‘The Northern Ireland Housing Executive must move quickly to further re-assure residents in high rise apartments that they are safe following the Grenfell fire in London’, Workers Party representative Chris Bailie has said
He has also expressed concerns that the assurances given to date about the materials meeting a number of British Standard quality regulations are now insufficient in the light of the west London inferno.
Act quickly “While the exact reason why this high rise building burnt so quickly and with such intensity has yet to be established it is important that the Housing Executive are ready to act quickly in the event that the cladding was a major contributor to the blaze. It is also very important that the NIHE is given all the resources it requires to undertake safety testing and take immediate remedial action if that is required”, said Chris
‘Beyond the immediate safety concerns there are also questions which need to be answered in relation to the use of cladding on this type of building.”, he said.
‘Some of the very understandable anger being expressed by relatives, residents and survivors of Grenfell questions the use of cladding as a cheap way of protecting the brickwork rather than securing the safety of the residents.
Members of the Fire and Rescue Service had expressed serious concerns about the cladding of at least two hi-rise buildings in Belfast a few years ago – but both those projects went ahead.”, Chris pointed out.
More regulation – not less ‘Some Conservative MPs, many of them private landlords, have been arguing for less regulation, inspection and controls dismissing them as unnecessary red tape. The Grenfell fire proves otherwise”, said Chris.
‘ It is now very important that the bereaved and the survivors receive all the help and support that they need . They must also be given absolute guarantees that they will be rehoused in London, in or as as close as possible to the Kensington & Chelsea area and that the site of Grenfel House is not acquired for private development but remains a pubic housing area’, Chris concluded