Tag Archive | Manchester City Council

Wythenshawe’s tallest tower block to be fitted with sprinkler system in response to Grenfell fire tragedy

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Wythenshawe’s tallest tower block is to be fitted with a sprinkler system in the wake of the Grenfell Fire tragedy.

A spokesperson for the Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, which runs the 10 tower blocks in the town said work on the retrofit of the tallest building will start in early 2018.

And a spokesperson for the Group  told the Reporter WCHG was committed to funding all recommended safety improvements.

The WCHG statement in full:

Wythenshawe Community Housing Group remain committed to ensuring safety in high rise buildings and continue to work closely with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Manchester City Council and other registered providers to ensure a consistent robust approach to fire safety in tower blocks.

The Group owns and manages 10 high rise buildings in Wythenshawe and none contain ACM panels.  Village 135 did have a feature ACM detail to the projecting balconies and this was quickly removed in July 2017 shortly following the tragic Grenfell incident.  This has now been replaced with a solid metal cladding panel.

We have worked closely with our residents in all of our high rise buildings which have had annual fire risk assessments in place for many years by accredited consultants.  Since June, we have repeated and reviewed in detail our approach to fire safety with our fire safety consultants to identify any further improvements that can be made to each block.

The Group will commence an installation of sprinklers to the tallest building in early 2018 and the Board and Executive team remain committed to funding all recommended improvements including sprinklers for the safety of occupants.”

In June, Wythenshawe CHG said it had worked closely with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and was “considering all options including sprinkler systems” to maintain safety in it’s tower blocks.

WCHG’s comments come as Manchester City Council agreed to consult tenants on spending £10.5 million to fit sprinkler systems to the 36 high rise tower blocks it owns most of which are in North Manchester.

The City Council’s Executive today approved the plan in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy earlier this year and will follow the completion of high level fire risk assessments that ensures compartmentation of flats, designed to contain fire within an individual dwelling and stop any spread.

Basic fire risk assessments are already in place in all City Council-owned blocks and housing association provider high rises, and were redone immediately following the Grenfell fire. All fire assessments for Council-owned properties have been made available of the Council’s website.

Greater Manchester Fire and rescue) has visited every single high rise block in Manchester and provided the City Council with details.  Where necessary the fire officer has taken steps to address safety issues.

The City Council has also written to every owner or building manager of the 216 privately-owned high rises identified in the city to understand whether the cladding or other building materials used presented pose any potential safety issues.

216 building owners have been contacted in the first two weeks of November and, as they respond, the Council is building up a detailed database which is being shared with DCLG as part of a national picture.

The owners of 12 private buildings that feature Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding have responded positively and have actioned remedial works or commissioned fire risk assessments to reassure residents and fire officers that fire safety measures are in place.

A detailed procedure is being established within the City Council and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) to deal with any owners not responding.

The Council enforcement team, Building Control service and GMFRS are working closely together to ensure that any necessary enforcement actions are correctly actioned.

However, there remains some confusion around enforcement responsibilities and how they are carried out due to a lack of clarity within the current legislation.

The City Council and GMFRS would like to see a revision in guidance for fire safety in flats to address different types of tenure and responsibilities of the building owner and tenants to clearly set out expectations of each party to ensure fire safety.

Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We need to get to a position where every person who lives in a high rise block feels safe in their homes, understands fire procedures for the building, and building owners know what their responsibilities are.

“We are still awaiting the outcome of the national inquiry following the Grenfell tragedy and we are ready to act quickly to any recommendations. However, we already know that a review into enforcement powers of Councils and the fire service is vital to ensure the legislation is in place to fully protect residents.

“We believe that we should retrofit sprinkler systems in our high rise properties, but it is important that we do this in conversation with our residents – and funding the works will need to be in conversation with Government for their support.”

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes added: “Through the work of the Greater Manchester High Rise Taskforce, we have been able to take swift action to reassure residents living in high rises across Greater Manchester and make sure that the right fire safety advice is in place. Specialist fire officers continue to work with building owners and local authorities, including Manchester City Council, to address fire safety issues and contribute to Greater Manchester’s ambition of a world-class approach to fire safety, which places the expertise of our fire and rescue service at its heart.”
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Wythenshawe residents invited to nominate their Queen Bee (or King) community champions

 

Manchester residents are invited to nominate the community champions and unsung heroes who keep their communities buzzing for a Be Proud award – including a special award to honour an outstanding contribution in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack.

The Be Proud awards celebrate the local people who proudly do their bit to help make Manchester a better city for everyone to live in.

Manchester City Council wants you to tell them all about the people and organisations who improve people’s lives through what they do, who make a real difference to their neighbourhoods and who are truly passionate about Manchester.

This year, residents are invited to put forward nominations for a special recognition award, which will honour a person, project or organisation that stood tall and helped local communities to pull through after the Manchester Arena attack.

Be Proud awards will also be up for grabs in categories including Volunteer of the Year, Community Cohesion, Business in the Community, Young Achiever of the Year and Neighbour of the Year.

One of the category winners will also be selected by judges as the city’s “Queen (or King) Bee” and will receive the overall Pride of Manchester award for 2017.

Three finalists for each category will be invited to a prestigious Gala Dinner, held in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall on Friday 24 November, where the winners will be announced in an “Oscars”-style ceremony.

Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Nigel Murphy, said: “The Be Proud awards are the perfect way of saying a heartfelt thank you to the extraordinary people across Manchester who give their time and talents to make their neighbourhoods better, brighter places for everyone to enjoy.

“We’re asking residents to nominate the people and organisations who they feel deserve recognition for going the extra mile – and this year, we will also be presenting a special award to someone who stepped up to help the city to stay strong and begin to recover after the Manchester Arena attack.”

Nominations are now open and close on Sunday 10 September.  Nomination details can be found at www.manchester.gov.uk/beproud 

 

 

Housing group will consider installing sprinklers to ensure tower block safety

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“All options” will be considered

Wythenshawe Community Housing Group says it will consider fitting sprinkler systems to its tower blocks if that is what is required to maintain the safety of residents.

The Group, which runs social housing in Wythenshawe, has been reviewing fire safety in its tower blocks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in the North Kensington, London in which at least 79 people have died.

Cladding is already being removed from the Group’s Village 135 complex for elderly people in Wythenshawe and The Reporter put a number of questions to the landlord about other aspects of fire safety, raised by residents. Read More…

‘Rogue employee’ caught fly-tipping costs Wythenshawe firm £800

picmapA Manchester company has been ordered to pay a penalty of more than £800, after admitting to fly-tipping  in Wythenshawe.

Wrafter Building Services Ltd, of Parkend Road, Wythenshawe, pleaded guilty to fly-tipping at a hearing on 13 June 2017, at Manchester Magistrates Court. Read More…

Manchester Lord Mayor pays tribute to victims of “most horrific incident” faced by the city

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Manchester’s Lord Mayor and Wythenshawe councillor, Eddy Newman, has paid tribute to victims.of the bombing in the city which has so far left 22 dead and dozens injured.

And the William Temple Church in Wythenshawe Civic Centre, Simonsway is open this morning or anyone who would like to light a candle, or spend time in reflection and prayer.

 

The city council’s deputy leader and fellow Wythenshawe councillor, Sue Murphy added:

Greater Manchester Police suspect the attack, in the foyer of the Manchester Arena following a concert by the singer Ariana Grande was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Chief Constable, Ian Hopkins said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack conducted by one man. In a statement, he said: ““This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see.

“Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives. Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we now know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones. We continue to do all we can to support them. They are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester.

“This is a fast-moving investigation and we have significant resources deployed to both the investigation and the visible patrols that people will see across Greater Manchester as they wake up to news of the events last night. This will include armed officers as people would expect. More than 400 officers have been involved in this operation during the night.”

Organisations and people across Wythenshawe have given their reaction  to the events on social media, including councillors, schools, colleges, sports clubs.

Entertainer Rowetta,  expressed solidarity with the victims.

Manchester’s new Lord Mayor makes appeal for mutual respect

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Lord Mayor Cllr Eddy Newman

Wythenshawe councillor, Eddy Newman has begun his year in office as Manchester’s new Lord Mayor with a message to promote unity and mutual respect in the City’s communities.

The Liverpool-born former Member of the European Parliament has lived in Manchester since 1974 and has been councillor for Woodhouse Park since 2002

Eddy worked as a postal officer, and was elected a representative for the Communication Workers Union in Greater Manchester in 1979.

He first served as a Manchester Councillor for Blackley from 1979 to 1985, and then as Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Greater Manchester Central from 1984 to 1999.

As an MEP Eddy led a campaign against the waste of the ‘Food Mountains’, demanding that the food stored there should be distributed to the public. Later he became Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee of Petitions.

Since his return to Manchester City Council in 2002 Eddy has represented Woodhouse Park in Wythenshawe.

He has specialised in housing and health, as well as representing his constituents on a range of matters.

He said his proudest achievement in local government has been working with colleagues to secure a thriving youth, community and sports centre – the Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre which opened in 2006.

Eddy became the city council’s Executive Member responsible for housing from 2004 to 2008 and has been Chair of the Boards of Willow Park Housing Trust and of Wythenshawe Community Housing Group. He also chaired the city council’s Health Scrutiny Committee from 2011 to 2015.

Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Eddy Newman, said: “It’s been a privilege to serve the residents of Blackley

and Woodhouse Park during my time as a councillor and it will now be an honour to represent all of Manchester as Lord Mayor.

“I look forward to engaging and connecting with the people of Manchester during my term. I’ve been a lifelong campaigner against racism and am proud to be able to represent Manchester, a welcoming, inclusive city that celebrates all of its diverse communities.”

Councillor Newman was a member of Manchester City Council’s Community Cohesion Board from 2007 to 2012. His theme for his Mayoral year is to promote community cohesion and mutual respect amongst and between Manchester’s diverse communities and individuals.

Eddy is married to Sheila, who is a Councillor for Chorlton. They have three grown-up daughters.

His daughter Naomi will serve as Lady Mayoress for the first six months of his term, and his wife Sheila will serve as Lady Mayoress for the second six months.

 

Fire crew who saved Wythenshawe Hall return as work steps up to restore historic building

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Pic: Mark Waugh

The fire crew who helped save Wythenshawe Hall from fire devastation have visited the historic building a year on as work begins to repair the roof and exterior.

The fire could have been end for the much-loved building had it not been for the heroic efforts of Greater Manchester Fire Services officers, who battled through a March night last year to prevent the destruction of the largely timber-framed medieval hall.

Despite these efforts, the fire caused a large amount of damage to the roof and several key rooms at the hall, and smoke damage through large portions of the property. Read More…

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