COMMENT: Let’s make these towers safe as soon as possible

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No-one is likely to forget the horrific images of Grenfell Tower in London burning.

Along with the terrible spate of terror attacks on the UK, they are certainly one of the most shocking sights of 2017.

And then to discover after that the cladding could be to blame for the fire spreading so quickly made it even more shocking.

With 79 lives lost and that figure likely to rise, it 
seemed inconceivable that those in the building could have been put at risk in that way.

Unsurprisingly, that started a process which led yesterday to workers beginning to remove cladding from two tower blocks in Portsmouth.

Tests had found that the cladding on Horatio House and Leamington House was not fire-safe.

It was also found that half of Portsmouth’s high rises were either missing or did not have fire risk assessments.

It is without doubt shocking that the residents of those blocks have been put in this position.

While some of those residents we spoke to are pleased the action is being taken, it remains a situation that should not have occurred.

Of course we welcome the swift action being taken.

The city council is doing all it can to tackle the issue as quickly as possible.

And, as we reported yesterday, it is hoping to get £10m from government to retrofit sprinklers to tower blocks.

We hope that bid is successful and work can start as soon as possible.

As for now, the sooner these blocks are stripped of this potentially dangerous cladding, the better.

The residents there have the right to feel safe in their beds at night.