Nine Salford tower blocks to have aluminium composite cladding removed

Beech Court Image copyright Google
Image caption Beech Court is one of nine Salford blocks that will have cladding removed

Residents in more than 850 flats have been told cladding will be removed from their tower blocks in Salford.

Aluminium composite material (ACM), which has come under question following the Grenfell Tower fire in London, will be removed from nine blocks.

Salford Mayor Paul Dennett said additional safety measures were also being taken by Pendleton Together, which manages the flats.

Similar work has also started at a block in Wythenshawe, Manchester.

Tests are being carried out on 600 high rises across England following the fire in London, in which at least 79 people died.

Cladding is typically fitted to the outside of high-rise buildings to improve their insulation and appearance.

Image caption Beech Court resident Mr Worrall said he wanted vulnerable tenants moving out of the block

Mr Dennett said it was the "right and moral thing to do" to remove it from the blocks in Pendleton and increase security patrols.

"Government tests are under way, but it is already clear the ACM on our blocks must be removed," he said.

Graham Worrall, who lives in Beech Court, one of the tower blocks, said a lot of residents were "very uneasy" after the announcement.

He claimed the work would "take about two years", adding: "I think vulnerable tenants should be moved out for that period."

The other blocks affected are Whitebeam Court, Malus Court, Salix Court, Spruce Court, Holm Court, Hornbeam Court, Thorn Court and Plane Court.

'No great concern'

In Wythenshawe, cladding is being removed from a tower block despite an inspection by the fire service which concluded it is safe.

Tests showed decorative cladding on Village 135 could be made of materials similar to those used on Grenfell Tower, Manchester City Council said.

Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG) said there were concerns about 78 panels in one area, which were being removed in order to reassure residents.

A Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the complex, which consists of 135 apartments in four blocks for the over-55s, "did not give them great concern".

Image caption WCHG said decorative cladding was being removed to reassure residents

The number of high rises with safety concerns has risen to 14 buildings in nine local authority areas including Manchester, Camden, Plymouth, and Hounslow.

All local authority and housing associations have been advised on steps to take if tower blocks are found to be covered in cladding they are concerned about.

Private landlords have been asked to do the same.

Advice service Greater Manchester Hazards Centre has welcomed the decision to remove cladding.

However, joint co-ordinator Janet Newsham said the action "does not alleviate the immediate distress of residents who know their building could potentially suffer a fire similar to Grenfell".

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