Trafford Housing Trust – High Rise Blocks of Flats; Names, Foot Fall, Contractors & Sub-Contractors, Regeneration Work & Costs of Re-Doing Poor & Incorrect Work?
Dear Trafford Housing Trust,
This is a Freedom of Information Request.
To pre-empt your initial attempt to avoid answering these most pertinent questions and delay proceedings by you stating that your company are not strictly open to the Freedom of Information Act and these requests, please be advised that according to the housing corporation “You can also write to housing associations. Most try to be as open as possible and will provide you with information when they are able. The Housing Corporation requires housing associations to be accessible, accountable and transparent to residents and other stakeholders. The National Housing Federation Code of Governance states that associations should operate in an open and accountable manner by generally making information about their work available to their residents, local communities and other stakeholders."
Also, the Information Commissioner has ruled that Housing Associations are subject to the Environmental Information Regulations.
The government Environment, Housing, Planning and Waste website for the Fire Safety in Purpose-Built Blocks of Flats states on page 71:-
53. Third-party certification
When upgrading fire precautions, fire protection products and related services should be fit for their purpose and properly installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or a relevant standard.
The multiple media publications about your failures to comply with all the fire safety and building regulations which was highlighted by a resident at Stretford House who used to work as a fire inspector exposed some of your failures to comply, and raised serious concerns as to your competence and willingness to comply and your abilities and capabilities to put things right for the future.
According to the Trafford Housing Trust website I understand there are eight high rise blocks that Trafford Housing Trust are responsible for including Stretford House, Empress Court, Princess Court, Clifford Court, Grafton Court, Pickford Court, Circle Court and Manor Court.
Recent events have raised serious concerns regarding the health and safety of all residents living in and frequenting high rise blocks of flats and more specifically under your control which needs further investigation, and I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions please:-
Please inform me and confirm the names and addresses of each block of high rise flats that your company control and the number of residents living in each block, and the estimated foot fall in each for their visitors and loved ones?
Please inform me the name and contact details including email address of your building manager and who the designated ‘responsible person’ is at Trafford Housing Trust and their contact details including email address if this is different for all these blocks of high rise flats and the previous employees that were responsible for the safety of these high rise buildings if this is different, and when, and each time they changed since you took control over from the council and became a trust?
Please inform me of the name of the company and the designated ‘responsible person’ in that company for each and every contractor and subcontractor throughout your chain of contractors who undertook the regeneration work on Stretford House, and a list of all improvement work done since, and all companies involved and the names of their designated ‘responsible person’, and a schedule of documents and communications, and surveys and their findings specifically for Stretford House detailing all the work carried out?
Please inform me what improvements and works carried out failed to meet the correct fire safety and building regulation standards at their first attempt and the number of times they had to be redone before they finally met the correct acceptable fire safety and building regulation standards, and all the companies involved and what their specific role was in these works, and all the costs involved and who paid for these each time, and the estimated costs for any future works that will need redoing because they were not done correctly in the first place to meet the correct fire safety standards and building regulations, and why they failed to meet these requirements each time?
Neil A. Carter
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Dear Mr Carter
Re: Freedom of Information Request dated 4^th December 2017
I’m writing to respond to the 10 emails which you sent on 4^th December,
making Freedom of Information requests. I emailed you on 5^th December
confirming that I had received your requests and that, whilst Trafford
Housing Trust does not legally have to respond to any Freedom of
Information requests, I would look into what we could share with you.
Having consulted with my colleagues – Iain Wallace, Director of
Properties, and Mike Corfield, Assistant Director – Customers, I am now
able to respond to you more fully.
Firstly I would like to explain that we have limited resources to
investigate and respond to Freedom of Information requests. You sent 10
emails and requested a large amount of information, so I wanted to let you
know that I will only be able to give you some of what you have asked for.
To enable me to look at your request, I have summarised the issues you
raised and created one response, which I am sending to all 10 of the email
addresses you made requests from.
From reading your emails, it’s clear to me that you’re very concerned
about fire safety and in particular the fire door on your property. I’ve
therefore focused this letter on responding to the key concerns you have
o Who is the decision maker when it comes to deciding which fire doors
to install in Stretford House?
When THT undertakes works of this type, a competent consultant is selected
to assess the requirements and make a recommendation on the right
solution, or door in this scenario. The consultant is independent of THT,
and will have suitable qualifications including knowledge of fire safety
matters. The Director of Property Services will then appoint a contractor
to supply and fit doors in accordance with the recommendation given by the
o Who is responsible for the safety of our high rise buildings? Building
manager and responsible person.
All stakeholders play a part in ensuring the safety of a building. In the
scenario of the door, The Director of Property Services is the responsible
o How are we assured that the fire doors installed at Stretford House
are fit for purpose and installed correctly?
As mentioned above, when THT undertake a program of works, a competent
consultant is commissioned to assess the requirements and make a
recommendation on the appropriate solution. The consultant will ensure the
door complies with all of the appropriate regulations. As well as this,
THT carries out different inspections which might suggest what type of
door is suitable, for example stock condition surveys will review our
properties to understand what state they are in and any works which are
required to ensure they remain compliant with current legislation.
As you are aware, we also carry out Fire Risk Assessments and as part of
these the Assessor will look at the suitability of a door, and make
recommendations for improvement should doors not meet the required
Following the installation of the doors, a number of them will be
inspected by a competent person to ensure that they are fitted correctly
and the contractor has done their job.
o What confirmation do we have from the fire service about their
capacity to respond to a fire at Stretford House?
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have provided verbal assurances
that they have the necessary resources to respond to a fire at Stretford
o You expressed concerns about the service shafts and quality of windows
at Stretford House which you worry would exacerbate a fire.
THT will appoint a competent consultant to assess the windows.
The service shafts, otherwise known as risers, have been inspected by an
appropriately accredited contractor, with all known defects being
corrected as soon as the inspection had taken place.
o How many tower blocks do we have?
THT has eight tower blocks.
Your request questioned the rationale for installing a 30 minute fire door
rather than 60 minute fire door at your property, and I understand that
this is the subject of a complaint which is being investigated currently.
I therefore won’t seek to answer that question here as it will be covered
as part of your complaint. Your complaint needs to be resolved and I
understand that we will be scheduling a final meeting with our Chief
Customer Experience Officer and members of the Board who will hear your
complaint and make a final decision on the matters you raised.
You made a number of requests for documentation and historic information
about all of THT’s tower blocks and the works which have been done to
them. I’m sorry I’m not able to provide this information to you as I don’t
have the resources to search our records and extract copies of the things
you’ve asked for.
I hope that this letter, whilst not providing everything you asked for,
has helped to reassure you that we take fire safety seriously and make
sure that we have the right advice from competent experts when making
decisions about fire doors.
Vicky Parr | Governance & Compliance Manager | Governance & Business
Assurance | Company Secretariat | 5th floor, Barkers Lane, Sale Point |
Trafford Housing Trust
DDi: 0161 968 0596 | [mobile number] | Main: 0300 777 7777 | Fax: 0300
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