Any tenant wishing to move will be rehoused from Milton Keynes' problem tower blocks, promises councillor

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Labour has tonight hit back at criticism from Tories about the council's handling of the city's tower block crisis.

And, while the futures of Mellish Court and The Gables are still being discussed, they have promised that any tenant wanting to move from one of the flats will be rehoused.

Earlier this week it was revealed both the 60-year-old tower blocks were not up to current fire standards, in that flames and smoke could spread through the cavity walls.

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Over the next eight weeks council officers will decide the future of the buildings - whether to demolish them or renovate them.

Mellish CourtMellish Court
Mellish Court

Today local Conservatives urged the council to evacuate all the tower blocks. 200 households immediately. And they accused the Labour administration of failing to implement fire safety measures in the buildings over the years.

Labour's Cabinet member for housing, Emily Darlington, said tonight: "The safety of our residents is our primary concern. No residents should feel any less safe tonight due to a political press release from the Tory party. I will continue to work with the Fire Service and listen to residents’ views as we bring forward options for the future of these buildings.”

She said MK Council has worked closely with Bucks Fire and Rescue Service to ensure the safety of residents at Mellish Court and the Gables.

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"All residents were informed on Monday and any tenant requesting to move will be rehoused. To suggest that the buildings have suddenly fallen below standards is false.

"Based on Fire Service advice, smoke detectors and new fire doors are being installed and, as a further precautionary measure, the advice in the case of a fire has been changed and 24/7 fire wardens are on site to assist residents."

Phill Mould, Group Commander responsible for Fire Safety at Bucks Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The introduction of a 24-hour warden service is a significant interim control measure, which will help with the early detection of a fire and initiate the evacuation of the entire premises.

“The risk of a fire breaking out has not increased, and of course this risk can be reduced by everyone continuing to take sensible fire safety precautions, such as being careful when cooking, smoking, using candles and cooperating with any fire safety measures introduced."

He added: “We will continue to work with Milton Keynes Council to ensure the continued safety of all residents.”