>> In the wake of the UK's deadly Grenfell Tower blaze, some of Europe's biggest building companies, who installed dangerous cladding on social housing blocks, are getting paid again to replace it. Reuters Tom Bergin explains.>> What we're seeing now is councils and associations are spending tens of millions of pounds, and with the same companies who did that initial work, to go back and make this situation right.
What we've calculated is, that as much as 240 million pounds could be spent in remediating building work, which the government said is likely non-compliant.>> The safety of social housing for lower income families came under scrutiny after the Grenfell blaze, in which 71 people died. The British government said clading panels on Grenfell did not comply with safety regulations that had been in place since 2006, and require panels to pass a combustibility test.
A Reuter's review found 65 other blocks where cladding installed after 2006 failed that test. The contractors involved include numerous major building companies, Wilmett Dixon and Rydon said their work complied with safety regulations, but did not elaborate. Wates, Bouygues, GallifordTry and Engie declined to answer compliance questions. Since the Grenfell fire, Engie, Wates, and Wilma Dixon have won new contracts to replace their work on 29 of the buildings.
And for all 65 buildings, only one landlord is pursuing legal redress. In all cases, local building inspectors signed off on the original work. But that doesn't mean the contractors don't have a case to answer.>> What we found discussing with lawyers, and indeed with talking with the government, is that a building contractor remains responsible for building work they have done.
Whether or not the building control inspectors have signed off on it or not. This means that if social landlords were to make a legal claim, they could find that they could reclaim this money from the contractors.