Grenfell Tower tragedy leads to urgent safety review of ten tower blocks in borough of Barnet

By Dave Speck in Local People

Ten tower blocks in Barnet are to undergo urgent safety reviews focusing on their external cladding.

The reviews follow Tuesday night’s blaze at Grenfell Tower, in North Kensington, where it’s believed external cladding may have been a factor in the fire spreading so quickly.

A spokeswoman for Barnet Homes, which manages around 15,000 properties on behalf of Barnet Council, said there were ten blocks of flats in Barnet which had an external cladding system covering five or more floors.

She said: "In light of this tragedy, Barnet Homes is undertaking a further urgent review of any cladding system installed on these blocks, as well as commissioning a fire risk assessment review in line with London Fire Brigade recommendations.”

She added: “At present, full details of the cladding system installed at Grenfell Tower are not known, and therefore it is not possible to draw conclusions, as Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) has stated."  

A refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, including the fitting of external cladding, was carried out around a year ago by Rydon, the same company which is working in partnership with Barnet Homes to build 53 apartments at Moreton Close, in Mill Hill, for people with dementia.

In a statement issued today (Thursday) the company said it had met all required building regulations at Grenfell Tower as well as fire regulation and health and safety standards.

Meanwhile, Barnet Homes confirmed that no properties which it manages have had cladding systems installed by Rydon.

* Barnet Labour councillors have called for a review of fire safety, not just at Barnet Homes. They are also calling for the council to consider what it can do to ensure private blocks of flats have robust fire safety arrangements in place.

Labour Housing spokesman Councillor Ross Houston said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people who are affected by this terrible fire at Grenfell Tower."

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