Government could cover cladding repairs, says MP

Penny Mourdant says she's working closely with Portsmouth City Council and DLCG.  Picture Ian Hargreaves  (160717-4c) PPP-170118-121223001
Penny Mourdant says she's working closely with Portsmouth City Council and DLCG. Picture Ian Hargreaves (160717-4c) PPP-170118-121223001
Staff from The Roberts Centre joined together at Landport Community Centre to mark the launch of the 'Find Robert The Bear' Competition. The aim is for people to take photos of their bears in interesting parts of the Portsmouth/Gosport/Fareham/Havant/Waterlooville areas.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170129-1543)

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PORTSMOUTH North MP Penny Mordaunt says the government may offer financial support for tower repairs and fire prevention measures, as testing continues on cladding from tower blocks.

Tests are currently being carried out on cladding from 600 high-rise buildings across the country, following the fire at Grenfell Tower on June 14.

In Portsmouth, work is currently being done to remove the cladding from Horatia House and Leamington House in Somers Town.

Ms Mordaunt says that the potential costs of repair work, and any additional fire prevention costs, may be covered by the government.

She said: ‘In Portsmouth the council faces costs in doing the immediate remedial work on the blocks cladded in flammable material and, potentially, in fire safety measures it may wish to install based on what the fire authority might recommend.

‘The Secretary of State has said that where councils need financial support for such necessary works they will receive what help they need.’

Ms Mordaunt is also proud of Portsmouth City Council’s work in the investigation.

She explained: ‘I want to thank Portsmouth City Council for its swift action in sending in material from its own tower blocks for testing, the reassurance and fire safety measures for residents of those blocks and work to remove cladding shown to be flammable, already well underway.

‘They were one of the first councils to act and make use of the free testing service set up by the government.

‘As well as its own blocks, the Council has been actively identifying all properties that are over six stories or greater than 18 meters within the private market in Portsmouth.

‘I am in touch with Portsmouth City Council on a daily basis – councillors and officers are keeping me informed.’