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Denbighshire council accused of putting lives at risk

A whistleblower has claimed people’s lives could have been at risk because Denbighshire Council had failed to carry out gas safety checks on up to 40 of its houses, the Daily Post has reported.

A document seen by the Post includes a list of 40 properties across the county whose inspections are listed as “out of date”.

The council says the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) went into the housing department in January of this year and “found no problems”.

But the list obtained by the Post is from January 2014, and the council has not responded to questions as to whether the information on it was correct at that time.

An email from chief executive Mohammed Mehmet to the whistleblower when the issues were raised earlier this year includes an admission that the management of gas boilers “had not been good enough”.

The authority has not, however, expanded on what the chief executive meant.

The whistleblower urged council tenants with gas meters to get in touch with council services and check that their properties had been properly checked if they do not know for themselves.

In the emailed response to the whistleblower, Mr Mehmet said: “In response to your comments about the out-of-date gas services, I am aware that in the past the processes around the management of gas boilers has not been good enough. However, this was recognised by the department, which has worked hard to improve.”

A council spokesman said: “[We have] robust systems in place to ensure we are fully compliant with our legal obligations.

“As acknowledged by the HSE following a recent spontaneous inspection (14 January 2015) following similar unsubstantiated claims, the Inspector confirmed that both the gas management systems and our legal no-access procedures are ‘excellent’. Monitoring compliance is an integral part of this process to ensure that we fully comply with the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 – but if anyone does have concerns, they can contact the HSE for further clarification.”

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