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    Henry James

    IN the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London, West Lancs MP Rosie Cooper has sought assurances from the borough council about the safety of residents living in properties owned by the authority.

    But the council has said it is writing to all tenants to assure them all its properties meet the required building standards.

    Ms Cooper says she was contacted by several constituents in the days following the blaze - which to date has left 79 people dead or missing - raising concerns.

    Their fears were prompted by reports that cladding around the London tower block might have contributed to the rapid spread of the blaze, as their properties also have cladding.

    However, the council have moved to allay their fears by confirming that the cladding is NOT the same as that on Grenfell Tower.

    Ms Cooper contacted West Lancs Council’s director of housing and inclusion, Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey to raise residents’ concerns and seek assurances over the safety of properties in the borough.

    The MP said: “In reaction to the events at Grenfell Tower, residents on the Fawcett and Fairburn estates in Skelmersdale contacted me as they were worried about the safety of their cladded properties.

    “Having spoken directly to the council’s housing director she has assured me the low-rise nature of the properties and the nature of the cladding are key differences with Grenfell Tower and I welcome Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey’s commitment to make contact with residents to address any concerns.

    “What happened at Grenfell Tower is an absolute tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. People have lost everything and, most tragically, some lost their lives.

    “I would also like to add my sincere thanks to our emergency services who continue to risk their lives on a daily basis to save ours. Their work, wherever it is in the country, is vital and it is essential we recognise their service.”

    A spokesman for West Lancs Council commented: “The council was deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London. Our thoughts are with all those involved, and their families and friends at this very sad time.

    “While the council does not own any high-rise flats it recognises that the events in London may be causing its tenants some concern.

    “The council is writing to all its tenants to reassure them that none of our properties have the type of cladding used at the Grenfell Tower and all our properties meet required building standards.

    “The safety of our tenants is of paramount concern to the council.”

    Continued inside

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