Southwark Council have been issued a £570,000 fine having been found guilty of multiple fire safety offences in the wake of a fatal fire at Lakanal House.
Southwark Crown Court was informed of multiple failings within the building. The suspended ceilings within the building had not been effectively maintained and were incapable of effectively stopping the spread of a fire. The source of the fire was a faulty television set.
The potentially unlimited fine had been reduced from £400,000 after Southwark pleaded guilty to four offenses under the Regulatory Reform (Fire) Safety Order. Judge Jeffrey Pegden ordered Southwark Council that it must pay a £270,000 fine, as well as £300,000 in costs.
Following the sentencing, Southwark councilor Peter John, said “We fully accept the decision of the judge and the fine he has imposed.”
“Some have talked about the need for this case to act as a warning to others, but for us the death of six residents is a stark reminder every day of the terrible cost of failings at Lankanal.”
“Once again I can only apologise for the council’s role in this tragedy. We have since invested £62m to make our homes safer, and would urge all landlords to ensure their homes are safe so a tragedy like Lakanal is never repeated.”
Following the sentencing, Dan Daly, LFB’s assistant commissioner for fire safety, said: “The fire at Lakanal House was a particularly harrowing incident and our thoughts remain with the families and loved ones of those who died.”
“Bringing this prosecution against Southwark Council has been about ensuring that lessons are learned.”
“All landlords, including large housing providers, such as councils and housing associations, have a clear responsibility under the law that their premises meet all fire safety requirements and are effectively maintained to provide protection in the event of a fire and keep their residents safe.”
“We want them to take the opportunity provided by this court to remind themselves of exactly what their fire safety responsibilities are under the law and to ensure that everyone in their premises is safe from the risk of fire.”