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Grenfell Tower fire | Sixty high rises fail cladding test

Grenfell Tower 3x2

Sixty high-rise buildings in 25 local authorities have failed fire cladding safety tests carried out in the wake of the Grenfell blaze, the government said on Sunday evening.

The figure amounts to a 100% failure rate as all buildings that have been inspected so far have failed, the Department for Communities and Local Government said.

The number rose from 34 tower blocks in 17 local authorities as of Saturday - and hundreds more authorities have yet to be tested.

Tests are taking place on the fire resistance of cladding on up to 600 buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington on 14 June.

Councils were told to prioritise buildings they had most concern over.

The table below shows the distribution of the buildings, naming those areas where the DCLG knows that the local authority or landlord has informed affected residents that a building’s cladding has failed the test.

 Local authority areaNumber of buildings
1 Barnet 3
2 Brent 1
3 Camden 5
4 Doncaster 1
5 Hounslow 1
6 Islington 1
7 Lambeth 1
8 Manchester 4
9 Norwich 1
10 Plymouth 3
11 Portsmouth 2
12 Stockton on Tees 3
13 Sunderland 5
14 Wandsworth 2
15 - 26 In addition 11 other areas where cladding test failed 27
  Total - 25 areas 60

Local government secretary Sajid Javid said government had been working “very closely” with local authorities, housing associations, and the private sector to ensure the safety of high-rise buildings.

He said a BRE-led combustibility testing programme for buildings with Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding was running around the clock and was able to test 100 samples a day – and if needed, yet further laboratory capacity could be provided.

“The fact that all samples so far have failed the tests underlines the value of the testing programme we have set up with the Building Research Establishment to get samples checked properly in the laboratories,” said Javid, addind that it was therefore “very important” for local authorities and housing associations to continue to submit such samples as a “matter of urgency”.

Javid said local authorities were contacting fire and rescue services in their area to conduct fire safety inspections of these tower blocks to inform them about what remedial works might be required.

He said that authorities and landlords were “very sensibly” giving the highest priority to buildings with which they have most concern.

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  • BRE being privatised must have an effect on the work they carry out. It must be exceedingly difficult to operate this on a commercial basis and the work carried out pre - privatisation was exceptional and I would strongly advocate for this to be returned to public ownership where they could undertake the level of work we knew and used with much confidence on a vast range of research work.

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