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Southwark's high rise blocks record worsening fire safety ratings year on year.

For three years, Ledbury Action Group (former residents of the Ledbury Estate in Peckham) have recorded and analysed the annual fire risk assessments for Southwark Council's 170+ high rise blocks.

Their latest audit demonstrates that overall, fire safety ratings are worsening year upon year.

(Photo credit: Redman House, Southwark by Prof. Paul Wenham-Clarke)

In summer 2019, the action groups' first audit showed that 67% of Southwark owned blocks were considered to be beyond 'tolerable' fire risk. This indicated that significant work would need to be undertaken across the borough in order to improve overall fire safety.

In early 2021, a second audit by the group demonstrated that 44 blocks had since seen a worsened safety rating, 21 blocks had since seen an improved safety rating and 100 blocks had recorded no change or improvement to their previous ratings.

A third audit, carried out in January 2022 in partnership with Tower Blocks UK, shows the picture continuing to worsen, with fire safety improvement works appearing not to be keeping up with the scale of deficiencies being discovered.

Since their previous assessments:

38 blocks now show a worsened rating

12 blocks now show an improved rating

95 blocks show no change to their previous rating

Of the 95 blocks with no change, only 17 of these are considered to be at 'Tolerable' risk 50 blocks are considered 'Low Moderate' risk and 28 blocks are 'High Moderate' risk.

(Data was unavailable for 28 blocks, either because an updated fire risk assessment had not yet been published, or because the blocks are in the process of being decommissioned.)