Sajid Javid criticises Southwark Council in House of Commons
On 5th September 2017 Sajid Javid (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) openly criticised Southwark Council for not acting upon the cracks at the Ledbury Estate towers sooner. He rightly states that the local authority must have known about these issues and did not take them seriously until after the Grenfell fire disaster. Hansard excerpt below.
Hansard, House of Commons 05/09/17
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab):
"The statement reports that the weaknesses discovered following the Ronan Point collapse have not been fully addressed or remedied. That collapse took place nearly 50 years ago. We also read that 165 existing tower blocks have the same combustibility and dangers that existed at Grenfell. Does not this show a continuing catastrophic failure of building regulations? Do we not need an examination not only of combustibility but of all the other structural problems that are likely to affect those who have the misfortune to live in multi-storey blocks?" Sajid Javid: "The hon. Gentleman is right to raise this matter. This is precisely why I have asked for an independent review of building regulations. Also, in the light of the discovery at Ledbury Towers in Southwark, I have written to Dame Judith Hackitt and asked her to ensure that she considers those types of structural considerations. As well as building regulations, there are also wider questions. The issue at Ledbury Towers was discovered because of Grenfell Tower, but it is a structural issue. The work should have been done after the Ronan Point disaster, and there are some really big questions for the local authority to answer. The cracks that were discovered were large enough to put a human hand through or to put books in. Those cracks did not appear overnight. They had been there for some time—months, or even years. How can it be that the local authority was seemingly able to act only after the Grenfell tragedy?"
Full Hansard here