Yesterday, the Department of Communities and Local Government held a 'verbal briefing' for favoured journalists, stating that 29 Salford buildings had failed fire safety tests on aluminium cladding.
This is the most fails out of anywhere in the country, yet neither the Government, nor Salford Council, nor the housing associations, have produced a definitive list.
The Salford Star knows of 24 blocks that have failed the test...
Pendleton Together – nine blocks: Whitebeam Court; Malus Court; Beech Court; Salix Court; Spruce Court; Holm Court; Hornbeam Court; Thorn Court and Plane Court.
Salix Homes - eight blocks: Arthur Millwood Court, Canon Hussey Court, Black Friar Court, Newbank Tower, Riverbank Tower, Sycamore Court, Magnolia Court and Mulberry Court.
City West – seven blocks: Ewood House, Cremer House, Kemball House, Craunton House, College Croft, Charter House and Southway.
This equals 24 blocks but the Government is stating 29 blocks, which means that five haven't been declared. The Government was testing five blocks in City West's Barton Village, including Engels House and Enfield House, but the results have not been relayed to tenants yet. Or, the other five buildings could be in private hands – but there is no information at all, as yet.
Neither has any information been released yet on what is actually happening with blocks that have been identified. Work to remove lower aluminium cladding panels on some blocks has started, and balcony cladding on Black Friar Court has been removed, but otherwise there is silence, as the focus turns to the actual insulation that is underneath the fire test-failed panels.*
At the time of going to press, neither City West nor Salix Homes had updated details of tests on their websites since last Wednesday, 28th June. Pendleton Together hadn't updated details since Monday 26th June (although these companies have been pushing letters through the doors of tenants).
And Salford City Council, similarly, has produced no official news since the same date, when a press release quoted Steve Close, Chief Executive of Together Housing, parent company of Pendleton Together, saying "Since the council made the decision on Friday to remove the cladding we've been working very hard to reassure Pendleton residents of their safety..."
Transparency is almost non-existent in the process and timescales, as insulation hangs out of some blocks while others remain totally covered in the aluminium cladding that has failed Government fire tests.
Apart from Grenfel itself and its awful tragedy, Salford remains the focus of the cladding scandal with more buildings in the city failing fire tests than anywhere else in the country...
...But no-one seems to know what is happening here – or even which five blocks are the latest to fail the Government's fire test.
*See previous Salford Star article – Cladding Focus Turns To Insulation - click here (and follow the links for a full background).