Post-Grenfell: Tower blocks fail cladding tests – but who will pay to change them?

The minority Tory government has admitted 111 tower blocks have failed its latest round of fireproofing tests, including 90 that are said to be under local authority or housing association management.

This represents a huge, system-wide failure of the regulatory system.

So much for the Tories’ “bonfire of regulations”!

David Cameron was very keen on a metaphorical conflagration of that kind, when he slithered into Downing Street in 2010. One cannot help but wonder how relieved he is that Grenfell happened after he had crawled out, post-EU referendum humiliation.

Now, foreign newspapers are using the expression to make fun of us.

And, of course, the cladding on buildings that have failed the test must be stripped away and replaced – it is a fire risk.

This gives rise to an obvious question:

Who bears the expense?

Logically, in each case, the cost should be borne by those who advised local authorities and housing associations to install flammable cladding – or (in cases we have seen where flammable cladding was installed despite the owners ordering flameproof materials) the companies that carried out the work.

But we don’t live in a logical society.

It is far more likely that the government – as the organisation that cut regulation to the point where this could happen – will have to foot the bill.

And that means we will pay for the mistakes of private companies. Again. As we always do, under Conservative government.

More than 100 buildings have a cladding system that has failed the latest round of government combustibility tests, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has said.

In total, 111 high-rise blocks use a combination of material that failed the second of six new tests rolled out at the recommendation of an independent expert safety panel following the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.

The tests confirmed that a cladding system using aluminium composite material (ACM) panels with a polyethylene filler, and stone wool insulation “does not meet current building regulation guidance”.

Of the affected buildings, 90 are said to be local authority or housing association-owned or managed.

(Source: Grenfell Tower: cladding system in 111 buildings fails latest round of tests)


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7 thoughts on “Post-Grenfell: Tower blocks fail cladding tests – but who will pay to change them?

  1. Brian

    This is interesting, not only from the point of view made above, but also the whole Tory philosophy of pandering to the right wing minority. Should corporate manslaughter charges be successful, it will open the door to consequential damages, ie, the bill for cladding replacement, not to mention victim compensation. The Tories will want to bury this or at least frustrate the process. How many Tory MP’s & friends have a finger in this pie? or will have for replacement? This could be the biggest expos’e of the Tories to date, lets hope those responsible are not allowed to wriggle out of this one.

  2. NMac

    Knowing the selfish, self-centred and nasty Tories, they’ll be looking to try and squeeze the money out of the poorest in society, so that they can continue to give tax cuts and rebates to the already wealthy.

  3. Barry Davies

    The thing is that the cladding was deemed to be safe, the council went for the cheapest option when they purchased the cladding, so the question should be who decided the cladding was safe and whether it was suitable for a tower of the design of Grenfell when it was installed. Heads should undoubtedly roll, but the question is whose.

  4. Archie

    Not to mention the massive bail out of the finance industry and the criminals who call themselves banksters , this was and is still being paid by all of us , it’s called AUSTERITY , a Tory misnomer for cutting the living daylights out of our society .No worries about finding 1.5 billion to buy support from the DUP no problem there tho !!
    Most corrupt Govt ever .

  5. Matt

    Camden council Labour run for example, fire regulations changed under Labour in 2006, but hey Labour can’t do no wrong

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That would be under New Labour, then. Tony Blair.
      Not quite the same as Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, you know.

  6. alan m dransfield

    What about other public buildings,schools,hospitals,libraries ,universities,colleges etc

Comments are closed.