£40,000 fire safety work bill angers residents in Hurstpierpoint

The Argus: £40,000 fire safety work bill angers residents £40,000 fire safety work bill angers residents

Sheltered accommodation residents say they are being asked to foot the £40,000 bill for “unnecessary” improvements to their homes against their will.

Residents say the expensive fire safety improvements are being forced through by managing agents Anchor Housing after they ignored pleas for mediation to resolve the issue.

Representatives for the retirement home firm say the changes are designed to protect the residents and to meet their legal objectives.


MORE:


A new computerised alarm system costing £20,000 has already been installed and fire doors are to be replaced at further cost of £20,000 despite the residents’ objections.

Residents association chairman Lionel Neill claimed the new system will alert Anchor staff 340 miles away in Newcastle when The Glebe home is less than a mile from the nearest fire station in Hurstpierpoint.

Mr Neill, 84, added the current fire doors already met the required level of safety and did not need to be replaced.

The grandfather-of-five said the cost of the fire safety improvements would have to be shared between 28 residents at the home, some of whom are 90 years old and infirm.

He added that residents had asked to enter arbitration with the firmto resolve the issue and had sent a dossier of the dispute to the Association of Retirement Housing Managers but work began on January 6.

Mr Neill said: “We have money put by because it comes out of our service charge but this fund is intended for when something actually goes wrong like the roof collapsing or roof tiles being blown off.

“These works have been announced as a fait accompli, no discussion or questioning was countenanced.”

Christine Schenck, district manager of The Glebe, said: “The safety of our residents is paramount and that’s why we are making these improvements while also complying with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 following a fire risk assessment.

“The new fire alarm systems will further protect our residents in their homes.

“Our property team have met on several occasions with residents to explain the works being carried out and they have also received written confirmation of our legal requirement to carry out these improvements.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:32pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Fight_Back says...

The easiest answer is not to pay. Eventually the managing agents will take court action and any decent judge will take into account the residents suggestion of arbitration.
The easiest answer is not to pay. Eventually the managing agents will take court action and any decent judge will take into account the residents suggestion of arbitration. Fight_Back

3:13pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Royal_Recruit says...

Just because one fire risk assessor has said the doors need upgrading it doesn't make it true. They won't have taken it off the hinges and fire tested them so they cannot be sure either way. If the Fire Service aren't issuing an enforcement notice nor prohibition then don't do anything. Anchor Housing aren't the enforcement notice, with that amount of doors needing replacing in a centre as new as theres (judging by pic) it seems like a bland sweep statement by a risk assessor who doesn't feel confident. One poor persons judgement could well be causing this. Ask the fire service in or pay for a decent IFE accredited risk assessor and it could save you £
Just because one fire risk assessor has said the doors need upgrading it doesn't make it true. They won't have taken it off the hinges and fire tested them so they cannot be sure either way. If the Fire Service aren't issuing an enforcement notice nor prohibition then don't do anything. Anchor Housing aren't the enforcement notice, with that amount of doors needing replacing in a centre as new as theres (judging by pic) it seems like a bland sweep statement by a risk assessor who doesn't feel confident. One poor persons judgement could well be causing this. Ask the fire service in or pay for a decent IFE accredited risk assessor and it could save you £ Royal_Recruit

5:27pm Fri 24 Jan 14

HJarrs says...

Sadly this is all too common and they tried similar things on with my Grandparents. Many companies in a similar position view people as cash cows. Same goes for many non-council leaseholders who are blatantly ripped off and milked for money year after year.
Sadly this is all too common and they tried similar things on with my Grandparents. Many companies in a similar position view people as cash cows. Same goes for many non-council leaseholders who are blatantly ripped off and milked for money year after year. HJarrs

10:36pm Fri 24 Jan 14

The Real Phil says...

They may not be being kicked, punched or having cigarettes stubbed out on their hands but these residents are being abused. Financial abuse is one of the more recently recognised forms of abuse and the money grabbing parasites behind this scandal should be named and shamed, and any dispute resolution should find in favour of the residents.
They may not be being kicked, punched or having cigarettes stubbed out on their hands but these residents are being abused. Financial abuse is one of the more recently recognised forms of abuse and the money grabbing parasites behind this scandal should be named and shamed, and any dispute resolution should find in favour of the residents. The Real Phil

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree