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Housing : Social Tenants / BTL & HB Problems / Shortages / Grenfell Tower Fallout - Page 31 - Carers UK Forum

Housing : Social Tenants / BTL & HB Problems / Shortages / Grenfell Tower Fallout

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
316 posts
I live in a block of flats that is a fire risk and can't sell or remortgage until the housing authority sorts it out, but how long will I have to wait ?



I am a shared ownership resident in a London block of flats who recently tried to staircase my mortgage from 40 to 60 per cent.

I had to pay £300 for a surveyor approved by my housing authority to come and value the flat.

However, when it came to apply for a new mortgage, the lender was worried about my balcony - saying it might be made out of flammable materials.

They said they needed the owner of my block of flats to come and assess whether it conformed to government regulations.

However, my housing authority couldn't tell me when they would be able to do this.

I have now fallen onto my lender's standard variable rate and I'm paying £200 more a month on my mortgage than I would be otherwise.

I'm unable to staircase, and I'm unable to sell my home. It's made me feel utterly stuck and helpless.

What can I do ?

- Reader, via email


Will Kirkman of This is Money replies: You are in a tough situation and unfortunately there are many others out there in similar shoes to yours.

In fact, there may be as many as 600,000 people stuck in unsalable or unmortgagable flats due to potentially dangerous cladding or flammable materials, according to analysis by the Labour party.

After the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the government set new fire safety standards for buildings over 18 metres, catching many blocks of flats.

It sent out advice to all organisations that own or are responsible for these buildings on how to meet these new standards.

However, many of the 11,000 buildings in question were built to old standards, meaning extensive and invasive surveys sometimes need to be carried out to make sure they are up to scratch.

Those deemed unsafe may need costly work done to bring them up to standards. In some cases, it's the residents who are being made to foot this bill.

In the meantime, residents trying to remortgage or staircase in these buildings are faced with lenders asking for confirmation that their building complies with the new government rules.

And if the organisations responsible for the buildings haven't yet made sure they do, the residents are being turned away for mortgage finance.

This is exactly what's happened to you. In your case, the building owner is the local housing authority, Notting Hill Genesis.

This is Money contacted Notting Hill Genesis to see if they could provide a concrete date of when your property will be reviewed.

A spokesman for the group said: 'We are aware of the difficulties many residents across the country are facing when trying to secure mortgage finance while living in blocks over 18 metres and/or those with balconies.

'This is an issue affecting all building owners, private and public, and we are working closely with other housing associations to try and resolve these lender issues as quickly as possible.'

He added: 'Together we are in dialogue with regional and national government about the Ministry of Housing advice notes and the impact they are having on residents and are seeking a transitional arrangement that will support normal lending while the requirements are met.

'We are currently investigating more than 100 buildings subject to advice notes in order to prioritise them by technical risk and begin to carry out invasive surveys, if required.

'Unfortunately, the time this will take, alongside the huge demand on expert advisers who are able to provide certificates of compliance, means it is difficult to know when we will be able to issue certificates to a particular building.

'We are taking all necessary steps to ensure our buildings and residents are safe, that government recognises the challenges our sector is facing and that this work is carried out as quickly as possible.'

In the meantime, the group has extended your valuation by three months to April - though there is no guarantee your flat will be reviewed before then.

The group also waived a fee that would see you pay £180 or the housing association's solicitor's fees for pulling out of staircasing, in light of the fact that you didn't go through with it only because the group had not yet carried out the review.

You've said that in the meantime you plan to go back to your existing lender and ask to remortgage onto the same terms as you were on before.

It's frustrating that you aren't able to staircase up to 40 per cent at this time, but in theory you should be able to do so by twice as much next time you come to remortgage.

Unfortunately, until your building is reviewed and rectified if needs be, there is little you can do but wait.

We asked Paula Higgins of Homeowners Alliance for her advice.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of Homeowner's Alliance, replies: Unfortunately this is not uncommon and it's a terrible situation to be in.

You're stuck between a rock and a hard place and no one is taking responsibility.

Ultimately you are the one that loses. Government needs to step in and sort this mess out as you are not alone.

Hundreds of thousands of people are not only living in unsalable flats but they are also mortgage prisoners unable to remortgage.

In the interim, you could complain about your housing association to the Housing Ombudsman, arguing that you should be refunded your £300 fee as it is your housing association that has put the break on your staircasing request because they are unable to fulfil the requirement of the lender to provide the certificate of compliance.
More than 13,500 affordable homes " Lost " due to law allowing developers to dodge planning permission.

Councils call for rule to be scrapped because it is leading to " Alarming " omissions.



More than 13,500 affordable homes could have been lost across England over the past four years because of rules allowing developers to dodge planning permission, council leaders have warned.

Without local authority oversight, house-builders have been putting up larger homes, which are more profitable, it’s claimed.

Legislation known as the permitted development right, which allows offices to be converted into housing without planning permission, is leading to an “alarming” loss of “desperately needed” affordable housing, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).​

Councils insist that between 25 per cent and 40 per cent of new dwellings in any development should be affordable.

But an analysis of figures by the organisation shows that since 2015, 54,162 new homes were converted from offices under permitted development in England, amounting to almost half of all new housing in some parts of the country. The LGA estimates this has potentially led to the loss of 13,540 affordable homes.

Council leaders called for the rule to be scrapped, saying it was also preventing them from being able to ensure developers met high standards and ensure supporting infrastructure such as roads, schools and health services were in place.

While the total conversions amount to 6 per cent of all new homes nationally, in some areas a significantly high proportion of new housing is office-to-residential conversions.

Last year (2018-19), more than half (51 per cent) of all new homes in Harlow were office conversions, with 48 per cent in Norwich and 43 per cent in Three Rivers, Hertfordshire.

Over a third of new housing in Spelthorne in Surrey (39 per cent) and Slough (35 per cent) were also converted from offices.

Cllr David Renard, the association’s housing spokesman, expressed “serious concern” over the high numbers of homes being converted from offices without planning permission, adding: “Permitted development rules are resulting in the alarming potential loss of thousands of desperately needed affordable homes.

”Planning is not a barrier to house-building, with councils approving nine in 10 planning applications. It is vital that councils and local communities have a voice in the planning process and are able to oversee all local developments.

“By scrapping permitted development rules, the government can give councils and local communities the ability to shape the area they live in and ensure homes are built to high standards, with the necessary infrastructure in place.”

The LGA estimate was based on there being a 25 per cent affordable housing requirement.

The warning comes amid a backdrop of rising homelessness, with a household now found to be without a home every four minutes and 25,130 families with children found to be homeless within three months last year.

The number of children living in temporary accommodation, meanwhile, hit a 13-year high, with councils now forced to spend around £93.3m on B&Bs, hostels and council-owned properties for homeless households – up from £10.6m in 2009-10.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Since 2010 we have delivered over 464,000 new affordable homes, and we have abolished the council borrowing cap so they can build even more social housing.

“We are committed to delivering a million new homes by the end of this parliament, and permitted development rights are playing an important part in making our ambitious commitment a reality.”
Slum landlord is fined £1,500 for cramming 30 desperate tenants into a crumbling former care home where drains overflowed with sewage and they all shared one kitchen.

Desperate residents were packed into the Grade II listed site in Colchester, Essex.

Shockingly one room in the property even had bins labelled " Clinical waste. "

The residents were exploited by Camelot Guardian Management Company.


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They were exploited by Camelot Guardian Management Company as part of a property guardianship scheme - where people live in empty commercial buildings for reduced rents.

The firm also ignored residents pleas for repairs and did not fix a faulty fire alarm system, sealed doors, blocked toilets, and bathrooms with no hot water.

Drains were overflowing with sewage and the floors were peeling at the property in Colchester

After repeated calls to the firm about the Old Rectory outraged residents went to Colchester Borough Council and it emerged the company did not have a House in Multiple Occupation licence.

When the breaches were uncovered in January 2018 the tenants were evicted and forced to find a new home as a prosecution was launched.

Camelot was found guilty of 15 offences relating to the licence and the dangerous condition in March.

But the company has since gone into administration and escaped with minimal fines for what officials dubbed 'serious' offences.

They are now trading under a new name, Watchtower Security Solutions, also known as Watchtower Property Management, with the same company director.

On Friday District Judge Barron had no alternative but to issue a nominal fine of £1,500 - £100 for each of the 15 offences - and ordered the company to pay the council's full costs of just under £10,000.

University research assistant Nicola Gillin , 34, lived in the property for several months and slammed the sentence.

She said: 'It is rubbish, it is not a deterrent at all, but it is what these companies do - it is an absolute scam.
Boris Johnson's pick to help lead Grenfell inquiry linked to cladding firm.

Exclusive : Survivors and bereaved call Benita Mehra appointment " A slap in the face. "


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/202 ... dding-firm

Boris Johnson appointed a key figure to the Grenfell Tower inquiry who has links to the company which made the cladding blamed for accelerating the fatal fire, the Guardian can reveal.

Last month, the prime minister picked Benita Mehra, an engineer, to assist Sir Martin Moore-Bick, a retired judge who is leading the inquiry into the disaster that claimed 72 lives. Mehra previously ran an organisation that received a £71,000 grant from the charitable arm of Arconic, the US conglomerate that made the aluminium composite cladding panels used on Grenfell.

The inquiry has already found that Arconic’s polyethelyne-filled panels were “the principal reason why the flames spread so rapidly up the building”. The Arconic Foundation’s board of directors includes several senior Arconic executives and its stated goal is to support the company’s mission by making grants in countries where it trades.


Survivors and the bereaved said the grant created a clear conflict of interest and described Mehra’s appointment as “a slap in the face” for their hopes of justice. Grenfell United is calling for Mehra to stand down before hearings restart on 27 January with an examination of how the Arconic cladding panels were chosen, their safety testing, marketing and promotion. Mehra is one of two experts selected to help Moore-Bick preside over at least 18 months of hearings into the events leading up to the fire.

“How can she sit next to Sir Martin Moore-Bick when Arconic will be on the stand and is one of the organisations we need answers from in terms of what caused the deaths of our loved ones?” asked Karim Mussilhy, the vice-chair of the survivors and bereaved group GU. “Her society has been supported by Arconic. She will look at it from the perspective of Arconic doing good things for the industry, that they are a great organisation. Her perspective will be affected.”

The Arconic Foundation grant was awarded to the Women’s Engineering Society charity, which Mehra chaired from 2015 and 2018. She helped draft the application and the funds arrived three months after Grenfell in 2017, the charity confirmed. It was the largest grant received that year. Mehra remains a trustee.

The link is particularly sensitive because anger is running high among many survivors at the role played by manufacturers of the combustible cladding and insulation materials used to reclad the tower during its 2016 refurbishment. The families of 69 victims and 177 survivors are separately suing Arconic and other materials manufacturers in the US courts for wrongful death. It has argued any litigation should take place in the UK. The UK government has also banned the use of such panels on high-rise residential buildings.


A spokesperson for the inquiry said it was “confident that Benita Mehra’s former presidency of the Women’s Engineering Society does not affect her impartiality as a panel member”.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said there were “robust processes … [to ensure] any potential conflicts of interest are properly considered and managed”.

“The Arconic Foundation donated to a specific scheme which provides mentoring for women in engineering and is unrelated to the issues being considered by the inquiry,” they said.

The inquiry concluded in October that Arconic’s panels were the main cause of the spread of fire that engulfed the full height of the 24-storey tower in less that 30 minutes on 14 June 2017. Moore-Bick said the panels “melted and acted as a source of fuel for the growing fire”.

“We will be absolutely furious if she is on the platform and it would be morally wrong to keep this person there,” said Mussilhy. “The report from the first phase of the inquiry restored a little bit of confidence. This has taken us ten steps backwards.”

Mehra’s appointment was quietly announced by Downing Street just before Christmas on 23 December, in a move suspected by some of the bereaved and survivors to have been an attempt to avoid public scrutiny and possible legal challenge. Johnson said at the time that Cabinet Office officials had conducted due diligence about Mehra’s appointment, “which has not identified any concerns”.

He told Moore-Bick in a letter: “The [Inquiries] Act is also clear that I must not appoint… a person who has a close association with an interested party unless those links could not reasonably be regarded as affecting the impartiality of the inquiry panel.”

He said: “Ms Mehra has confirmed that she is not aware of any conflict of interest.”

Mehra was a late replacement for Prof Nabeel Hamdi, an expert in housing and planning issues who survivors hoped could better understand the tensions between the council landlord and the tenants that preceded the disaster than Moore-Bick, whose expertise is in construction contracts. Johnson provided no explanation for the move apart from saying Hamdi “was unable to proceed with the appointment”. The Cabinet Office said this week that Hamdi had reflected on the commitment required and decided to withdraw.

Concerned that Mehra lacked his expertise in community relations, Grenfell United decided to investigate her background and found details of the Arconic Foundation’s grant in the annual report and accounts of the Women’s Engineering Society.

The inquiry panel was only introduced by Theresa May after months of pressure from survivors backed by the musician Stormzy to appoint people who understand “the culture at the heart of how people living in social housing are treated”.

A spokesperson for Arconic said the foundation was an independently endowed and managed foundation, with a core goal to advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and training worldwide and create access to these fields for girls and women internationally.

“The grant we awarded in 2017 to this particular UK association was purely on this basis,” they said.
Scores of tower blocks with Grenfell-style cladding have no plan in place to remove it, figures show

Two and a half years on from fatal Kensington blaze, more than 21,000 households still living in flats wrapped in flammable cladding that allowed fire to rapidly spread


Image


Two and a half years after the fatal blaze in Kensington, government data reveals that more than 21,000 households are still living in flats wrapped in the Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding that allowed the flames to spread so rapidly in the early hours of 14 June 2017.

The figures, published on Thursday, show that of 450 high-rise residential buildings in England found to have the combustible cladding, 315 are yet to undergo works to remove it, with 76 of these not having any plans in place to do so.

Labour’s shadow housing minister, Sarah Jones, said the fact that tens of thousands of people were still going to sleep in flammable buildings was “shameful”, adding: “With deadly tower blocks still being discovered two and a half years after Grenfell, there are serious questions about the government’s ability and willingness to fix this crisis.”

Grenfell Tower was consumed by flames after a blaze broke out in the kitchen of a fourth-floor flat, killing 72 people.

In response to the fire, the government banned the installation of combustible materials including ACM cladding in high-rise residential buildings, but the ban does not apply retrospectively to buildings that already have the panels fitted.

The process of identifying these blocks is still ongoing, with 24 private sector residential buildings awaiting confirmation of their cladding status.

All local authority housing identified as having ACM cladding – of which there were 46 owned by 15 councils – have now been remediated, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

Lord Porter, building safety spokesman for the LGA, said that while councils had acted "swiftly", some private landlords had shown a "lack of urgency" to identify which buildings have cladding systems that have failed fire safety tests and taken steps to make them safe.

In July, the then-housing minister James Brokenshire said all private sector buildings with ACM cladding would be fixed by June 2020, a pledge branded “irresponsible and unrealistic” by London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Housing expert Stuart Hodkinson said the government's response to the Grenfell tragedy had been "too slow, too narrow, too hands-off, and too many vested interests involved".

He said private building owners without remediation plans were "putting profit before resident safety and well-being" and called on ministers to take over the buildings' management immediately, resource the remediation and work out liability afterwards.

"But these numbers of dangerous buildings only scratch the surface: the problem extends way beyond ACM cladding on residential buildings over 18 metres. We need a national emergency declaring now. It is that serious and urgent," Mr Hodgkinson added.

Responding to the figures, Grenfell United, the survivors’ and bereaved families’ group, said: “Over two and half years later, it’s obvious that the government have no intention of making people safe and are continuously dragging their feet on the matter.

“It’s only a matter of time before another tragedy happens, and the blame will lie solely at the government’s door.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government said: “Residents’ safety remains our utmost priority and it is completely unacceptable that people are having to live in buildings with unsafe ACM cladding.

“We have written to building owners to reiterate their responsibility in keeping residents’ safe and we will not hesitate to name and shame those who do not have a clear plan to safeguard their residents.”
Ministers accused of " Blighting " children’s lives with slum homes in rented sector.

Shadow housing minister John Healey condemns government rejection of landlord licensing schemes in cities like Liverpool.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/p ... 89316.html

An extract :

Boris Johnson promised a Renters’ Reform Bill to drive out rogue landlords in last month’s Queen’s Speech, and housing secretary Robert Jenrick later announced 100 councils across England would share £4m to tackle the problem of inadequate or unsafe homes in the private rented sector.

But shadow housing secretary John Healey said ministers are making it more difficult for councils to deal with the problem by vetoing or restricting a series of local landlord licensing schemes drawn up by Labour authorities to drive standards up.

Most recently, Liverpool City Council was told last week that it could not continue with its licensing scheme, which had resulted in 37,000 compliance actions, more than 2,500 improvement notices and the prosecution of 250 landlords since its introduction in 2015.

Mr Healey said Labour’s analysis of figures from the English Housing Survey (EHS) shows that one in four children in private rented homes live in properties classed as “non-decent” because they are not in a reasonable state of repair, do not have reasonably modern facilities and services, or have ineffective insulation or heating.

An independent review published last year quoted reports from housing inspectors of “appalling” conditions, including inadequate heating, defective or absent lighting, staircases without bannisters, rat infestations and tenants who were afraid to go to sleep because their front doors would not lock.

Mr Healey said the problem was not confined to overcrowded areas of London where housing is in great demand, but was also affecting areas in the midlands and north of England, where Conservatives took a rash of seats from Labour in the December election.
This article will resonate with anyone familiar with Harlow in Essex :


Warnings of " Ghettos " over rate of office-to-flat conversions in Norwich.

Norwich has one of the country's highest number of office-to-flat conversions under planning laws which say developers don't need council permission, figures show.

https://www.greatyarmouthmercury.co.uk/ ... -1-6473387

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Last year, 438 properties in the city were converted from office to residential use, data gathered by the Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed.

And figures for the county show the rest of Norfolk miles behind - with just nine office properties converted to residential use in Great Yarmouth in 2018-19 and none in any other council areas.

Figures for 2017-18 saw 69 properties converted from offices to flats in Norwich, one in Broadland and one in Breckland.

While 161 conversions took place in Norwich in 2016-17, and 19 in 2015-16, with none anywhere else in the county in either year.

Planning laws known as permitted development rules mean owners wanting to convert their properties into homes from offices do not have to submit planning applications to the local authority - meaning they are not subject to council's affordable housing quotas.

Karen Davis, Labour councillor, said she would like to see Norwich city council introduce an Article 4 directive - which would clamp down on permitted development.

But she said many of the office conversions in Norwich were being used as accommodation for university students, and said: "These places are expensive. They are not affordable for students."

he added: "What I don't want to see is really poor quality flats in old offices.

"They have done it in Harlow where the conversions are so appalling that they have created dangerous ghettos - I don't want that to happen here."

Nationally, the LGA calculated that of 54,000 new homes built since 2015, more than 13,5000 affordable homes could have 
been lost under permitted development

Office conversions amounting to 6pc of all new homes nationally and 48pc in Norwich.

David Renard, housing spokesman for the LGA, said there were "serious concerns" over the issue of permitted development.

He added: "The rules result in the alarming potential loss of thousands of desperately-needed affordable homes.

"Planning is not a barrier to house-building, with councils approving nine in 10 applications.

"It is vital that councils and local communities have a voice 
in the planning process and are able to oversee all local developments."
Grenfell : owners of blocks with dangerous cladding to be named.

Government will next month start naming those responsible for buildings where works have not yet begun.



https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/202 ... o-be-named



14 June 2017 ... the date of the disaster.
Serious design flaws in many housing estates, report claims.

New developments lack basic amenities such as shops and playgrounds.


https://www.theguardian.com/society/202 ... rt-reveals

UK garden size diminishing.

Concerns raised over reduction in garden sizes.


What a surprise ?

Many of these " Rabbit hutch " modern developments have what they call " Family gardens. "

( Ignore the actual house with it's 100+ faults for the moment. )

Enough space for 3 / 4 even 5 wheelie bins and room for a garden chair.

Sitting in said chair and one might be able to touch all 3 fences and the back wall ?

Make a hole in fence and shake hands with the next door neighbour ... both relaxing in their garden chairs during the couple of hours the sun actually reaches them ?

Oh yes , car essential ... nearest shop / playground might be a couple of miles away ?

Even worse ?

Local pub and bookmaker some 3+ miles away !

Image

Why British housebuilders are making such juicy profits ?

Operating margins are roughly twice what they are in America.

New UK housing " Dominated by roads. "

Planners and engineers have been rapped for allowing new housing developments to be dominated by roads.
Homes in London high-rises left " Wet and cold " after cladding removed.

Residents of two blocks near Grenfell say extra heating bills mean they cannot afford food.


That Unholy Trinity again ... eat / HEAT / roof.

Hundreds of residents living in high-rise blocks close to Grenfell Tower say the stripping of flammable cladding has left their homes wet and cold and has forced them to choose between paying extra to heat their properties or eating.

Residents of Adair and Hazlewood towers, two 14-storey blocks containing 156 one- and two-bedroom flats, were informed by Kensington and Chelsea council in November 2018 that work to replace the insulation render on the outside of their blocks needed to be carried out urgently. Council chiefs told them the cladding on the two tower blocks was a “substantial” fire hazard.

While the insulation materials – known as EPS (expanded polystyrene) – are not the same as those used on Grenfell Tower, they are also deemed a fire risk.

Many residents have complained to Kensington and Chelsea council about problems with water, damp and condensation since the cladding was stripped off.

One resident, Darren Turner, said: “We’ve got pools of water in our flats as well as damp and condensation that were not there before the cladding was removed.

“The council has installed heaters but they have made little if any difference. All of our heating bills have gone through the roof. The wet conditions are very bad for people like me who suffer from asthma.” He said many residents were unable to afford the increased heating bills and had been left freezing in their homes.

Carolyn Zara, a mother of three children aged three, 10 and 12, said her family had been plagued by green and black mould, wet walls and freezing conditions.

“Before the council removed the cladding I had never had any of these problems in my flat and I’ve lived here since 2010,” she said. “My heating bills have increased from £36 per month to £86 per month since the cladding was removed. It’s been a complete nightmare.”

She said the wall in her flat that faces Grenfell Tower is where she has had the biggest issues with damp and mould. “My flat has been redecorated because of all the problems. The work was finished last Thursday but already I can see the wetness coming back. I’m having to keep my windows open but it’s so cold at the moment.”

Turner said: “The removal of the cladding has left the building like a sponge … It just soaks up all the water. It’s like going outside in the rain without a coat on. Some residents have been left with a choice between heating or eating as they cannot afford the cost of both food and the increased fuel bills.”

Kensington and Chelsea council told the Guardian it was not planning to install new cladding to insulate the blocks until July

Another resident, Sue Duggins, said many residents were having problems in their homes after the council removed the flammable cladding from the blocks and that Hazlewood has been worse affected than Adair.

“The council should have pre-empted the problems that have occurred after they removed the cladding,” she said.

The Grenfell inquiry hearings will resume on Monday with a focus on the selection of cladding panels, their fire testing, marketing and promotion.

A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea council said not every case of damp in the two blocks was attributable to the removal of cladding.

“Safety is our number one priority and we removed insulation on Hazlewood and Adair towers to ensure the highest levels of fire safety in our housing. We have listened to our residents’ concerns about damp and cold and have knocked on the doors of all properties to individually assess residents’ needs. We have enhanced the heating capacity to the blocks and have provided a tailored response to individual concerns.”

Residents have also expressed concern that the basement of Hazlewood Tower has been leased to a company and large quantities of alcohol are stored there.

They say it is insensitive to store so much flammable material in the block after the Grenfell disaster.

The council spokesman said: “A company based on the ground floor of Hazlewood Tower stores bottles of vodka in sealed containers, on metal racks in a well-ventilated, locked room with a concrete floor and no nearby ignition source. The vodka is a maximum of 40% alcohol by volume, which is not flammable at room temperature. The shop and associated store are fully compartmented from residential areas and a small premises fire risk assessment on 31 January 2019 concluded that there are suitable control measures in place for any fire hazards.”

Turner said: “We are struggling to understand how the council can store all these flammable liquids in our block after everything we have experienced as a community due to the Grenfell fire.”

He said that as well as living in fear of the alcohol igniting and causing a fire in the block residents are concerned about the damage the cold and wetness is causing to their homes because of the removal of the cladding.

The cladding on the two blocks, which were built in 1958, was installed in 1992 and 1993. The council decided that following the Grenfell fire the removal of the cladding was so urgent that it waived tendering requirements.
316 posts