to be replaced, implementing Phase 1 of replacements early next year, and targeting those blocks which are 10 storeys or above. The cost of Phase 1 alone is expected to be in the region of £5.9m.

“Despite the Grenfell rhetoric, there are no resources from central government to do this work. They only offered to fully fund councils who had to replace ACM cladding of the type that Grenfell had, and they’re not interested in funding the door-replacement work.

“The cost of safety works is significant, but obviously we’ll meet that cost here in Hackney. We’re really disappointed that the government has not matched up to its rhetoric.”

Around 17,000 doors have been identified for replacement over the next three years, with each door costing £1,500 each.

Most of the 17,000 are older doors which were manufactured before the FD30S requirement became law.

A council spokesperson said: “The council is planning to replace all doors across the borough that do not meet the current fire and smoke standard (known as FD30S).

“These will be prioritised according to risk and in consultation with London Fire Brigade, but, broadly, we will begin in blocks of 10 storeys and higher, then later, doors will be replaced in towers of six to nine storeys, and finally, buildings of five storeys and fewer.

“However, residents should be assured that they are not in any immediate danger. We have been carrying out fire risk inspections of blocks and have been fitting self-closing fixtures to front doors where needed, among other safety work.”

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