Second Information Bulletin – Terrible Grenfell Tower Tragedy.

Further to the information I placed on my social media pages yesterday, about the awful fire incident in Grenfell Tower in London.

Here is the latest information that I have with regards to this terrible incident. The Prime Minister has announced a Full Public Inquiry into the fire. There are 17 people declared dead at this moment, but we have to set ourselves because that number will increase.

Now with regards to the situation in Wolverhampton, here is some more information which is additional to the information I placed yesterday.

Just for clarity our Ward here of Wednesfield North does not have any tower blocks.

City of Wolverhampton Council have informed me that there is cladding on some of our Towers – The information that I have here is that there is some cladding on some of our 36 tower blocks, indeed it is 18 which have cladding.

Most of these (12) are clad with insulated render – not made of plastic, and without spaces to cause a possible “chimney effect” to spread a fire. These include blocks at Merry Hill, Arthur Greenwood Court (Bilston), Lakefield, Hickman and Stowlawn. These do not post any special risk.

Over 10 years ago, three blocks at Graisley estate near the city centre and three towers at Heath Town (Brockfield, Campion and Longfield) were clad or partially clad with a  ‘rain screen’ system fixed on to the blocks. Whilst these are NOT identical to the system as used at Grenfell, we are immediately checking the specifications, reviewing the full working drawings and installation methods so we can be certain they pose no special risk. If necessary, there will then be full, on site testing.

Access for emergency vehicles

The emergency services have raised no issues with City of Wolverhampton Council about access to tower blocks, however, to be absolutely sure, the City are asking the Fire Service to check access to every tower block in the city and advise if more space is needed – if necessary, we will create it.

Advice about what to do in the event of a fire and how to prevent fire

As tower block residents know, the advice has been to stay put in their flats in the event of a fire unless they are advised to leave the building. Clearly we all have questions about this. We are arranging for health and safety staff and the Fire Service to visit tower blocks to provide advice and assistance to residents on what to do in the event of a fire and about fire prevention.

Gas- There is no gas in any of our tower blocks.

This is the second such information bulletin I have placed with a view to keep my constituents and residents informed of events as they happen, and how the incident in London may impact on Wolverhampton. I will continue to keep you informed of developments as they are reported to me.

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more