Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower last month that led to the death of at least 80 people, the government have been conducting fire safety tests in tower blocks across England.
The cladding on 181 of these buildings have failed such assessments so far – and 20 of these cases have been found to be in Manchester.
The housing association One Manchester has begun the process of removing the cladding from these tower blocks, but many residents remain concerned that their safety is not being taken seriously.
There are currently no plans to evacuate any of the blocks. Howard, a resident of Platt Court in Rusholme, expressed his concern over the lack of such provisions.
“If it is unsafe, then yes – I would rather be evacuated than stay,” he told MM
“I think these issues affect the city’s poorest more. It’s the government’s fault because they know that these materials are inflammable, so obviously they should not have been put up on any of these buildings in the first place.”
Howard, who lives alone, stated that he was extremely concerned about his safety in the event of a serious fire. He admitted though that he was hopeful that the disaster at Grenfell Tower would spur authorities into action, to prevent further tragedies occurring in the future.
Other residents were markedly less troubled, however. Dave, a plasterer, lives in Worsely Court, a tower block adjacent to Platt Court and also subject to failed government cladding safety tests.
Dave justified his carefree attitude towards the revelations on his experience in the building profession, and pointed out that a number of other measures had been taken when constructing the tower block, aimed at minimising risk in the event of a fire.
“That’s glass up there, and the building has been covered in a non-burning foam. It’ll never burn,” he said.
He was however irked that, as evidence suggests, the cladding used in Grenfell was manufactured and sold by an American company. This material has since been deemed similar to that used in the now flagged One Manchester constructions.
“I looked on the news and saw that it was an American company that sold them the cladding. An American company. But it’s banned in America and it’s banned in Germany,” he said.
“Did they put money before the people? Yes, they most probably did – because they’re like that and they want to live in a thousand rooms at once, but no man can live in a thousand rooms at once!”
A spokesperson for One Manchester, said: “We are taking immediate action following the recent test results of materials on our high-rise tower blocks.
“We have hired a contractor to remove all of the cladding which is made of aluminium composite materials, and that work will commence as soon as possible.
“Until additional safety measures are in place to enhance our existing measures, 24-hour security has been provided in every block to provide a ‘wakeful watch’ in the event of a fire.”