Three years on and residents of Sheffield tower block fitted with the wrong cladding are STILL waiting for a report

Sheffield Council has still not given a date for the release of a report which investigates why the wrong cladding was put on a tower block, despite three years of delays.

Friday, 31st July 2020, 1:12 pm

Hanover Tower, on Exeter Drive, Broomhall, failed fire safety tests introduced in the wake of the Grenfell disaster in 2017.

The council launched an independent investigation into why failed cladding was put on the block and gave numerous dates for when it would be released to residents, none of which have been met so far.

Last month, John Cawthorne, who has lived at Hanover for 30 years and served on the Tenants and Residents Association for 25, said: “I feel like they have been waving paper in front of my face and pissing in my pocket. It’s disappointing but not surprising.”

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Cladding on the Hanover Tower block in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, is taken down after it failed a fire safety test. Sheffield Council said a single element of covering on the Hanover tower block in Exeter Drive, Broomhall, failed the inspection. June 27, 2017

Councillor Paul Wood, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, then said in a meeting the report was nearly ready to be released and could be given to residents "by the end of July at the latest" if they were happy to go ahead without a meeting in person.

He said: “We made a commitment to have a public meeting with the residents of Hanover before we issue the report, that obviously isn’t going to happen in the foreseeable future.

“We’ve looked at whether we could do a Zoom meeting but that doesn’t work with all the residents.

“So what we have done is consult with the tenants and residents’ association in the past few weeks and they have given us all the different languages the report needs to be translated into and that’s being commissioned in the next week.

“When all those reports have been translated we are going to go back and consult with the residents to give them the option of sending the report out to them and taking phone calls with them or delay the report and have the public meeting as promised. If they decide they want to do that it will be months before it comes out with the way things are looking at the moment.

“We are going to give them the choice, we feel it’s the residents who need to make that decision and we will be consulting with them in the next few weeks. If they decide they are happy for us to send it out to them, then I think it would be in the public realm by the end of July at the latest.”

At the time, Mr Cawthorne said it was preferable to have the report sooner rather than later but today said they have not yet been given a date.

The council was asked to confirm if there was a date for the release of the report yet, if so when that was, how it will be released to residents and then the public, if there will be a question and answer session with the council or the opportunity for residents to discuss it after reading and which languages it will be translated into.

In response to the questions asked, Janet Sharpe, director of housing and neighbourhood services said: “We are working hard to get the report ready for publication, which would have completed by now but has been delayed due to our response to Covid-19.

“As soon as we can we will complete the report and agree with the tenants the most suitable ways to share the findings with them before making the report public, which will be provided in different languages. All tenants will have the opportunity to ask the council any questions on the report’s findings.”

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