Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

United Kingdom to spend £400m removing Grenfell Tower-style cladding from high-rises

United Kingdom to spend £400m removing Grenfell Tower-style cladding from high-rises

The report was prepared by former MP Terry Mackenroth, who died last month, and is expected to be tabled in state parliament by the Labor government on Thursday.

Ministers have announced they are considering a ban on flammable cladding for high-rise buildings just hours after a furious backlash over a review into the Grenfell Tower inferno.

Dame Judith said her report will call for greater clarity and tighter policing of guidance already in place, which says cladding must be made of material of limited combustibility.

Dame Judith Hackitt has called for "radical reform" of fire safety rules, saying they are not now fit for goal.

Dame Judith said her proposals will establish "a very strong and robust system which I am absolutely clear would have prevented the type of materials that were used at Grenfell Tower from getting onto the building in the first place".

"I don't know of any systems containing combustible materials that have passed that test".

"The cultural change is absolutely fundamental".

Wandsworth council has 99 blocks of 10 storeys or more - more than any borough in London - and following the Grenfell fire last June set aside £30 million of Council resources to pay for vital safety measures such as replacing cladding and installing sprinklers.

Theresa May announced on Wednesday the Government will fully fund the removal and replacement of risky cladding materials from tower blocks by councils and housing associations.

An image of burned out Grenfell Tower shows some of the cladding that had been fitted to the building
Image 71 people were killed in the Grenfell tower in June last year

The state's housing and public works minister, Mick de Brenni, has told the ABC that while it would cost millions to complete rectifications, the government could not put a price on safety.

Local London Assembly member Leonie Cooper said: "In Wandsworth we have seen the council quite rightly pay for fire wardens to be on hand 24 hours a day at both towers (Sudbury House and Castlemaine Tower) - but this has incurred cost for more than a year".

"When we met Dame Judith Hackitt we asked her for an outright ban on combustible cladding".

"Cladding is one issue".

He added: "We are consulting on significantly restricting or banning the use of desk-top studies to assess cladding systems".

Shahin Sadafi, chairman of the local campaign group Grenfell United, said the report left residents "disappointed and saddened".

"It beggars belief that the government's building safety review gives the green light to combustible materials on high-rise blocks", said John Healey, Labour's housing policy chief.

"Today we want her to look us in the eye and tell us that these risky materials will never be used again".

"Worrying that a fire like Grenfell could happen again is something that keeps many of us awake at night", Sadafi told the BBC.

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