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11 September 2020
The latest government figures show 243 high-rise residential and publicly owned buildings still carry Grenfell-style cladding systems unlikely to meet building regulations in England. Yet there are estimated to be hundreds of thousands more apartments in buildings using other combustible cladding and with other fire safety defects which pose serious questions about landlords’ commitment to preventing another national tragedy.
The Mayor of London has told social and private landlords in the capital to “accelerate” their plans to remove and replace aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding. All 51 landlords who have been contacted have had ‘funding applications approved for the government’s social and private sector ACM cladding remediation funds but have failed to begin the work to remove dangerous cladding’. Once again highlighting the ‘unacceptable’ inaction from landlords across the capital.
What’s more, ‘Andy Roe, who took over as London fire commissioner in January following severe criticism of the LFB’s culture and response to the Grenfell disaster’ also taking aim at the ‘landlords and developers of thousands of high rise blocks, which more than three years on are still wrapped in dangerous cladding or contain other fire risks.’
The London Fire Commissioner ‘said he felt able to call for faster action on the nationwide building safety crisis after initiating a retraining programme for over 1,000 incident commanders, which was put in place after the Grenfell Tower inquiry concluded the LFB’s response was “gravely inadequate” and displayed “serious deficiencies in command and control”.’
Andy Roe stated: “Take your responsibility seriously,” he said. “If you have cladding on your building, work within the framework that is there to get it off as soon as possible. This is bigger than money. This about people’s lives, their mental and physical wellbeing. You will get my absolute support as London fire commissioner to do that.”
On the topic of corporate bodies involved with the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017, Roe claimed: “They should be ashamed. Understand that 72 people lost their lives. Now is not the time to seek corporate defence, but actually give these families what they deserve which is the truth and an undertaking not to let history repeat itself.”
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