Councillors and officials held a minute’s silence for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in London today (Wednesday 14 June).
At least 12 people died in the fire which raged for hours early this morning.
All those at the Brighton and Hove City Council Housing and New Homes Committee at Hove Town Hall this afternoon stood at the start of the meeting.
Councillor Anne Meadows, who chairs the committee, said: “Our thoughts are with the people affected by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower and we thank the London Fire Brigade, the London Ambulance Service, all medical staff and council colleagues for their responses and their bravery.
“The safety of our residents is of paramount importance to us.
“All council-owned high-rise blocks are inspected by the council each year to ensure they are compliant with current standards.
“We work closely with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service through our Housing Fire Health and Safety Board to review and oversee compliance with current fire safety regulations in our housing stock, in particular high-rise blocks.
“The board has met this morning and has discussed the Grenfell Tower fire.
“A pilot sprinkler system – funded by Brighton and Hove City Council and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service – was completed in 2016 at Somerset Point, a high-rise seniors housing scheme in the city.
“Working closely with our partners we have been able to increase the housing capital budget for works to reduce fire risk.
“We’re proposing sprinkler systems in two further high rise blocks in the city, subject to resident consultation in the blocks concerned.
“As is the case with any major incident, we – along with our partners – will review processes and systems but until the results of investigations into Grenfell Tower fire are available we cannot speculate on the potential cause or causes.
“We can ask for a report back to the Housing and New Homes Committee when the inquiry has been completed.”