Following the Grenfell fire in 2017, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council advised residents of Queensway House in Hatfield that there was no risk of a similar incident happening there. On 28th August 2020, Welwyn Hatfield Times ran a story claiming that a leaked report raises serious concerns over the cladding used on the building. The report also calls evacuation procedures into question.
Councillor Helen Quenet, Liberal Democrat lead on Housing, has written to the Welwyn Hatfield Times calling for decisive action and clarification from the council.
Firstly, the key thing now is to get the cladding removed ASAP, to make sure the remaining residents are safe. I am sure there is unanimity on that point across all three parties. However, having read the WHTimes report online and on re-reading the papers from the last Cabinet Housing Panel (CHP) on the 14th July, my overwhelming concern is that at that meeting there was no mention at all of the new situation with regards to the cladding on Queensway House.
We must conclude therefore, that this new information came out very recently. What is missing is information about when this new information was given. What members need to know are the dates. If this was known about before that July meeting then surely it should have been part of urgent business? There is a need to demonstrate that members of the CHP were not kept in the dark about infromation which indicated people's lives could be in more danger than we thought. The last we heard at CHP was that the situation was under control and residents were safe.
Liberal Democrat lead on Housing