Mayor Philip Glanville was “disappointed” to discover that Hackney Council would not be releasing an independent report on cladding ordered after the Grenfell fire.
In an interview on 20 March, the Mayor of Hackney said the decision not to release the report by Cladtech Associates was made by someone else at the Town Hall – and that he only found out about it by reading the Hackney Citizen.
Three weeks ago the Citizen revealed that the council had U-turned on releasing the report to the public.
This was despite the council saying in July that the report was “currently being written” and saying in September that Cladtech was “finalising the report” which the council hoped to publish “by the end of the year”.
Speaking to the Citizen ahead of his campaign for re-election, Mayor Glanville said that he disagreed with the decision not to publish the report.
He also revealed that a “hybrid report” would be published in the “summer or autumn” of this year after cladding works are completed on Hackney’s council estates, and that this report will contain the key information from Cladtech’s inspections.
Mayor Glanville said: “On the Cladtech report, I think the interim report led us to look at the cladding at Lincoln Court and Hugh Gaitskell [estates] again, and in effect we then decided to act, so it wasn’t at one point felt the need to have that final report, because we were doing the works that had come out of it.”
But he continued: “I was very disappointed to read in the paper that we were not publishing that report, and have gone back in response to that and said we will publish a report when the works at Lincoln Court and Hugh Gaitskell are completed, and it will be a hybrid report of what Cladtech have told us and the results and improvements that we’ve put in place at those two blocks.”
On the decision not to publish a report by Cladtech, the Mayor added: “It was a question mark of whether you get them to produce a report just for the sake of producing a report, and somebody made a judgement call that that wasn’t right.
“I would take a different view.”
Mayor Glanville also defended his administration’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire, but said in the future he wants “a higher degree of transparency”.
The council has published more than 1,800 new fire risk assessments (FRAs) for council buildings.
But it has backtracked on releasing historical FRAs, and the new documents revealed nearly 3,000 fire safety jobs that need doing urgently.
“The world has changed”, he said. “We think that broadly things are safe as they are now, but going into the future we want a higher degree of transparency.
“We want to put those things up online. We want residents, local press, others, to be our eyes and ears, and if something’s going wrong, tell us.
“Going forward we can track those issues together.”