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June 24 2017

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June 23 2017

Salford council to remove cladding from nine tower blocks

Cladding on nine tower blocks in Salford must be removed following safety concerns raised after the Grenfell Tower fire because it is the “right and moral thing to do”, the city’s mayor said on Friday.

Salford was taking “immediate steps” to address safety concerns, he said, with residents in the recently refurbished buildings told that the aluminium composite material (ACM) would be taken down.

Tests are continuing into whether the ACM cladding on the nine social housing blocks in Pendleton contains the same flammable material as Grenfell Tower, but the city took the pre-emptive decision to remove the cladding, said Paul Dennett, Salford’s mayor.

“The disaster in Grenfell Tower has raised questions about the safety of tower blocks nationally,” he said. “Government tests are under way, but it is already clear that the aluminium composite cladding on our blocks must be removed and we are pressing ahead with our plans. We take the safety of our residents very seriously and are taking immediate steps. Replacing the cladding is a complex operation, and Pendleton Together [which manages the blocks on behalf of the council] will identify contractors to begin the job.

“Additional fire safety measures have also been put in place by Pendleton Together.”

Dennett said removing the cladding was the “right and moral thing to do”. He added: “There will be no waiting around in Salford whilst there are any questions about the safety of our residents.” 

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Cladding panels from 14 tower blocks in nine local authorities have failed urgent fire safety tests being carried out after the Grenfell Tower blaze, raising concerns for the safety of thousands of residents.

Councils announced plans to rip down cladding on buildings in Salford, Portsmouth and two London boroughs, Islington and Hounslow, as a precautionary measure. The emergency steps were taken as thousands of local authority tenants were warned that their homes were enveloped in potentially flammable materials.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said on Friday that buildings in Plymouth, Manchester, Hounslow and Camden had failed fire safety tests carried out at the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

The government has refrained from naming five other councils where buildings have failed fire tests while landlords and residents are informed, but Portsmouth confirmed that it was among them. 

Fears for residents as cladding on 14 tower blocks fails fire tests | UK news | The Guardian

Two Shelter board members quit after Grenfell Tower fire

Chairman Sir Derek Myers and trustee Tony Rice resign amid internal disquiet over charity’s response to disaster

Two board members of the housing charity Shelter, including its chairman Sir Derek Myers, have resigned amid reports of internal disquiet over the organisation’s allegedly muted response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Myers is a former chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council, which owns Grenfell Tower, while trustee Tony Rice is chairman of Xerxes Equity, the sole shareholder in Omnis Exteriors – the company that sold the cladding used in the tower. 

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Detectives say building’s insulation and cladding tiles failed fire safety tests and they are establishing if use was illegal

Grenfell Tower fire: police considering manslaughter charges | UK news | The Guardian

Five London tower blocks evacuated over cladding safety fears

Residents of 800 homes moved out for up to four weeks after inspection by fire brigade following Grenfell Tower fire

June 22 2017

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