Council accused of safety failures

14 Feb 2013

Reading Borough Council has been accused of failing to complete several fire safety checks and balances.

Conservative councillor Richard Willis quizzed officials from the local authority during an audit and governance scrutiny committee.

He asked about fire alarm testing and whether routine fire drills were taking place in premises owned and run by the council.

Get Reading has reported that the council officials admitted during questioning that fire alarms have not been tested regularly and drills are not completed as regularly as they should be.

However, Reading Borough Council stressed that although a fire drill had not taken place for 12 months, safety is still one of its top priorities.

Mr Willis told Get Reading that essential fire prevention measures had not been followed in some buildings.

"The report highlighted that the residual risks around the maintenance of the fabric of council premises had increased, mainly as a result of a recent case of Legionella," he added.

"Management action was stated to be underway to address the problem but officers seemed reluctant to commit to a timescale or to state what action would be taken if proper checks and drills were not conducted in future."

Copyright Press Association 2013

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