Two Salford housing associations are to halt the removal of cladding from its Salford tower blocks because it says the government’s safety advice “is unclear”
Salix Homes and City West Housing Trust have both stopped work despite samples failing government fire safety tests.
Sue Sutton, executive director of operations at Salix Homes, said: “Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy three weeks ago, Salix Homes has moved quickly to reassure residents living in our high rise blocks across Salford.
“The safety of our residents remains our utmost priority and we are working very closely with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service to ensure the safety of people living in our tower blocks, and to act upon Government advice and recommendations.
“Salix Homes has supported the Government testing programme, which found that eight of our tower blocks had Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding deemed non-compliant.
“The affected blocks are Arthur Millwood and Canon Hussey Courts, Mulberry, Magnolia and Sycamore Courts, Newbank and Riverbank Towers and Blackfriar Court.
“All of these blocks are only partially cladded and five of these blocks (Mulberry, Magnolia and Sycamore Courts and Riverbank and Newbank Towers) were identified as having a lower risk than many other samples tested across the country.
“The cladding systems in place on all these blocks met all fire safety and building regulations when they were installed.
“Investigatory work began last week to remove cladding from our affected blocks, which has been temporarily replaced with aluminium panels to protect the building and ensure it remains watertight.
“However, advice regarding the removal of cladding is now unclear and there is conflicting information about the need to remove the panels. In line with other housing providers in Salford and across the country, we’ve now halted the removal of further cladding where this work has started until we have clearer guidance from the authorities on the best and safest solution to replace the affected cladding.
“As an additional precautionary measure, we have increased our existing 24/7, CCTV security and response service by providing extra patrols on all blocks with cladding systems and strengthened safety arrangements. We are also beginning the next stage of our Safety Enhancement Work to ensure our blocks meet the highest safety standards.
“We’d like to thank residents for their patience at this time, and we will be issuing regular newsletters and updates to all residents to keep them fully aware of the progress of this work.