Council sets out robust action plan in response to Housing Regulatory Notice


Thursday, 14 December, 2023

Following a self-referral earlier this year, the Regulator for Social Housing has today (Thursday 14 December) issued Woking Borough Council with a regulatory notice for breaching the Home Standard in respect of fire safety. 

The notice states that the council does not have effective systems in place to manage its health and safety responsibilities, specifically the timely resolution of fire safety remedial actions and compliance with new carbon monoxide and smoke detector installation regulations. 

Responding to the regulatory notice, Cllr Ann-Marie Barker, Leader of the Council, said: “There is nothing more important than the safety of our residents, yet this regulatory notice is a stark warning that the council has fallen short in its health and safety duty toward tenants on this occasion.

“I would like to apologise, on behalf of the council, to our housing tenants for failing to deliver the quality of service that is expected. We understand that the notice issued by the Regulator of Social Housing may cause tenants concern.

“Last year, with the support of council tenants, the council brought the management and maintenance of our social housing back in-house to help improve housing services. It was following this change that we were able to fully understand the issues with the standard of our homes.

“Most significantly, we undertook an extensive programme of fire risk assessments over the spring and summer which identified a significant number of remedial actions are required. 

“The council is fully aware of its health and safety responsibilities and will work with the regulator closely to put in place a comprehensive programme to rectify these failures.

“Whilst we have much more to do, the council is determined to make the necessary improvements and is implementing a course of actions which will reassure tenants and the regulator of our commitment to delivering safe homes for residents.”

A robust plan to address the concerns identified in the regulatory notice is being developed. Actions already taken include: 

  • Commissioned inspections of all properties where the council does not hold robust data on carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and resolve any issues identified. 
  • Undertaken specialist surveys on some housing blocks.
  • Instructed a number of fire safety remedial works that are considered high risk.
  • Surveyed all emergency lighting in housing blocks.
  • Where required commenced loft compartmentation surveys.
  • Implemented quarterly fire door inspections to all four and five storey housing blocks and all temporary accommodation schemes with shared facilities.
  • Introduced sterile communal areas policy in housing blocks.

The council’s Executive will this evening (Thursday 14 December 2023) consider a proposal to add the Housing Programme to the council’s wider Improvement and Recovery Plan. The comprehensive improvement programme will include increasing our resident engagement, creating a 30 year business plan for the Housing Revenue Account and the actions required to meet all regulatory standards.

Council housing tenants with any concerns regarding this regulatory notice, should email

Read the Regulatory Notice