MP Steve Reed says he has been unable to discover whether a newly rebuilt school in his Croydon North constituency has flammable cladding or not.
“It seems impossible to do so” he told fellow MPs during a debate on fire safety and fire cladding.
“If I, as the local Member of Parliament with the access that I have to the relevant authorities, cannot find out, I pity those poor parents who are trying to find out whether their children will be safe after they have taken them to school each morning.
“Parents clearly would not want there to be flammable cladding on their children’s school, whatever other fire safety measures are in place. “It is a simple thing to do, so why do not the Government just ban its use on new school buildings?”
Mr Reed was responding to comments made by Emma Hardy, (Lab) Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle who said: “Hundreds of schools across the country are also covered in combustible material, and the Government have not included them in the building safety programme. [Interruption.] Well, that is the latest report.
“The Minister suggests that there are not hundreds, so I would be very happy to send him the report that I have read that gives that evidence. “When he responds to the debate, will he also talk about how he can ensure that our children are safe when they attend school?”
Steve Reed: As my hon. Friend Emma Hardy said, after the new partial ban, the Government will still permit the use of flammable cladding on schools, care homes and hospitals under six storeys high, which of course most of them are. “I wonder whether the Minister would feel comfortable telling a group of parents that he is allowing flammable cladding to go up on the building where they take their children every morning for an education. I certainly would not.
Responding, Kit Malthouse Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government) said the Department for Education has conducted an exercise in which buildings have been reviewed and measures have been taken to ensure that those buildings are safe.
“I speak as somebody who has two children at school, and I understand that schools go through their fire drill, have fire doors, know where all the children are and are very focused on the notion of fire safety.
“I am more than happy to have a think about the point Mr. Reed makes. “As I say, we constantly keep these things under review.” (Source:TheyWorkForYou)