THURROCK Council’s sheltered housing complexes at Piggs Corner and Kynoch Court have been branded as unsafe by a former member of staff.
The woman, who contacted the Enquirer with a number of complaints and allegations against the authority says the two extra care centres are a fire risk.
She claims: “What has happened is that these buildings are no longer used for the same purpose as they were built for. Originally they were designed for able-bodied people who could look after themselves but now many of the residents are disabled or even bed-ridden so are less able to look after themselves or get about.
“However, the safety facilities haven’t been upgraded accordingly, for instance there are no fire escapes which would make getting out easier for some people.
If there were a fire, people wouldn’t be able to get themselves out.”
However, those allegations were roundly rejected by Lorna Payne who heads up social care and housing at Thurrock Council.
She said: “You must remember that both these complexes were built before ‘extra care’ was a consideration and the council made the decision that they were the best existing complexes to convert. We have been in contact with the fire service and have now put in place the necessary personal evacuation plans for those more vulnerable residents occupying the extra care facilities.
“The council continues to work with fire officers to ensure compliance. Fire risk assessments have been completed and will be updated in accordance with our policy and procedures. We remain in contact with the fire officer to ensure all the necessary precautions to prevent fire and ensure proper evacuation of the premises should that be necessary in the event of a fire incident.”