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Number of towers with combustible cladding rises to 14

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Cladding on 14 high-rise residential buildings in nine local authority areas has now been identified as containing the same combustible material used in panels installed at Grenfell Tower in Kensington, the government has confirmed.

The Department of Communities & Local Government has named seven of the areas affected after councils and housing associations were asked to submit samples of cladding from around 600 high rise residential buildings.

Portsmouth City Council has confirmed it is in the process of removing cladding from two blocks it owns “as a precautionary measure” after laboratory tests found they contain combustible ‘aluminium composite material’.

Islington LBC has said it would remove cladding from Brathwaite House as soon as possible and carry out “fire patrols” to reassure residents.

Samples submitted by Haringey LBC of cladding on River apartments in Tottenham have also failed the safety test.

Hounslow LBC has said it will remove cladding from Clements Court after it as found to contain aluminium composite.

Hounslow leader Steve Curran (Lab) said that while the cladding had been found to contain combustible material, the insulation used behind the panels was fire resistant.

“The system at Clements Court also differs from that at Grenfell Tower in so far as there was no interference with the interior of the building as part of the installation,” he added.

In a letter to residents, Salford City Council has said it will remove cladding containing aluminium composite from nine tower blocks “irrespective of the test results”.

Earlier the government revealed that samples of cladding on blocks submitted by Camden LBC and Manchester and Plymouth city councils had failed the British Research Establishment combustion test.

Today police said the Grenfell Tower fire had started in a fridge freezer and the outside cladding, as well as insultation on the building, had failed safety tests. A total of 79 people are feared dead after the blaze.

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