Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Combustible Cladding Used on Other High-Rises

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Combustible Cladding Used on Other High-Rises

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Editor

FLAMMABLE cladding like that thought to have contributed to the horrific Grenfell blaze has been found on seven other high-rise blocks of flats in four local authority areas in England, Downing Street has said.

Samples taken from the buildings failed tests to determine whether the cladding is combustible - but that does not mean the tower blocks are unsafe, officials have insisted.

Prime Minister Theresa May's deputy spokeswoman said: "It will be subject to further testing that is undertaken by the fire services."

Earlier, Mrs May told a sombre House of Commons that the Government had ordered tests, and told MPs: "Shortly before I came to the chamber I was informed that a number of these tests have come back as combustible."

Newcastle City Council has already confirmed that the type of cladding used on the Grenfell Tower has not been used on any the 28 high-rise blocks owned by the authority.

It is suspected the material used to clad the exterior of the west London block accelerated the spread of last week's blaze, which has killed at least 79 people.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the Government to ensure funds were available to make the high-rise structures safe.

He told the Commons this would be so councils "carry out immediate fire safety checks and install sprinklers".

"There is obviously a huge cost involved in removing and recladding blocks that are found to have flammable materials included in them," he said.

"That resources, that money, must be made available immediately because it is a huge job of work, and when the Prime Minister says that those people who are in danger must be moved out of their properties - this is a massive undertaking and a huge focus of Government resources will have to go into it."

A string of high-rise buildings across the country were said to have been found with flammable facades or were to have their cladding removed over safety fears. …

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