Scotland

Grenfell cladding 'not used' on Scots council high-rises

Glasgow skyline Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Scottish government contacted all local authorities with high-rise blocks more than 18m high

No council high-rise block in Scotland has cladding of the type said to have been used in the Grenfell Tower, it has been confirmed.

The Scottish government asked all local authorities with high-rise blocks more than 18m (59ft) high to clarify the types of cladding used.

Communities Secretary Angela Constance told Holyrood none had used aluminium composite material.

Questions have been raised over the cladding's role in the London fire.

Seventy-nine people have been confirmed as dead or missing presumed dead after the blaze which started in the early hours of 14 June.

Fourteen people are in hospital - eight receiving critical care and some in induced comas - NHS England has said.

A ministerial group was set up last week to review fire safety and buildings regulations in Scotland.

Ms Constance told MSPs: "Local authorities who had intimated that they have high-rise blocks of over 18 metres, dwelling houses of over 18 metres high, they were asked very specific questions yesterday by the housing minister on cladding and whether they had cladding that was made from aluminium composite material.

"I'm pleased to say that all of those 18 local authorities who had initially replied that they had high-rise dwelling of over 18 metres have come back to say that none of their cladding is made from aluminium composite material."

Fire safety visits

It is understood further checks are being carried out in relation to high rises outside local authority control.

Ms Constance said the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was working with councils and housing associations to prioritise home fire safety visits in high-rise flats.

She said the scope of the government's review would also be extended to cover other buildings such as schools and hospitals "using a risk-based approach informed by emerging evidence and intelligence from the UK government and our own local authorities".

Ms Constance said she also took on board concerns raised by Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie over inconsistency in regulatory frameworks after she raised concerns West Dunbartonshire Council had not carried out a full fire-risk inspection on high rises in the area for seven years.

A Scottish government ministerial working group set up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster has agreed a series of actions to be taken, following its first meeting.

'Critical review'

They included continuing to have firefighters visit high-rise buildings, review standards of detectors and consider whether further action should be taken with regard to sprinkler systems.

The meeting was chaired by Ms Constance with Housing Minister Kevin Stewart and Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing also attending along with officials from fire and rescue, building standards, local government and housing.

Ms Constance said: "While we're confident that in Scotland we have stringent building and fire safety regulations which contribute to keeping people safe, following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower it is imperative that we undertake a thorough and critical review of our regulations.

"Public safety is of paramount importance and, while the cause of the Grenfell Tower fire remains unknown at present, there can be no room for complacency.

"Communities across Scotland rightly want to know that we are taking all appropriate action and can provide them with the necessary reassurance required."

She said Scottish government officials would work closely with local authorities and the fire service to review all of Scotland's high-rise domestic buildings, construction work that has taken place, the materials of any cladding and whether further action needed to be taken as a precautionary measure to prevent fire.

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