NEWS

Tower Block Cladding Tests See 27 Fail Fire Safety Checks, Government Confirm

'People up and down the country go to bed afraid.'

24/06/2017 12:39 | Updated 24 June 2017

Twenty seven high-rise residential blocks have failed fire safety checks due to the cladding used on them, the government has announced, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze

The towers are in 15 council areas, the government said on Saturday, hours after Camden Council evacuated 4,000 residents from the Chalcots Estate amid fire safety concerns. 

The local authorities affected include Manchester, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Hounslow, Brent and Camden.

Test results are being sent to local landlords and fire services, with councils to decide on what course of action is needed and how to inform residents, Sky News reported. 

Cladding, the broadcaster, said had been removed on two Portsmouth tower blocks after being found to be a fire risk, although local officials insisted the buildings were still safe for residents to stay in.

Camden council claimed to have been among the first local authorities to test its cladding

Barcroft Media via Getty Images
The Government has said 27 high-rise buildings in 15 council locations have failed fire safety checks because of cladding; Grenfell Tower that caught ablaze on June 14 is seen above

On Thursday it was announced that combustible cladding had been found on eleven high-rise blocks of flats in eight authority areas. Downing Street had earlier said councils had told them that cladding had been used on some 600 buildings in the UK.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid has said the Government will help local authorities with funding for any action they do take.

Javid told Sky News there would have to be a long-term review of safety regulations, stating: “That has to happen. In a country like ours, one of the richest countries in the world, in the 21st century, these kind of things absolutely should not be happening.”

Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “This is actually a national emergency. The Government needs to accept it’s a national emergency and it needs to focus on this.

“As each day has gone by since this crisis started, there seems to be less clarity. There is a collective national trauma at the moment and people up and down the country go to bed afraid.”

Meanwhile, the manufacturer of the insulation used to clad Grenfell Tower has reportedly said they will stop using the product on high-rise buildings.

Celotex, which makes the RS5000 insulation boards in the tower’s rainscreen cladding, said no building over 18m tall would be fitted with the material. 

The Grenfell Tower blaze, on June 14, resulted in at least 79 deaths. 

Camden Council on Friday evacuated around 650 flats. Eight three residents were said to have refused to leave their units.

The residents were moved amid distressing scenes to temporary accommodation after firefighters said they could no longer guarantee the safety of the buildings, council leader Georgia Gould said.

The council said it had found 270 hotel rooms for residents along with 100 places in social housing within Camden.

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