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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

UPDATE on Fire at Redbridge Towers

The outside fire damage to Redbridge Towers
Southampton Independents campaigners Denise Wyatt and Councillor Andrew Pope attended the scene of the fire at Redbridge Towers on Sunday night.

We now provide an update to the initial statement we released after we had been at the scene.

We were there for several hours and we tried to keep residents informed and we also asked for the school to be opened.

Since that night, we have been back to the block and spoken to more residents.

We have provided statements to ITV Meridian News and to the Daily Echo.

Front Page of the Daily Echo, Tuesday 11th April 2017

In those statements, we have spoken up for local residents of Redbridge Towers and Cuckmere Lane.

Today, we spent the afternoon speaking to more residents.

Residents are not happy with the response from the Labour-run Council:

- with the events leading up to the fire
- with how the Council handled the fire and the evacuation
- with how the Council failed to keep them informed, and failed to look after their welfare
- with how the Council has responded since the fire

To give an example of the Labour-run Council's failures, Councillor Pope asked, and then asked again, for an update regarding the release of the occupant of the flat where the fire started.

This was because residents contacted us to ask whether that person would be returning to Redbridge Towers. Obviously they would be concerned if that person would be returning.

It was confirmed by the Police that there is a continuing investigation, and as reported by the Daily Echo today, the only suspect was released.

Officers did not respond to Councillor Pope's emails. Eventually, the senior housing officer called Councillor Pope today.

Councillor Pope agreed with that officer to inform residents of the following:

"The occupant of the flat where the fire started will NOT be returning to Redbridge Towers for the foreseeable future."

Southampton Independents would like to be able to say more, but we are sorry that we cannot at this stage.

However, we hope this statement will reassure residents for the time being.

Residents remain angry and that was very clear when we spoke with them again today.

Hampshire Police have asked residents to call 101 if they have any information relating to the ongoing investigation.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service continue their investigation into the cause of the fire.

Southampton Independents work on the issues that matter to Southampton people.

We do not jump to party-political instruction, unlike Labour or Tory, who always give you the same old story.

Please continue to give us information, and we will try to get you answers.

Best wishes,
Denise Wyatt and Councillor Andrew Pope

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