Detailed Glasgow high rise cladding information expected by Friday

Image of the Grenfell Tower fire courtesy of Natalie Oxford via Twitter
Image of the Grenfell Tower fire courtesy of Natalie Oxford via Twitter

Glasgow City Council has been criticised in the Scottish Parliament, after it emerged that the extent of the combustible cladding used in the city should be known by Friday.

Last week, it emerged that 57 privately-owned high buildings could have cladding similar to that on Grenfell Tower, though it is understood that the total number of flats affected is likely to be in the low hundreds.

But the findings were not made public as not enough information was given to provide enough clarity to ministers, the fire service and any potential residents.

MSPs said the local authority hadn’t been “sufficiently clear” about materials on the blocks, with housing minister Kevin Stewart describing the secrecy as “unacceptable”.

Staff from the Scottish Government were now working alongside council officials to provide the necessary information, the minister added.

Giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament local government committee on Wednesday, Kevin Stewart criticised the council for initially refusing an offer of government help.

“It took the intervention of the council leader to get building standards officers in Glasgow to accept that help. That, to me, is unacceptable.”

He added: “Glasgow City Council have a responsibility to residents to progress this work as a matter of urgency.”

MSPs on the committee heard last week from a senior official on the council that a survey in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire identified combustible cladding on privately-owned flats in Glasgow.

Raymond Barlow, assistant head of planning and building standards, said the local authority had been waiting to hear from the Scottish Government.

Bill Dodds, head of building standards at the Scottish Government, said it was “mainly clarity around the extent of the cladding” they were seeking.

He told the committee: “The majority of the requests for clarity are around the age of the building, the height of the building the extent of the cladding material and so on.

“It’s quite important to clarify in Grenfell the entire building was overclad with ACM , it was a complete enclosure of ACM material so what we’re trying to do is establish whether we have a Greenfell type arrangement where the building is completely overclad in ACM product or if it is in isolated areas, that’s the clarity we’re asking.

“That request has gone back almost line by line now asking for that additional clarity and we’ve been given a reassurance we will get that clarity hopefully by the end of next week.”

Mr Stewart said he had received an email from government officials sent into the Glasgow on Wednesday morning “which says they are on track to complete the necessary work by the end of this week”.

He pledged: “I will be keeping a close tab to make sure that work is completed as soon as it possibly can be, because we need to take actions necessary coming from the completed information we receive.”

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