High-rise tenants in Eccles want "to know they won't burn in their beds"

Residents in high-rise blocks in Eccles want reassurances they are "not going to burn in their beds", says one angry tenant.

Tony Ormonde, 62, lives in Cremer House which is one of seven blocks in the town run by housing assocation City West Housing Trust that failed Government fire safety tests on cladding in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

They are among 29 tower blocks in Salford to not pass the combustibility tests, the highest of any local authority area in England disclosed by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

However one week on and Mr Ormonde says no cladding has been removed yet from Cremer House or two other blocks nearby in the centre of Eccles. Mr Ormonde added:

"They want to be satisfied that they are not going to burn in their beds, basically."

City West confirmed on Wednesday the removal of the cladding had been suspended.

“Customer safety is our absolute priority and since the fire at Grenfell Tower we have been open with customers and shared information with them as it has become available.

“We now know that although the cladding systems we have in place meet current regulations, the Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) panels tested have not met the latest Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) test criteria.

“The advice around ACM panels and cladding systems is now somewhat unclear and until this is clarified we have taken the decision to suspend the removal of affected ACM cladding. We will not be starting the removal on any further blocks.

“This will remain the case until we have clearer guidance on the kinds of panels we can use as a replacement and we are certain that removing the affected panels is the best and safest option.

“Customer safety and peace of mind is our highest priority and this decision has been taken following a full review of the facts we have available. We are writing to customers to let them know this current position and to provide assurance and a point of contact should they have any questions.

“In the last week the fire service have visited all 12 high rise blocks in Eccles and carried out detailed inspections in order to attain assurance about the fire safety arrangements on all 12 blocks and the measures we have in place.

“Customers with any questions are advised to email or call 0300 123 55 22 or visit the office at Regent Street or the Barton Village Hub where a member of staff will be happy to help.”

– Nigel Sedman, City West Housing Trust

Work to remove aluminium composite cladding from nine blocks in Pendleton, in Salford, continues.

In an update on its website on Wednesday, housing association Pendleton Together said the work was being overseen by an independent fire expert.

It said: "In the first instance we will be removing cladding as far up as it is safe to do so.

"As soon as we have a timescale of works confirmed with our contractors we will provide residents with further information."

Another housing association, Salix Homes, said last week cladding was being removed from three of its blocks in Salford, while work would take place in the coming weeks on five further blocks after it said they had been "identified as having a lower risk than many other samples tested across the country".