Residents reassured that flats pose no fire risk

Smyllum Road's flats are not thought to pose a risk to their occupants.
Smyllum Road's flats are not thought to pose a risk to their occupants.

Assurances have been given to Clydesdale’s flat-dwellers that there is little, if any, chance of a similar tragedy to last month’s London towerblock blaze happening here.

However, as a precaution, all residents of council-built flats are to be given leaflets with extra fire safety advice in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

It is claimed that no Clydesdale residents face the same dangers as the inhabitants of that ill-fated block of flats and scores of others in England found to have similar cladding, now thought not to meet fire safety standards.

That form of cladding has not been used in any South Lanarkshire Council flat resurfacing, and none of the blocks here are too high for Scottish Fire and Rescue Service ladders to reach the top floor.

The highest blocks in Clydesdale are understood to be the Smyllum Road flats in Lanark, where there wasa fire in which a resident was badly burned last month.

However, the Gazette understands that that blaze had nothing to do with the materials the flats were built with nor any materials used in subsequent modernisations.

All elected members of the council received a briefing following the Grenfell Tower fire so that they could reassure constituents, and one of them, Lanark and Forth Conservative councillor Richard Ellott-Lockhart, said that he had asked the fire service directly if there were “any particular fire safety worries at Smyllum, and they told me that there were none.”

He said that firefighters are, in any case, going to leaflet all flat-dwellers in Clydesdale with advice on what to do in case of a blaze in their blocks.

There will also be advice on how to prevent fires beginning.

The council’s housing and technical resources committee chairman, Hamilton South councillor Josh Wilson, said that fire safety was a priority and the authority would continue to review all arrangements, including additional physical checks, to see if further action would further enhance safety.

He went on: “Our thoughts go to everyone affected by the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. We understand that residents need assurances regarding their homes, and that is why we have moved swiftly and decisively to carry out the necessary checks.”

Any residents of flats who wish to have a home fire safety visit to doubly re-assure themselves can contact the fire and rescue service on 0800 0731 999 or online through firescotland.gov.uk.