Government finally agrees to pay £400000000 to remove cladding after Grenfell fire

An image of burned out Grenfell Tower shows some of the cladding that had been fitted to the building

Image 71 people were killed in the Grenfell tower in June last year

Britain could ban the use of combustible materials on high-rise buildings in response to the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 71 people last June, the housing minister said on Thursday.

'When Grenfell survivors and anxious residents in other tower blocks should have seen action, they have had to suffer painfully slow progress and broken promises.

He added: "Having listened carefully to concerns, the Government will consult on banning the use of combustible materials in cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings".

He was speaking after a government-ordered review of building regulations, published earlier, drew widespread criticism because it did not recommend an outright ban on combustible materials in tall housing blocks. David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, described the report as a "betrayal and a whitewash".

"It beggars belief that the government's building safety review gives the green light to combustible materials on high-rise blocks", said John Healey, Labour's housing policy chief.

Cladding on hundreds of tower blocks across England which was tested in the aftermath of the fire failed safety tests.

'A series of commitments made by ministers up to and including the prime minister have not been honoured'.

Dame Judith's report said radical changes are needed to fix the "broken" system of building regulations in the wake of the deadly fire.




Shahin Sadafi, chair of Grenfell United, whose family lived at Grenfell, said: "Worrying that a fire like Grenfell could happen again is something that keeps many of us awake at night".

Last year, the government offered financial flexibilities to help local authorities with vital fire safety work.

She continued: "If this had been in place prior to Grenfell, I do not believe the cladding that was put on Grenfell would have got through the system in the first place". An aluminium cladding with a combustible plastic core is thought to have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.

Enforcement powers will also be strengthened with more serious penalties for those who choose to "game the system" and place residents at risk.

However she does NOT recommend a ban on the use of flammable cladding saying it will "not address the root causes" of the issues that led to the tragedy.

Dame Judith's independent review, commissioned by the government, has been looking into regulations around the design, construction and management of buildings in relation to fire safety.

"If people feel I haven't gone far enough and for this system to work in the future requires, in addition, that there is further clarity or indeed banning of some of the materials which are now used, I don't have a problem with that", she said.

- An "outcomes-based approach" to the regulatory approach to be overseen by a new regulator.

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