Labour warning as post-Grenfell review 'set to avoid calling for ban' on flammable cladding

Posted On: 
17th May 2018

Labour has piled pressure on the Government after it emerged a review set up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy is set to avoid proposing a ban on flammable cladding.

The Grenfell blaze in June 2017
PA Images

Dame Judith Hackitt was commissioned by the Government to have a re-think of building regulations after the devastating blaze last June claimed 71 lives.

But according to reports she will call for a new system to manage building safety rather than recommend an outright ban on the flammable cladding that helped the Grenfell blaze spread so quickly.

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Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said without a ban on combustible cladding the report would fall “well short” of the necessary steps to boost fire safety.

"The bare minimum of big changes in the system must be an end to any combustible material on the sides of high rise tower blocks,” he said.

And he demanded an end to so-called ‘desktop studies’ of fire safety - whereby surveyors model how certain materials will work together based on previous on-site tests.

The report will however recommend new measures such as holding developers and building managers responsible for fire safety and creating a new watchdog, according to Sky News and the BBC.

It will slam planning, building and management flaws which Dame Judith will argue are putting lives at risk.

It comes after Theresa May announced the Government would provide the cash for all council and housing association tower blocks wrapped in flammable cladding to be overhauled.

The Prime Minister said the Treasury will fund replacement building materials for some 158 high rises to the tune of £400m.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that survivors of the west London blaze will still be living in emergency accommodation a year on from the tragedy - despite government promises.

Out of some 210 household affected, 201 had accepted offers of permanent or temporary accommodation, Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said.