Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds flats doormats fire risk letter 'bonkers'

Council tenants in Leeds have said they are furious about being told to remove doormats from outside their flats due to a fire risk.

West North West Homes Leeds, which manages properties for Leeds Council, sent letters asking tenants to remove personal items from communal areas.

One resident said it was "bureaucracy gone mad", with MP Rachel Reeves adding that the letter was "bonkers".

The management company said it sent the letters following inspections in June.

'Sterile policy'

Ms Reeves added: "I have never heard of anything so bonkers.

"The idea that a doormat could cause a fire and a potted plant is a hazard when it is in fact something that brightens up what is otherwise a grey environment."

Julie Freshwater, who lives in one of the blocks of flats affected, said more needed to be done to tackle antisocial behaviour in the area, rather than the removal of items in doorways.

West North West Homes Leeds said it sent the letter following an inspection by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, which highlighted a number of issues.

A spokeswoman added: "To address these concerns we have introduced an interim sterile policy in all multi-storey blocks in west and north-west Leeds.

"To ensure we are able to keep all residents and visitors to high rise properties safe we must first ask that they bring their items into their homes until we can assess each block and provide guidance on where is safe to place them.

"We are currently undertaking a multi-storey flats review with local residents, which commenced in June, and are surveying every multi-storey block that we manage."

Peter Gruen, the council's deputy leader, said he was calling for a full review into protocol on introducing new systems as no consultation took place before the letters were issued.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites