Alex Sobel has called for a complete ban on combustible cladding during the Grenfell Tower inquiry in Parliament this week. The MP for Leeds North West made his point during discussions around making tower blocks safer for residents following the devastation of Grenfell Tower saying that “..the only solution is to ban combustible cladding?”
Following the debate the Government agreed to consult on banning the cladding labelled a “silent killer” since the events of Grenfell Tower took place almost one year ago. Mr Sobel has been joined by his Labour Party colleagues in calling for an immediate ban.
The cladding has been found to be a major contributing factor to the fire that spread throughout the tower block, claiming the lives of at least 71 people. Alex Sobel echoes the calls of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Local Government Association who have voiced their concerns over the legality of combustible materials on tower blocks.
Following the events in June last year, local authorities found that thousands of tower blocks across the UK faced similar risks of insecurity due to combustible cladding and a lack of sprinkler systems. The Grenfell Tower Inquiry debate gave MPs the chance to raise any concerns or considerations for the victims of Grenfell Tower or from their own constituency. These recommendations will be considered by the Government to guide legislation that will protect residents of tower blocks.
Mr Sobel’s call for a complete ban was met with agreement from conservative MP Giles Watling, who said: “I absolutely agree that we must ban combustible cladding. It should never have been used in the first place”.
The debate began with a reading of the names of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and a 72 second silence to remember those whose lives were lost.