A £1M taskforce has been set up to crack down on building owners after it emerged only four of 297 private high-rise buildings have had Grenfell-style cladding removed.
Housing secretary James Brokenshire admitted that the number of private high-rises with combustible cladding has leapt from 141 towers previously identified to 297 after local authoritiy figures were included.
Roughly 170 buildings have not yet had their cladding checked. While work has started on 21 of the 297 high-rises, just four have had combustible cladding completely removed.
To tackle the problem, a government-funded £1M inspection team comprising building control, fire and environmental health experts will help councils to push private landlords to speed up the process while protecting leaseholders from being forced to pay.
Brokenshire said: “Building owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their buildings and their residents.
“Government and local authorities will monitor and hold them to account for this where they have unsafe ACM cladding systems, the government continues to drive forward these steps as a priority, with the aim that residents are safe in their homes and that they feel safe.”
The inspection team is backed by the Local Government Association and the National Fire Chiefs Council, helping councils “enforcing remediation” of private high-rise blocks.
Work to remove dangerous cladding has already started on 70% of council-owned tower blocks, which the government has set aside £400M for.
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