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Fire Chiefs Warned Councils Over Cladding Dangers Before Grenfell Tower Fire


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Dave Raval, Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Hackney South and Shoreditch, has written to the Mayor of Hackney after it emerged that fire chiefs warned councils over cladding dangers before the Grenfell Tower fire.  

Following an investigation into a tower block fire in Shepherds Bush last year, the London Fire Brigade wrote to all local authorities to warn of the dangers of flames spreading on external cladding panels on tall buildings.

The investigation into the Shepherds Court fire was focused on the how the fire had started but in his letter, the Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly, said that filler panels on windows had been a contributory factor in the spread of the fire.
He urged all local authorities to carefully consider arrangements specifying, monitoring and approving all aspects of future replacement and improvement to building facades.
A report obtained by Inside Housing highlighted that the window panels in the Shepherds Court fire initially resisted flames but a polystyrene foam then reportedly started to melt, meaning a metal sheet could fall away and expose plywood.
This letter would have been sent to Hackney Council and all housing associations in April and May of this year, just weeks before the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.
Dave Raval commented:
 
"We need to find out what the response from Hackney Council was because this goes to the very core of why residents are angry.
 
"Clear warnings about cladding were given just weeks before the tragic Grenfell Tower fire but it seems the advice was just ignored.
 
"The way Hackney Council and the Mayor have stonewalled tough questions over the past two weeks has done little to reassure concerned residents.
 
"They deserve honest answers to what Hackney Council has been being doing to ensure their safety and what they will do to improve it going forward."
Letter to Mayor Glanville in full:

Dear Mayor Glanville,

It has come to my attention that following an investigation into a tower block fire in Shepherds Bush last year, the London Fire Brigade wrote to all local authorities to warn of the dangers of flames spreading on external cladding panels on tall buildings.
The investigation into the Shepherds Court fire was focused on the how the fire had started but in his letter, the Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly, said that filler panels on windows had been a contributory factor in the spread of the fire.
He urged all local authorities to carefully consider arrangements specifying, monitoring and approving all aspects of future replacement and improvement to building facades.
A report obtained by Inside Housing highlighted that the window panels in the Shepherds Court fire initially resisted flames but a polystyrene foam then reportedly started to melt, meaning a metal sheet could fall away and expose plywood.
This letter would have been sent to Hackney Council and all housing associations in April and May of this year, just weeks before the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.
Can you please tell me what the response from Hackney Council to this letter from the Assistant Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade was, and what steps were taken in the borough to follow his advice to ensure the safety of residents living in tower blocks?
I look forward to your response.


Yours Sincerely,
Dave Raval

 


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