Barry Gardiner

Working Hard for Brent North

Barry calls on Government to provide funds for fire safety in Brent

In a letter to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Barry has called on the Government to provide money for fire safety initiatives in Brent.



In the letter- which comes following the tragedy of the Grenfell disaster in Kensington and Chelsea- was written in support of Brent Council's appeal to the government for additional funds to be put towards fire safety in Brent. 

Barry said: "The London Borough of Brent is one of the most stressed housing areas in the country. The Council have already committed itself to a £10 million programme in improving fire safety in its housing stock over the last four years. It is now planning to invest another £10 million to upgrade safety features in high rise blocks. This programme is ready to be delivered and I'm fully supportive of the council's call to the government to step up to the plate and underwrite its cost."  

In the letter, Barry also covered the issue of permitted development and in particular, the ability of developers to convert existing commercial property into residential property.

On this issue, Barry said: "I understand and support the concept of being able to convert existing unused buildings to provide badly needed housing. However, at this point it is worth asking whether this permitted development route provides the most appropriate type of housing. Another issue relates to a lack of oversight and control over the standards which can be found in these conversions. A light regulatory touch is one thing, putting people's lives at risk is something completely different!" 

You can read Barry's letter in full here.

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