County Council's 'full and urgent audit' of buildings after Grenfell Tower disaster

Bucks County Council offices in Aylesbury
Bucks County Council offices in Aylesbury

Bucks County Council has conducted a 'full and urgent' audit of its properties following the Grenfell Tower fire.

The council has examined all properties in its potfolio to ensure that none of them contain the type of cladding that was used on the Grenfell Tower, and that all adhere to fire safety regulations.

John Chilver, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: "The County Council was deeply shocked and saddened by the horrific events surrounding the recent Grenfell Tower disaster. The safety everyone using any County Council building is paramount to us - but none more so than the children or vulnerable people in our care.

"As such, we immediately and independently, conducted an urgent audit of all our built estate to ascertain whether any cladding used was of a similar nature and construction to that used on Grenfell Tower - with a particular emphasis on any high rise accommodation.

"Although not a housing authority the County Council does have residential buildings, including respite care and a children's home, but none of these is taller than two-storeys and they are not similarly clad to Grenfell Tower. We are, however, carrying out ongoing checks to ensure that these premises are still fully compliant with fire safety and the fire risk assessments that are in place.

"The New County Offices in Aylesbury is the County Council’s only truly high rise building and is both constructed and finished externally in concrete. It is specifically designed for passive fire control and is fully fire compartmented with one hour rated fire escape zones at both ends of the tower. It also has had a programme of upgrading work in relation to fire control carried out over the last year and has regular fire audits carried out by specialists.

"The examination on all our other buildings, including maintained schools, has been carried out through detailed checks with consultants, contractors and specialist staff and as yet has not resulted in any buildings being identified as having similar cladding or construction to that currently under investigation - and the indications are that it is highly unlikely that any will be found.

"The County Council is fully co-operating with the Department of Communities and Local Government - who are co-ordinating the testing of cladding and the approach that all Local Authorities are taking to address fire safety."