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Slough MP Tan Dhesi calls for Government action at cladding debate

Calls for support from the Government were made by MP for Slough Tan Dhesi at a debate in the House of Commons on cladding and fire safety yesterday (Tuesday).

Mr Dhesi was among several MPs at the debate whose constituencies have buildings which failed cladding safety tests in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Nova House in Buckingham Gardens failed a cladding safety test in June.

In October, Slough Borough Council (SBC) announced plans to buy the Ground Rent Estates 5 LTD, the freeholder of the seven-storey block, because it did not think the owners would carry necessary work quickly enough. Negotiations are still ongoing.

Meanwhile SBC has been spending about £2,000 daily on a private fire engine outside and has paid for heat detectors.

At Tuesday’s debate, Mr Dhesi said: “The council has not hesitated to act. ​Now I want to see the support promised by the Secretary of State.

“That should include contributing towards the costs incurred in protecting the safety of residents, rather than those extraordinary costs falling on the local council tax payer.”

In August, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid wrote to local authorities promising to look at ways he could help if private building owners do not comply with their requests.

Mr Dhesi called for Mr Javid to introduce measures making private owners share ‘critical safety information’ on buildings with local authorities.

He said approved building control inspectors are not required to provide copies of their approvals and the reasons behind them to anyone other than their clients.

“Such documents might never be made available. Information in those documents might be critical for safety,” he added.

The Labour MP said that survey work has shown other ‘serious deficiencies’ on the of outside Nova House and questioned if it met building regulations when it was converted from an office block.

He called for a review of system approved inspectors for building control checks, including the supervision of them and the quality of their work.

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