June 30, 2017 / 10:44 AM / 5 months ago

Some 149 British buildings fail safety tests after west London fire

LONDON (Reuters) - Some 149 high-rise buildings have failed safety tests introduced after a deadly tower block fire in west London, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday while criticising a decision to hold a council meeting on the disaster in private.

A bird flies past the Dorney Tower residential block, after residents were evacuated as a precautionary measure following concerns over the type of cladding used on the outside of the buildings on the Chalcots Estate in north London, Britain, June 26, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

“So far the cladding from 149 high rise buildings in 45 local authority areas have failed the tests. That continues to be a 100 percent test failure rate,” the spokeswoman told reporters.

Responding to reports that the public and media were not allowed into a council meeting on the devastating fire in Grenfell Tower, west London, which killed at least 80 people, she said: ”Our view is that access to democracy should always be easy.

“There are rules that state that all meetings must be open to the public except in certain circumstances ... and we would have expected the council to respect that.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Michael Holden

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