Star date: 13th November 2018


The nine blocks of dangerous flats in Pendleton, owned by Salford City Council and managed by Pendleton Together, won't be safe as buildings until 2022, according to the latest accounts posted by Pendleton Together Operating Ltd.

External cladding work, the accounts state, will be completed by 2021 but other internal fire safety measures won't be complete until 2022. Meanwhile, the company recorded a loss of £23.5million last year, and adds that the "cost of further works are estimated to be £35.5million".

Full details here...

Residents in the nine Pendleton blocks of flats owned by Salford City Council and managed by Pendleton Together, are still struggling to find out what safety defects their homes have, as a safety report by Trident Building Consultants has still not been released.

Trident was commissioned to carry out, according to Together Housing, "a full, independent, review of fire safety" in the blocks following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Both the Deputy Mayor of Salford Council, John Merry, and the City Mayor, Paul Dennett, have referenced the report and agreed that elements of it, commissioned, they say, by Pendleton Together, could be given to the press and residents. However, last week Pendleton Together denied its existence in an email to the Salford Star...

"There is no Trident report" the spokesperson wrote "Trident are advising on a number of building issues, but are not producing a report."

With residents now in knowledge limbo about the state of their properties, a further blow has been revealed in the accounts to March 2018 for Pendleton Together Operating Limited.

Under the heading Post Balance Sheet Events, the company states that, while external works on replacing the dangerous cladding are forecast to be complete by June 2021, "internal fire safety measures will commence [during 2018-19] with a view to these works being completed before March 2022".

It adds that the contract for the work "is yet to be documented". In the meantime, five years will have gone by since the blocks were deemed unsafe.

While fire marshals are in place on the blocks, anecdotal evidence (based on false alarms) suggests that in the event of a fire these would not be adequate.

The accounts also reveal the massive financial cost to Pendleton Together Operating Limited which recorded a loss of £25.3million last year, "principally caused" the accounts state "by the cost of cladding remediation works of £22million..."

The report in the accounts adds that the "cost of the further works are estimated to be £35.5million".

The company has a loan of £25million from Together Housing, scheduled to be completed before the end of December. It adds that a "further provision will be required to meet anticipated costs in accordance with fire regulations and this expected to be circa £19million". Which is all very odd because that adds up to £44million.

Pendleton Together hopes to recover some of the additional costs through ongoing legal action against its contractor, Keepmoat, and the board is convinced that the company is a 'going concern'.

The report to the accounts concludes that "All parties are working co-operatively and with the common aim of resolving the construction defects with residential safety being the paramount concern."...

Residents might, perhaps, have more faith in the process if 'all parties' were more transparent and let them know exactly what perils they will be living with until 2022...

Meanwhile, a new contracts register published by Salford City Council shows that the Council is paying SP Plus (Development) Ltd £7.93million this year – as part of an £87.2million contract to 2024 – for 'creating a New Pendleton'.

SP Plus is a 'special purpose vehicle' and part of the Together Housing Group, which also has Pendleton Together Operating Limited under its umbrella. SP Plus is responsible for the construction and sale of the houses being built in Pendleton, away from the nine blocks, and its first phase of properties at 'Pendleton One', have now sold out.

Phase 2, the accounts state, has been delayed, "as agreement of the geography of the site is yet to be agreed and negotiations are underway to determine the size and scale of Phase 3". But still the cash-strapped Council is coughing up almost £8million this year.

SP Plus made a gross profit of £2.664million in the year to March 2018, and an operating profit of £2.347million...

For a full background see previous Salford Star articles...

More Cladding Misery For Pendleton Residents As They Freeze – click here

Even Salford MP Is Dissed By Pendleton Together On Dangerous Cladding Issue – click here

Fuel Poverty in Salford Blocks A Matter Of National Concern – click here

Where Is The Trident Safety Report? – click here

Pendleton Together Secures Cladding Funds For Salford Blocks – click here

Salford Mayor Rails Against Government On Cladding Delays – click here

Bob the regular wrote
at 21:39:32 on 19 November 2018
Ray my knowledgeable friend, this money PT have, is not from the government, it is not from Salford Council who wanted to give them £25 million that the council had agreed to borrow. This money is from together groups borrowing capacity. £25 000 000 is a lot of money. Who is responsible for this? We know that PT have said they hope to recover this cash from Keepmoat, they have said this is the case. Do PT hold the council responsible as well? If PT or the council say there is no chance of a claim being made by PT against the council, then I will believe them and I will say I was wrong. I will further write a letter of apology to yourself, Dennett and Merry, Miss Becky and the council to say how sorry I am that I have doubted their honesty and good faith. As a further measure of attonement, I will undertake , as difficult as it may be, not to write any letters to the Salford Star for 3 months after my apology. So there, all you got to do, is get them to say there is no cause for a claim, and to publish the first edition of the trident report in full, and you get rid of me. ( with the bonus of me admitting I was Wrong).
ROSSI wrote
at 16:32:22 on 19 November 2018
Get Thee Behind Miss Becky's Skirt, Ray, You Little Apparatchik You. For your information I am not a crazed wacko BUT THE VOICE OF REASON! Although I doubt if Steve will put this up. For some reason he often censors me. Fact is Ray it should be YOU who is censored. This is because you are Salford Labour's answer to Goebbels. With regard the cladding, Our No Marks SHOULD get it off NOW!!! Not ASAP, but NOW!!! RIGHT NOOOOOWWWW!!!! It is a potential life or death situation for those poor bleeders in Spruce & Thorn ... They SHOULD BE HELPED NOW, REGARDLESS OF THE COST. DO YOU HEAR ME RAAAAAAAAYYYY???!!!! 😨
Rayofsunshine wrote
at 16:31:40 on 19 November 2018
Bob the regular,what evidence do you have of a cover-up? I do hope You're not becoming paranoid,like serial failure,Rossi! Why,after receiving a bail out,would Pendleton Together turn round and sue the council? It doesn't make sense!
Bob the regular wrote
at 13:52:33 on 19 November 2018
wrote at 6.57 . you got it in one. they knew. They knew alright. Rats the lot of them. All trying to cover it up now, to save their own necks.
pgj wrote
at 13:52:10 on 19 November 2018
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Whomever chose the cladding (and I would assume that many people were involved in that decision) they would trust that if they were told it was suitable, had passed all regulatory requirements it would be safe. Why should they doubt the regulatory authorities, after all they are the ones that are supposed to be experts.
Rayofsunshine wrote
at 12:14:38 on 18 November 2018
@Wrote,when determining whether cladding was safe or not,the crucial test would be whetheŕ the work done was FULLY compĺiant wìth the existing Buiĺding Ŕegs? Crazed wackos,such as Rossi,won't accept this fundamental fact because basically he has a pathalogical hatred of the council!
at 06:57:41 on 18 November 2018
Rayofsunshine - Yeh, both Labour and Tory national goverments. The Council and the contractors had to have known the cladding wasn’t that safe. “Is it fireproof?” would be any rational persons first question. And if someone says “Yeh, to a degree” then it should’ve been turned down, despite what the building codes were.
Rayofsunshine wrote
at 19:56:54 on 17 November 2018
Rossi,why are you incapable of debating in a honest and rational manner? The point being that we can only judge Saĺford's performance in regarding to cladding by using the safety standards/guidance that existed at the time when the work was done! Any deficiency in these standards are the responsibility of national government!
Bob the regular wrote
at 19:55:56 on 17 November 2018
Like Dave says this is a very serious matter, and I agree my choice of words might not have been correct. The frustration I get with this council cover up just makes me mad. Boiling mad. They are covering up something for sure, they cannot come clean with the people about their involvement. When they do get found out in the future, like my gran used to say,liars always get found out, people will have forgot what the arguement was about, and thats what they rely on.I agree with what Dave says. These reports are full of long winded crap about things we know already. We do not need to know what we know already, we need to know what we don't know. We need to know what Merry and Dennett do not want us to know. In answer to Ray ,yes the building control provision was privatised, but the council are not liable for any cockups it might make, following the judgement I mentioned. The thing is, did the council specify that cladding? If so, they would be liable, and they could not drop it on someone elses toes. The lack of the big stick on PT by the council shows they have something to hide. In response to former landlord, as far as I know, health and safety exec only applies to places of work. They are government not council. This gives me an idea, there are people who work in that building. Care workers who come to the elderly, caretakers etc. Perhaps a complaint should be made to Health and Safety about that. H and S are always trying to make themselves busy, and they are not under the councils remit.Can someone who lives in these blocks write to Miss Becky and ask her if she knows if there is legal action between PT and the council ,already started or pending. There are 4 possible answers, yes, no, she does not know, or she does know and its confidential. She should be asked why the council have failed to take legal action against PT, and if there is a conflict of interest that stops them doing this. Perhaps a letter might be in order for the homes and communities minister, asking them to intervene in this matter due to the conflict of interest.
ROSSI wrote
at 09:41:19 on 17 November 2018
Rayofsunshine Shut dat mout uh yourn. I'm tired of you defending the indefensible. Using mealey mouth words like "at that time the cladding complied with the building regulations" ask yourself one thing. Ask yourself WHY not onle single block in Scotland failed the safety tests. Ask yourself WHY you little apparatchik. And the answer is because the Scottish Councils weren't CHEAP, like Salford City Clowncil whose highrises ALL failed the safety tests ... Penny wise and pound foolish. What a bunch of stupid bloody mugs. Inept ISN'T the eord.
Rayofsunshine wrote
at 09:40:02 on 17 November 2018
Can anyone please clarify does Salford City Council have "a building control function" or was it hived off to Urban Vision?
dave wrote
at 07:08:46 on 16 November 2018
I am a sparky by trade and years ago used to work on licensed premises, and as part of the licensing procedure, a fire brigade safety report was required, which had to be complied with. These are pretty straightforward technical papers, and should not really be of interest to anybody, unless they are connected with the work required to be done. I imagine privately commissioned reports are full of much the same. For instance, I would guess this one will go on about fire alarms recommended, Emergency lighting systems, ventilation on escape routes, sprinklers recommended, up to spec fire doors all opening correctly and closers closing at right time, fire doors fitting snug with intumescent strips, service duct openings sealed tight, etc and of course all the cladding got rid of. All routine boring stuff, so what is going to be in there that the council do not want us to see? Bob might have a point there, there is something fishy there, but he is wrong if he thinks it a laughing matter. This is serious.
former landlord wrote
at 07:08:34 on 16 November 2018
It is a bit like pass the parcel, or musical chairs this blame game. Except the consequences are serious. Could it be Bob's brainwave is right? It would certainly explain why the health and safety people, public health etc, have not come down like a ton of bricks on Pendleton Together. This theory merits further investigation. I also have a little theory. Could these ideas and problems have been thought about last year, and could they have been a contributory factor to something else that happened last year.
Bob the regular wrote
at 07:07:46 on 16 November 2018
I think I might have been barking up the wrong tree before, but I still think I am in the right Forrest. In a test case in 2012, knowlsley council were held not liable in a similar type of case involving building control. However ,the fact that our two chief clowns do not want us to see parts of something, means that there is certainly something there that we should see. We must see that report in full, and we must be told if the council are being sued. There is no smoke without fire.
Rayofsunshine wrote
at 07:07:34 on 16 November 2018
Bob the reģular,I fear you have watched too many conspiracy thrìlĺers;Mayor Dennett has come up with the money because he is genuinely concerned for the welfare of tower bloçk residents! As to the council being sued by Pendleton Together,this is pure "fantasy island". As I've pointed out many times before,Bob,at the time that the cladding,we now know is defective,dìd comply with the then existing Buildinģ Regs.
the end wrote
at 17:53:14 on 15 November 2018
WOW, that's a lot stair if they are 4 years from safety.
Bob the regular wrote
at 17:53:07 on 15 November 2018
that great idea Our pal Ray had, the reason I like it so much, is the fact that this is exactly what I said should happen on star date 2nd october. In that series of articles I also mentioned that the council could use the money they were going to give to PT for the cladding, but were not allowed by the government. to rehouse these people. Well why don't they,the cash is there. While writing this ,I have just had a brainstorm in my know it all brain.We know now that PT are taking legal action against Keepmoat. Are they also taking legal action against our old pals the council? In my learned opinion, this cladding must have been signed off by building control. Together housing are saying they are putting 25 million quid up for the bad cladding. Together group will have to blame someone and make them pay. Who better to blame than Dennett and Merry and co? No wonder these two and Miss Becky have been so silent. This would also explain why comrade Dennett was so quick to offer the £25 million to fix the damage. Please ,please someone , tell me this mad idea is not true, because if it is, I will be pissing my pants laughing till Christmas day.
Rayofsunshine wrote
at 11:11:04 on 15 November 2018
Bob the regular,glad to see that for once you are on the right side of the argument! As to Salford Tory Councillors,whether female or male,are aný of them capable of stringing more three words together?? Aside from defending entrenched privilege,what do Salford Tories stand for? Will this hapless bunch denounce Gavin Bardswell,who as Tory Minister of Housing under David Cameron,suppressed a report which warned of the dangers posed by tower block cladding?
Salford Star wrote
at 08:49:04 on 15 November 2018
Please note that comments that are just hurling insults to other commentators with no reference to the article will not be posted - thanks!
Bob the regular wrote
at 08:46:50 on 15 November 2018
Ray my dear old socialist pal, you are 1million per cent right with that one. I agree I am a loud mouth. I agree that I do know it all, and I agree with you that these people must be moved into somewhere decent straight away. They must also be given decanting out money which is about 4 grand a go. Then , lets knock the whole XXXXXXX lot down and start again. While your on, will you ask Miss Becky if she is going to make a statement on this whole sad saga. I think she should. While we are going on about lady politicians making statements, would it perhaps be a good idea if the editor could ask any of the nice conservative ladies on the council if they might to make a comment as well.(unless he is in their bad books as well as labours).
Rayofsunshine wrote
at 16:29:15 on 14 November 2018
Things are going from bad to worse;if as reported,cladding on Salford Tower Blocks won't be sorted untìl 2022,then their residents need moving now to safe,comparable accomodation! Unlike loud mouth,know all's who infest this site,I come up with practical solutions.
Bob the regular wrote
at 16:28:58 on 14 November 2018
Arnold your health and safety logic is wrong, let me illustrate. Prior to the Concorde crash in Paris, a concorde in USA suffered a tyre burst that went through a wing fuel tank.As the plane had come from uk, its tank was empty. The risk was thought negligeable and look what late happened. I agree that the fire risk by the cladding is also low, but what was underneath it wasn't, i.e.the insulation, and the air gap . The cladding also prevented the fire brigades hoses from putting the fire out, while allowing a good flow of air for combustion in. The cladding has to come off to get rid of the insulation.
former landlord wrote
at 13:16:29 on 14 November 2018
Years ago, I used to rent a couple of houses out. It is not as easy as is made out. Tenants taking the piss, housing benefit balls ups etc. My houses were ok ,but I know of landlords who were persecuted for next to nothing by the council , and made to do works in my opinion that were not needed to conform to whatever regulation needed to conform to.On these buildings here, we are talking about what the authorities call a fire risk. If a private landlord did not comply they would be fined and ordered to do the work. Why are Pendleton Together different. They are a private company. As we know, fires kill public sector tennants. These people must be prosecuted by the health and safety people.
Bob the regular wrote
at 13:16:09 on 14 November 2018
Where is the mass of public anger about all this? I just looked at the number of dwellings PT say they rent out. They say its around 1250. If you divide£23.5 million which they say they have lost by 1250, it gives you the figure of £18800. Nearly 20 XXXXXXX grand for each tennant. And thats just what they wasted on the cladding. Come on Ray old chap, lets hear what the labour spin on this is.When you think about it, there should not have to be a labour spin. They were conned by this bunch of shysters, we dont blame little old ladies when they get conned do we? Its just the simpletons at our town hall, they fell for the fancy talk. Go take a look at the PT website.It sings the praises still about keepmoat. The old saying is true.It is easier to con someone than get them to admit they have been conned.(even when they are taking legal action against the conmen)
Arnold Rimmer wrote
at 13:16:00 on 14 November 2018
The buildings didn't magically become any more flammable than they were before Grenfell. It's the same building and they haven't burn down yet. The risk is still low so no need to panic. Salford towers all have two fire escape staircases too (i believe). Something the Grenfell tower didn't have so it's even less risky. The engineers report into Grenfell said cladding was not the most important factor in the fire anyway and didn't recommend its removal.
Dave wrote
at 13:14:49 on 14 November 2018
What is this 8 million quid for? Do we have the right to know? I bet we will never be told.
Dave wrote
at 18:39:52 on 13 November 2018
more jiggery pokery. Why are they so useless?
Bob the regular wrote
at 18:39:47 on 13 November 2018
Keepmoat on till the end of the road, Keepmoat until the end, though your tired and weary , still carry on, till they make you a crappy abode, and the house you loved and were dreaming about, will fall down, at the end of the road. Looks like I was right about a few things, the timing of the works, the legal action against Keepmoat. Just look at all the online reviews about Keepmoat, and to think Dennett and Merry could not get them in fast enough. What a pair. PT are just stupid. Stupid if they think they are going to get one penny back from keepmoat. Keepmoat are smart, they will have known about the dangers of that insulation before, it was well known after the fires in Australia, but it was argueably in the building regs ok to use it. (an arguement I do not accept) They will have worded their contracts to wangle this liability. PT are also stupid to admit that the properties are defective. 10 out of ten for this belated honesty, but for them honesty does not pay. They have left themselves open ,wide open, to claims under the defective premises act by this admission. PT are now in financial hardship, and they always say you should not kick someone when they are down. This is rubbish, people should get their claims in now, before the whole lot goes tits up. I reckon about 4 to 5 grand a claim. When the shite hits the fan proper, the managers at PT will be the worst wingers and claimers when the ship goes down. Now its out about all this financial trouble, that explains why the scaffold was taken down. the ones in the building game will have seen these things happen before, it is a symptom of skintness.
ROSSI wrote
at 18:39:44 on 13 November 2018
What A bloody Fuck Up. And Rayofsunshine, it WAS your CLOWNCIL of high achieving heroes WHO facilitated this shit taking place as they COULDN'T WAIT to see the back of their Housing Stock. Those Plonks in The CLOWNCIL, Your Beloved Heroes, shunted their stock off to Shitty West and Salix Homes IN ORDER to save money, as your Beloved Heroes DIDN'T WANT to have to pay for FUTURE REPAIRS. What a bunch of penny wise and pound foolish Mugs! Who does everybody think is going to have to pay to rectify this Botch 'em and Daub It shoddy load of old nackers work? That's right Ray, it's NOT The CLOWNCIL, which understandably is FULL of YOUR INEPT HEROES - But US, The COUNCIL TAXPAYERS of this badly managed City. I hope that you're PROUD of yourself Ray.
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