Unsafe cladding 'still affecting thousands'

New figures have revealed that thousands of people in England are still living in tower blocks with unsafe cladding, prompting further safety fears.

Over a year on since the Grenfell tower disaster, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows that more than 400 high-rise residential buildings still have the same type of external covering blamed for the rapid spread of the deadly blaze.

Following Grenfell, the government ordered a review into cladding on high-rise blocks and urged building owners to make their properties safe. However, 419 residential buildings in 78 local authority areas across England still have ACM cladding, including 61 student accommodation blocks. This figure only includes defective ACM cladding, not all unsafe cladding.

One such place in cladding limbo is Billingham, where local residents recently described living in tower blocks surrounded by scaffolding as having been ‘atrocious’. Cladding in Kennedy Gardens in Billingham, Teesside, is being replaced following the Grenfell Tower fire but work on the towers, which are swathed in polythene and metal, is not expected to finish until the new year.

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