Breaking news this morning is that the ‘Times’ newspaper has documents suggesting the cladding on the burnt out tower block was not that which was originally specified and the metal coating was aluminium rather than zinc which means that as aluminium melts at a lower temperature than zinc, someone decided that the fire risk was very low. It also happens to have saved over £300,000 on the refurbishment cost which was over budget anyway. The full story will no doubt emerge in due course, but I wonder if anyone will be found accountable for the 80+ unnecessary deaths at the end of the day as the ‘Times’ story is pointing the finger initially at the Council and contractor who won the new, lower specification, contract after the original contractor appears to have priced to the original specification. As this could easily have happened all over the country, I wonder if a culture change will actually happen?
Of course is will mean funding for councils will need to be reviewed. It had to happen anyway as if national government continues with the devolving of powers down the ‘representation’ route to save government money, then David Gaulk (Treasury minister) will have to do some rethinking to provide funding for all the shifted responsibilities downwards in order to keep ministers hands clean and in power!