Chief fire of­fi­cer will be in­vited to a meet­ing

Bray People - - NEWS -

CATHAOIR­LEACH of Bray Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict Christo­pher Fox told mem­bers that he in­tends to in­vite the chief fire of­fi­cer of Wick­low County Coun­cil Ai­dan Dempsey to dis­cuss fire safety in the coun­cil’s hous­ing stock.

‘ The Gren­fell tragedy was a lo­cal author­ity apart­ment block,’ said Cllr Fox. ‘Se­ri­ous con­cerns have since been raised among res­i­dents of lo­cal author­ity hous­ing stock.’

He pro­posed invit­ing Mr Dempsey to a meet­ing to take ques­tions and queries. Cllr Fox said that while there has been fo­cus on a full-time fire ser­vice, there are other is­sues like fire re­sis­tant ma­te­rial, wiring, whether all build­ings have smoke alarms. ‘I cer­tainly would like to have a good long dis­cus­sion on the whole is­sue of fire safety, and leave the is­sue of a full time fire ser­vice for an­other day.’

Cllr Fox said that fire safety is­sues had been raised in Old­court, and that there are other es­tates which were not de­signed for to­day’s load­ing on wiring.

Cllr Michael O’Con­nor asked if the meet­ing could be as soon as pos­si­ble as it is an is­sue of pub­lic concern. The Cathaoir­leach said that they would con­tact the chief fire of­fi­cer and see what his avail­ablity is.

Cllr Joe Be­han said that he un­der­stands Cllr Fox’s point of view re­gard­ing hav­ing the meet­ing about is­sues other than a full-time fire ser­vice, but that it would be no harm for him to give his view. ‘I’m not say­ing it has to be the whole meet­ing, but I don’t think we should have a meet­ing with the fire of­fi­cer with­out men­tion­ing the is­sue, rather than it be­ing out of bounds.’

Cllr Fox said that he was con­scious that other is­sues could get lost in the dis­cus­sion.

Cllr Steven Matthews said that one of the jobs a full time fire ser­vice could do would be carry out risk as­sess­ments and the mem­bers could point that out to the chief fire of­fi­cer. He said that the Gren­fell tragedy high­lighted the ter­ri­ble con­se­quences of fire haz­ards.

Cllr Pat Vance said that it should be sep­a­rate. ‘ There is an ur­gency to talk to the chief fire of­fi­cer about the prob­lems that may be out there in houses we are re­spon­si­ble for,’ he said. Cllr Vance said that there are a few thou­sand in County Wick­low, in­clud­ing about 1,000 in Bray.

‘I’d pre­fer to go down that route first. I’ve no prob­lem dis­cussing the other is­sue, but it will get con­fused.’

Cllr Fox said that he is aware of lo­cal author­ity houses which do not have smoke alarms. He said that per­haps a dis­cus­sion about a full-time ser­vice could be fa­cil­i­tated at a later date. ‘I don’t want the de­bate to get side­tracked,’ he said.

‘I don’t think it’ll get side­tracked,’ said Cllr Be­han. ‘It’s not a ques­tion of ei­ther/or. They’re all im­por­tant. There hasn’t been a dis­cus­sion with the chief fire of­fi­cer on this is­sue. It is a big is­sue in Bray Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict. I cer­tainly am go­ing to be rais­ing it.’

The Old­court Es­tate in Bray.

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