Members of the London Assembly yesterday agreed a unanimous motion calling for further urgent safeguards for residents, almost one year on from the Grenfell Tower fire.
Flammable cladding installed as part of a refurbishment of the Tower in 2016 is thought to have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.
Now Assembly members say it is “absolutely unacceptable” that Londoners still have combustible cladding on their homes. They want London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Assembly Chairman Tony Arbour AM to write to James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to reconsider the use of combustible and limited combustibility cladding and insulation on high-rise residential blocks, schools and hospitals.
The full motion is: “This Assembly notes that 14 June will mark the anniversary of the disastrous fire at Grenfell Tower. Whilst investigations into urgent and essential regulatory reform continue, Londoners are still living in homes at risk of fire because they are clad in a similar ‘highly combustible’ material as Grenfell Tower.
“This Assembly commends the cross-party list of MPs who wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government calling for urgent action to keep residents safe. We welcome the Prime Minister Theresa May’s ensuing announcement that ‘the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding by councils and housing associations’.
“We call on the on the Mayor and Chairman of the Assembly to add their support by writing to the Secretary of State to urge them to:
• reconsider the use of combustible and limited combustibility cladding and insulation on high-rise residential blocks, schools and hospitals
• ensure that dangerous cladding is removed and replaced where it already exists on all buildings whether council, housing association or private
• ensure that there will be no cap on the full funding provided by Government for the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding by councils and housing associations
• end the use of ‘desktop studies’ that award fire safety certificates without a basis in rigorous testing
• enact the policy recommendations of the London Assembly report Never Again: Sprinklers as the next step in fire safety.”
Tom Copley AM (pictured) who proposed the motion, said: “With the anniversary of the disastrous fire at Grenfell Tower approaching, Londoners must be given unambiguous assurances that stringent action is being taken to ensure that it can never be allowed to happen again.
“However, one year on, it is extremely concerning to see that a significant number of Londoners are still exposed to the risks and dangers of highly combustible cladding in their homes. This is absolutely unacceptable.
“Grenfell has left an indelible mark on our city, and we need to ensure that no such disaster is ever repeated. This is why I am calling upon the Mayor, and the Chairman of the London Assembly, to write to the government to suggest a number of measures that will prevent the future use of combustible cladding and stretch the scope of their policies to protect private tenants.
“I have also urged them to hold the government to their promise of fully funding the removal of dangerous cladding and insulation from council and housing association properties, without the possibility of a cap.”