Up to 78 apartment blocks in the Greater Manchester are still not meeting fire safety standards according to City Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett.

After hearing growing concerns from local residents, Mr Dennett is calling on the government to take immediate action with these apartment blocks which put its residents at risk, more than two years on from the Grenfell Tower fire.

Following the Grenfell fire in June 2017, it was discovered the same type of ‘ACM’ cladding that was used on Grenfell Tower was fitted on many blocks in Salford –  including nine towers in Pendleton (two of which have now been removed of cladding). Other Salford buildings have been found to contain ‘EPS’ cladding which is also potentially dangerous.

Mr Dennett said: “Over two years on from the Grenfell Tower fire, Greater Manchester still has 78 buildings that have adopted interim measures because of significant fire safety deficiencies.

“It is wholly unacceptable that residents are still left ‘trapped’, many are unable to sell, insure or re-mortgage their homes and are faced with bankrupting bills just to make their homes safe from fire.

“The government must own their rhetoric, they said residents and leaseholders shouldn’t be paying for the remediation of their buildings yet they continue to do so.

“This is a regulatory crisis on an industrial scale of which residents continue to pay the price.”

Mr Dennett will join the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, along with residents from high rise buildings in London and Greater Manchester to lobby outside Westminster on Tuesday, February 25.

The lobby has been organised as part of the continuing work of the Greater Manchester High Rise Task Force, set up by Mayor Burnham after the Grenfell Tower Fire and chaired by Paul Dennett.

Salford Mayor Paul Dennett with John Ferguson

It looks to highlight those people directly affected by the ongoing issue and allow them to share their experiences and concerns going forward. They lobby is taking the issue to Parliament before the government sets its 2020/21 Budget on March 11 as they want the government to do more to support the people living in this potentially dangerous buildings

Attending the event at Westminster will be members of The Manchester Cladiators, a group of residents who formed to highlight the issues of people living in high rises post Grenfell.

In a statement the Cladiators said: “The current situation for leaseholders is dire – we are trapped in potentially dangerous buildings, facing huge life changing bills from building owners while living in flats we cannot sell.

“It is having a significant and very real impact on our mental health. Some residents are facing financially crippling costs of up to £80,000 just to make their homes safe, when it should not be residents who pick up the bill.

“This is why we are attending the event in Westminster next week, which is a significant opportunity to ensure our experiences are heard far and wide – because this crisis is a national crisis.

“There are high rise buildings just like ours right across the UK. The government’s response since Grenfell has been far too slow and they need to be told that we will continue our fight until at the very least a no-strings attached building safety fund is made available to all high rise leaseholders to make our homes safe at no cost to residents.”

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