Freelance journalist

Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
March 29, 2018

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CLADDING

Only seven social housing blocks of 158 have had cladding removed after failing safety tests

Only seven out of 158 social housing blocks in England with dangerous cladding have had the material completely removed, according to the latest official statistics.

Figures published yesterday by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) show while removal work has started on 103 of the social housing blocks clad with the aluminium composite material (ACM), it has only been finished on seven, nine months after the Grenfell Tower fire.

The figures also show that five more public buildings and tower blocks have identified as having the ACM material since last month, bringing the total now up to 319.

And of these 319 buildings, 306 have ACM cladding systems that are “unlikely” to meet current building regulations guidance.

The official report showed 158 of the 306 are social housing buildings, 134 are private sector residential buildings and 14 are public buildings, including hospitals and schools.

The figures also show that the number of council areas in England with at least one tower block or public building with ACM cladding has increased by two since last month to a total of 65.

Of these, 38 local authorities have at least one social housing building, and 41 contain at least one private sector building with the dangerous material.

Labour’s shadow housing secretary, John Healey, said it was “shameful” that the cladding has been fully removed on only seven social housing blocks.

“At the current rate of progress, it will take 15 years for the more than 300 housing blocks with dangerous cladding to have it removed and replaced,” added Mr Healey.

“Ministers don’t even know how many privately-owned tower blocks have yet to complete this work. This is a dereliction of Government’s duty to act. It’s simply not good enough for Ministers to pass the buck while residents live in unsafe homes.
“The Government must now act to help fund essential fire safety work in tower blocks with dangerous cladding,” added Mr Healey.

A spokesman for the MHCLG said: “Work has begun on 65% of the buildings identified with ACM cladding in the social sector.

“In the meantime, bespoke safety measures are already in place in these affected buildings to ensure residents are safe.”

This article was originally published on SHP Online

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