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DCLG orders councils to list buildings with cladding similar to Grenfell Tower

Authorities and social housing providers have this week been instructed to check if their buildings have been refurbished using Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) after the Grenfell Tower tragedy that killed at least 74 people.

This is so tests can be carried out on the cladding to ensure it is still safe for residents. Though exact reasons for the speed of the spread of the fire are unclear, it is believed that similar cladding on the outside of the Grenfell high rise was partially to blame for the exterior of the building burning up and worsening the blaze.

DCLG has stressed that though ACM cladding is not in itself dangerous, it is important that the right type of material is used to ensure tower blocks are as safe as possible for residents.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid said he hopes that by checking and testing cladding on these buildings, residents can be reassured that they are safe in their homes.

“We have asked local authorities and all providers of social housing to identify whether any buildings in their area contain cladding made of aluminium composite material (ACM) by the end of today (Monday 19 June),” he said.

“We are putting in place a rigorous, government-funded testing process for any ACM cladding identified.”

Javid also stated that housing Minister Alok Sharma had already met representatives from across the housing sector, including the Home Builders Federation, Local Government Association and the National Housing Federation, to ensure that the testing could be carried out as fast as possible by local authorities.  

“It is clear that a considerable amount of work has already been undertaken. Councils are working closely with fire and rescue services to ensure that the appropriate safety and response measures are in place and talking to their tenants to hear their concerns,” he added.

“Our priority is to reassure people that they are safe in their homes – and that is exactly what we are doing.”

Top Image: Rick Findler, PA Wire

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