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Angry Chalcots Estate Residents Confront Camden Council Leader


Sajid Javid, the Communities and Local Government minister, told Sky News that along with the cladding problem, the local fire safety authority had found "multiple fire safety failures" including the insulation of gas pipes and missing fire doors.

Britain's government urged local officials across the country Sunday to urgently submit samples of tower block cladding after tests found that all samples tested so far have failed fire safety standards.

Some 700 apartments were vacated in north London as buildings were declared unsafe due to the cladding they were covered in, which was also used on the Grenfell Tower block in west London that went up in flames on June 14, leaving at least 79 people dead.

It is up to each local authority to decide whether to evacuate residents from blocks which have failed fire tests, a spokesman for the communities and local government told AFP.

About 50 residents displaced from their homes in the Chalcots Estate stayed in nearby Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre on Saturday night, a Camden Council spokesman said. They will be moved to temporary housing, which includes hotels and homes of friends and family.

"I think they've done the right thing".

A woman refusing to leave her flat in a Camden tower block that has been evacuated over fire safety fears has said: "We are not the villains here, we are the victims".

Some 83 households have refused to leave their homes and the council has warned they will be forced to leave because the building is not safe.

According to NPR, the type of cladding used on the tower is not allowed on buildings in most of the USA, "but a few state and the District of Columbia have relaxed their building codes in recent years and have started to permit the material's use".


Local authorities are contacting fire and rescue services to conduct fire safety inspections of the affected tower blocks.

Georgia Gould, Camden Council leader, said staff would be going door-to-door asking anyone who's still inside to leave, and will be sending "another letter reiterating to residents who are still remaining in the Taplow, Bray, Dorney and Burnham blocks that they must leave".

Those who have evacuated are now preparing to spend a second night out of their homes.

They are among 60 high-rise buildings in 25 local authorities across the country that have now failed the tests for combustibility.

McCormack said police were investigating companies involved in the building and refurbishment of the tower, and possible "health and safety and fire safety offences".

Georgia Gould added: "We realise that this is hugely distressing for everyone affected and we will be doing all we can, alongside the London Fire Brigade and other authorities, to support our residents at this hard time".

The mayor said: "Look, you've got to err on the side of caution".

The cladding was installed on the 24-storey council-owned Grenfell Tower, which was built in 1974, as part of a refurbishment completed past year. You can't play Russian roulette with people's safety.

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