Stephen Metcalfe, local Member of Parliament for Pitsea, recently met with Council Officers for a walk about the Felmores estate to discuss the progress of the cladding programme and to visit the site of the most recent fire.
Stephen was told how all Council properties are being upgraded with new cladding that will improve insulation and also increase safety in the event of a fire. He welcomed the programme but has also been in discussions with the Council to try to make the cladding more affordable for non Council tenants.
Stephen said “I would of course like the cladding work to be undertaken without cost to any of the residents, but the Council have stated that at present that is not practicable. The cladding makes a real difference to both the look and feel of homes on the Felmores estate and I would like it to be available to as many people as possible. Unfortunately, at the moment, upgrade work is very expensive for home owners. I have therefore asked the Council to look again at the issue and to see if there is anything more that they can do which would encourage increased uptake.”
Stephen also visited the site of the blaze in Winstree last Wednesday which has completely destroyed the interior of the property but, thanks to the cladding, the outside and neighbouring properties remained almost completely unscathed.
Stephen said: “We can never protect completely against home fires - if someone starts a fire inside or outside a home it will, like any other property, burn. But I am very pleased the new cladding did its job and stopped the fire spreading to neighbouring properties. As I have said many times, the homes in Felmores do not self ignite and are fundamentally safe. This has been confirmed by both the fire service and independent assessors.”
"I am very pleased that Basildon Council is taking action to minimize the risk of fire spreading and I hope that the Council will continue to look for ways to improve matters for the residents of Felmores”.