Following the closure of Kingfisher Court, your Officers sent a letter to Kirklees Council sharing our concerns about the incident regarding their emergency procedure and communications with the University and Students’ Union.
(Kirklees Council’s Response)
We then received an invite to meet with Naz Parkar, Director of Housing and Residential Growth for the council at his office.
Naz explained that there are Government approved ‘private’ Building Control Inspectors. They are hired to sign off buildings that the council has no authority over as ‘safe’. Although the council did raise concerns over the cladding with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, they confirmed that it was compliant with regulations.
Bethany questioned Naz on the lack of communication from the council; who failed to notify either the University or the Students’ Union about the sudden closure. Naz apologised and said that this incident will inform future measures the council puts in place for emergency situations.
He went on to comment that in the report “the University was not easily contactable”. The council is keen to develop a stronger relationship with the Students’ Union to ensure proper consultation on key issues.
Naz reassured us that other flats are safe, and that they have received thorough documentation from all other student accommodation companies when they have requested it.
He continued by adding that the council is putting measures in place to ensure other buildings are safe and compliant with regulations, but added: ‘they will be more proactive with future building designs and developments’.
The council told us it is within our rights to request to inspect any property at any time, and that they would support us doing spot checks if we have any concerns about the safety of a building.
We feel satisfied with the response from Naz Parkar and we will endeavour to develop a stronger relationship with the council. We will also:
As an Officer team we care about our students and we will continue to question, communicate and collaborate with the council to ensure your safety. We will keep you updated on any further developments.
If you’d like to talk to us regarding this incident or other student accommodation, please email email@example.com