From daily News Line in Britain:
Friday, 6 October 2017
GLASGOW CLADDING SCANDAL
HUNDREDS of residents have received letters confirming Glasgow tower blocks have the very same combustible cladding that rapidly spread the fire in the Grenfell inferno, which claimed the lives of so many men, women and children.
Glasgow has the highest population of tower blocks in the UK, with an estimated 96 high rises due to be refurbished. Initially Glasgow City Council said that there was combustible cladding found on 57 private high rise buildings. Last month the authority said further investigations had reduced that total to 19.
Now Glasgow City Council has written to residents of three separate buildings within Glasgow Western Harbour warning them that the buildings in which they are living contain the same combustible cladding as the Grenfell Tower.
The Grenfell Tower fire occurred on 14th June, meaning that for the past three and a half months these residents have been unknowingly residing in potential fire traps. The flammable cladding: Aluminium Composite Material, known as ACM has been banned in Dubai while Australia is considering a ban on its import today.
SNP council leader Susan Aitken has apologised for not telling homeowners and tenants sooner. This, however, will come as cold comfort to those residents whose lives and the lives of their families have been put in to such serious danger.
The letters state that the developer of their properties has ‘verified that limited ACM is present on the building.’ Dated October 1st it tells residents that they should ‘seek specialist fire safety advice’.
Glasgow residents are already living in fear after reporting regular fires in their own tower blocks.
Almost every resident of Glasgow tower blocks interviewed by Scottish local paper the Sunday Herald said there had been fires in their high rises.
Earlier in the year, a tower block at 30 Kingsway in Glasgow caught alight. It is still blackened by smoke — the damage stretching up eight or more floors. One resident, who lives with her mother on the 18th floor said she could smell smoke and then spotted the fire out of the window.
She remained indoors, was not evacuated and the fire was put out but she was left shaken and in fear of her life. She said: ‘What happened in London is a disgrace. I keep thinking about those babies and wee ones. I’m left terrified and so is my mum. I want out but they won’t rehouse me.’
Monday 9th October 2017
posted by Morning Star in Britain
Local authority councillors claimed yesterday that councils are now being forced to pay for essential funding measures, including the installation of sprinklers, from their own diminishing coffers.
Nottingham City Council’s Labour councillor Jane Urquhart, responsible for housing in the borough, said the government had blocked funds for works planned on high rises as they were considered “additional rather than essential.”
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We found that really difficult to understand given that in the refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament sprinklers are considered essential, so we thought it was quite incredible that they were essential for the Houses of Parliament but not essential for residents of high rises.
“Safety must come at the top of the list and the works that we have considered will be done; the impact will be that fewer new homes will be built and our other housing will not have the repairs that it needs.”
Westminster City Council’s Labour opposition leader Adam Hug also said that the local authority is facing similar problems getting money out of Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to pay for sprinklers and removing cladding.
“Ultimately these are things that the London Fire Brigade says have to be done and ultimately the cost is having to be borne by the housing revenue account, which is tenants’ rents and service charge fees,” he said.
“Councils across the country are asking the government for the help that Sajid Javid promised and they are being told: ‘No, only in exceptional circumstances when you literally don’t have the money in any form’.”
Mr Hug said Westminster stood to lose about £20 million to pay for the work, which equates to 100 affordable homes not being built.
Shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne said: “Once again, Sajid Javid is dragging his feet to provide support to local authorities.
“The government knows its failure to review building regulations, and seven years of Tory cuts to local authorities and fire services, have created this crisis.
“Rather than learning from their mistakes, they are starving Labour councils of funds as they work to clear up this mess and keep their residents safe.”
The Department for Communities and Local Government insisted it had not declined any requests for funding but had asked local authorities for more details about their plans.
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