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Council says its tower blocks' cladding is different to Grenfell Tower

No tower blocks owned by Slough Borough Council (SBC) are clad in the same materials identified in Grenfell Tower, the council has confirmed.

The main cladding on all of the borough’s council properties is insulation glued to the wall and covered in render. This means there is no cavity for any fire to spread through. SBC says it is still considering a review of its cladding installation and performance.

Following the Grenfell Tower blaze in London earlier this month, the council has compiled a fact-file on Slough’s social housing blocks and enacted new safety measures.

Slough has six social housing blocks, four of which are owned and managed by SBC, and two owned and managed by a registered social landlord.

The council owns Tower and Ashbourne houses in Chalvey, and Broom and Poplar houses in Langley.

The registered social landlord blocks are Byron and Linden houses in Common Road, Langley, which are managed by Longwood Park housing association, part of Radian Housing.

There are other blocks of flats in Slough which are six storeys or more, owned privately or by housing associations. SBC has set up a cross departmental taskforce of specialists which is chaired by the council’s director of housing Mike England and meets at least once a week for decision-making.

A new council policy has been implemented meaning items left in communal areas of flats will be removed immediately and without warning and stored for 30 days before being disposed of.

The council says it has undertaken ‘extensive inspections’ of its flats, in liaison with tenants, to ensure areas are clear and to check fire safety measures are set to automatic.

Fire risk assessments across all council blocks have been reviewed and an independent contractor has been tasked with reviewing the condition and assessments of SBC’s Broom and Poplar blocks.

The council says measures including sprinkler systems for the two towers will be considered if needed.

Tower and Ashbourne houses are currently being emptied as part of a major regeneration project which includes their demolition. Only four leaseholders remain and there is 24-hour security on site. The council is offering assistance to Radian Housing.

In a statement, SBC said: “Our thoughts continue to be with all those affected by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower in London.

“Our main concern is for the safety and security of our residents. We are talking directly with the residents of our tall blocks and our tenants as a whole and anyone with concerns is welcome to contact their housing officer for advice and reassurance.”

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