Grenfell Tower: roundup 23 June
A round up of today’s developments relating to the Grenfell Tower fire and resulting investigation.
- The number of tower blocks confirmed to have flammable cladding similar to Grenfell Tower rose to 14 in nine local authority areas. Hounslow was the latest council to discover aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core, and plans to remove them from the tower where they were found.
- Wandsworth in south-west London became the latest council to announce plans to retrofit sprinklers in its tower blocks. The council plans to fit sprinklers inside each flat in 100 blocks in the borough – covering 6,400 flats in total. Darren Munro, Wandsworth borough fire commander, added: “I very much welcome this announcement. This is a big commitment from Wandsworth and we will continue to work closely with the council to make sure the borough and its residents are as safe as possible.”
- Redbridge announced plans to upgrade solid (non-composite) aluminium cladding on one of its estates as “a matter of urgency”. It is currently investigating options and the ability to install a sprinkler system and smoke alarms in communal areas across all blocks above five storeys high.
- The Metropolitan Police announced both the cladding and the insulation attached to the outside of Grenfell Tower failed fire safety tests. The cladding was aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core, while the insulation was polyisocyanurate foam, which is compliant with building regulations, according to the manufacturers.
- In a briefing note, the Department for Work and Pensions said survivors of Grenfell Tower rehoused in homes with spare bedrooms could be subject to the bedroom tax. They are likely to receive discretionary housing payment, a usually temporary top-up to make up for the benefit cut.