Smoke damage visible on the outside of the block of flats

Council chiefs have criticised delays in getting people back into fire-hit flats in Lichfield.

Residents have still been unable to return to Ridware House after a third-floor blaze on 12th November.

Many have been staying in the city’s Premier Inn while repairs have been carried out.

But now Lichfield District Council leader Cllr Doug Pullen and the local authority’s chief executive Diane Tilley have written a joint letter to the agent managing the block of flats.

In it they say more needs to be done – warning health and wellbeing were being affected by the delays.

“The council continue to support your residents – both the 25 families int he Premier Inn and those staying in their own alternative accommodation.

“We have done our best to assist them, but there are now significant issues arising for a number of more vulnerable residents and it is beginning to affect their general health and wellbeing.

“While no one’s fault that lockdown has exacerbated the problem, they are having to eat takeout meals in their bedrooms.

“To be frank, the residents and the council can see no evidence you are really understanding the significance of the distress this continued delay and lack of information is having.”

Letter from Cllr Doug Pullen and Diane Tilley

The council has extended the booking for those families at the Premier Inn and said it is continuing to support residents.

But the local authority’s leaders said those impacted by being left unable to return deserved to have information on the next steps.

“The lack of communication and detail of timelines for reoccupation is only adding to the stress for residents – and council staff who are trying to support them.

“It is not appropriate for no notification to have been given to residents by 3pm on the day your last communication to them indicated they would return.

“While we continue to support the residents at our own costs – which are now substantial – we have had no response from your loss adjuster on seeking to agree any repayment of these costs.”

Letter from Cllr Doug Pullen and Diane Tilley

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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3 Comments

  1. So does Lichfield district council own the lease on these blocks still? Major concern! Bit of a shambles! Who is anyone suggesting is responsible? I ask this has a ex council flat owner

  2. Hi Karen,

    The block is privately owned and managed. Lichfield District Council have stepped in to provide temporary accommodation, and to liaise with the Fire Service to ensure the building is safe for residents to re-enter.

    As this is taking longer than we think it should, we have written to the Managing Agent of the block to speed things up.

  3. The time taken to make the fixes is concerning. I live in the flat opposite and I’ve seen very little activity going on, I was expecting to see more tradesmen and the residents should have moved back in by now.

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