Leeds MP wants improved inspections at city's high-rises after Grenfell Tower fire

An MP has called for improvements to the way inspections are carried out at high-rise council housing blocks in Leeds after the Grenfell Tower disaster in London.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 19th June 2017, 7:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 3:51 pm
Labour MP for Leeds West, Rachel Reeves.
Labour MP for Leeds West, Rachel Reeves.

Leeds West MP for Labour, Rachel Reeves, said that a resident had expressed concern after seeing a cleaner monitor only the ground floor of her building.

A different resident, Carl Ackroyd of the ninth floor of a Poplar Mount block in Bramley, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Upto the fourth floor the walls are shiny and all the floors are shiny. Above that you are lucky if you see a cleaner once a week.”

Ms Reeves said: “We do need to make sure the whole of the block of flats is inspected and there is a process for verifying you’ve done that.”

But the MP, who was re-elected this month, said that cleaning staff need to be given enough time to do their jobs.

Ms Reeves said that she hoped to have it confirmed last night that the three Leeds West blocks with cladding – a material which has been widely blamed for spreading the Grenfell blaze – had fire retardant types used on them.

She also wants Government funds used to fit sprinkler systems into high-rises.

Following an arson at Poplar Mount on October 29, Mr Ackroyd and the council have disagreed about how long a torched settee remained in the building and he has now set up a petition to get “answers”.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said “we have always treated fire prevention as a top priority”.

They added: “We have taken the decision in light of the concerns raised, to undertake an immediate review of all fire prevention measures in all of our tower blocks.” Once assessments have finished “further changes and alterations may be introduced as appropriate”.

A minute silence took place at Victoria Gardens today for the victims of the blaze in London, during which it has so far been confirmed 79 people died.