Posted: Tue 27th Jun 2017

No testing needed on Flint Heights cladding says council chief

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jun 27th, 2017

Cladding on three Flintshire council owned high-rise properties, Castle Heights, Bolingbroke Heights and Richard Heights does not contain the same materials as that which caught fire at Grenfell Tower a council chief has said.

Clare Budden, Flintshire County Council’s Chief Officer Community and Enterprise said cladding installed on the two 14 storey and one 17 storey concrete tower blocks in Flint does not require testing as it doesn’t contain aluminium composite material (ACM)

The UK Government has put in place a combustibility testing programme for cladding containing aluminium composite material, a core component in the Grenfell Tower cladding system.

Experts believe ACM was a key contributing factor in the rapid spread of the devasting fire on June 14 which killed 79 and injured over 70 at the North Kensington tower block.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) asked councils in England to cut samples of at least 25cm x 25cm from the cladding of towers and send them to the Building Research Establishment (BRE) at Watford for testing.

To date, 95 samples have been sent to BRE by councils, all have been found to be combustible.

Wales has 36 high-rise blocks, the Welsh Government has asked all social landlords to test cladding on towers to see if it contains materials similar to that used at Grenfell Tower.

Last week the Welsh Government Communities secretary Carl Sargeant said he’d been told by social landlords that none of the 36 tower blocks across Wales contain materials similar to those used at Grenfell.

However, It’s emerged today that two areas have ACM in place, one hasn’t been disclosed according to the BBC, while cladding from seven tower blocks in Swansea has now been sent to BRE for further testing.

Flintshire County Council say they have contacted tenants with cladding and insulation fitted to properties in a bid to reassure them that the materials used are safe and fit for purpose.

Clare Budden, Chief Officer Community and Enterprise said;

All local authorities in Wales have also been requested by the Welsh Government to test any council-owned homes that may contain Aluminium Cassette Material (ACM) in line with recent tests completed in England with the BRE.

Flintshire County Council have no homes with any ACM attached to the properties and no testing is required.

It’s not just those in Flintshire living in high-rise blocks raising concerns around cladding, one Connah’s Quay resident who’s council owned home has external cladding installed carried out a ‘fire safety’ test on some insulation type material from his home.

In a video sent to Deeside.com the tenant is seen lighting a piece of insulation with a cigarette lighter.

Clare Budden said she was aware that members of the public have been completing their own ‘fire safety tests’ to insulation materials and “would strongly discourage this.”

“If tenants have any concerns about their properties they should contact the Council’s Housing Service or the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service for appropriate advice and guidance.” she said.

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