By Joe Talora, local democracy reporter
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is being urged to trial a public register of fire risk assessments in London to provide more clarity to new renters and owners in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.
It follows the shocking report that found thousands of Londoners are trapped in potentially unsafe homes, unable to sell or remortgage due to fire safety defects that they would have to pay to fix themselves.
The issue was raised in a meeting of the London Assembly yesterday by Lib Dem member Caroline Pidgeon, who voted against Sadiq Khan’s GLA budget and said, “there’s nothing for the thousands of leaseholders impacted by the cladding and fire safety scandal”.
Ms Pidgeon had suggested that the mayor trial a public register of fire risk assessments for buildings in London to allow would-be renters and owners to “check the fire safety status of their potential new home”.
The Assembly member said it could be done “at a small cost” and would work similarly to energy performance certificates that can be accessed by prospective homeowners or renters before they move into a new property.
Ms Pidgeon said: “I have raised the idea of trialling a register of fire safety risk assessments in London with the Mayor on several occasions, along with other measures I believe he could be taking to support those caught up in the cladding and fire safety scandal.
“The register would allow prospective renters and buyers to check the fire safety status of their potential new home, such as the one used to register domestic Energy Performance Certificates.
“I am pleased he remains open to the idea, but continue to be disappointed and frustrated by the lack of progress nearly four years after the Grenfell fire.
“The setting of his budget for the upcoming financial year would have been the perfect time to commit to the scheme, but yet again the Mayor does nothing to move this forward.
“The Mayor has joined me and many others in expressing disappointment at the inadequacies of the Government’s latest set of measures to tackle the cladding and fire safety crisis, yet in areas where he could step in and take a leading role in supporting the Londoners affected he is not doing so.”
At yesterday’s London Assembly meeting Sadiq Khan said he “will continue to explore” the idea and that failing to include it in the budget “is not us saying no”.
Mr Khan said: “We were told we could not have a rogue landlord register and we did it, so I am not saying we can’t (have a fire risk assessment register).
“It’s a question of what is realistic in the time we have been given, but also the availability of some of that information.
“The fire service has written to all landowners to try and explain the importance of doing this and they continue to work with them.
“We will continue to explore anything we can do within the resources we have to improve fire safety.”
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.