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Written Statement - Large-Scale tests on the fire safety of building cCladding

Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children

This statement updates members on further whole-system tests undertaken by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) following recommendations by the UK Government Expert Panel established in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster. My written statement of 28 July referred to the first test result.

A second large-scale test was conducted last weekend. This related to:

Aluminium Composite Material (ACM), category 3, with mineral wool insulation.

This wall system failed the test, meaning that it did not adequately resist the spread of fire over the wall to the standard required by the current Building Regulations guidance.

The ACM with mineral wool insulation system is similar to the combination in place on the 3 buildings owned by Newport City Homes (NCH). These were the only samples (relative to these tests) confirmed to have been sent from Welsh properties.

We have been working with NCH which has been liaising closely with the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) to ensure that all recommended measures to safeguard its tenants are in place. NCH has been proactive in its planning for engaging, informing and reassuring its tenants since the original disaster and has already set in place a range of actions. These include locating round-the-clock fire wardens on the properties, personally conveying information to tenants and, in conjunction with SWFRS, holding regular surgeries to deal with questions and concerns raised by the tenants. NCH will now need to consider carefully and implement any further measures identified by the Expert Panel and its own further investigations.

I will continue to update members as the testing regime continues.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.