Council silent on use of Grenfell-style material on some towers
FIRE services and residents of some private high-rise blocks in Glasgow have not been told that the buildings are covered in combustible cladding like that on the Grenfell Tower, it was revealed yesterday.
Council chiefs were aware of the issue but did not make the information public immediately, MSPs heard.
A search has revealed that flammable cladding — similar to the material believed to have fuelled the Grenfell fire, which killed around 80 people in west London in June — had been used on an undisclosed number of properties, said Glasgow City Council assistant head of planning and building standards Raymond Barlow.
The council has only recently notified Holyrood ministers about the matter but has told neither the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service nor the tenants and owners, he added.
“We’re simply saying we’re supplying the information to Scottish ministers and then we wish to see what they wish to do with the information before we take it further,” he told members of the Scottish Parliament’s local government and communities committee.
Committee convener and MSP Bob Doris asked him: “So, combustible cladding has been found in some private properties?”
The council official responded: “Yes, it’s just not public information yet.”
Mr Doris replied: “It’s now public information because you are telling us.”
Mr Barlow said it was a “national issue” and that was why he was making it known through the ministerial working group.
Mr Doris agreed that while it was a “national issue,” the council also bore a “a direct local responsibility” to flag up potential dangers to those potentially affected.
He voiced hope that reassurances to building owners and tenants “might be able to be given speedily” and warned that the committee might want to question council officers again on the matter.
The committee convener said afterwards: “It was deeply concerning to hear a Glasgow City Council official say that combustible cladding has been found in private high-rise homes.
“People who are currently living in private high rises and who listened to this today will, of course, be worried about their safety in their homes.
“We don’t want this to cause undue alarm, as these buildings may well be safe, but people who live in these homes deserve answers.
“That’s why we’ve asked Glasgow City Council and the Scottish government to urgently provide us with more information on the extent of this issue and we will put these concerns to the minister when he appears next week.”