SAFETY of residents should be prioritised over headline grabbing news said members of the shadow cabinet who met with local councillors after it was revealed student accommodation ­— including The Cube ­­— was barred from a new £1.6 billion Government fund to remove cladding from high-rise buildings.

A fire ripped through The Cube last November, with the cladding said to have played a 'major role in the rapid spread' of the blaze.

Both the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Home Secretary Priti Patel visited Bolton to see the devastating aftermath of The Cube blaze in November last year, but now it has emerged no financial help will be given to The Cube, or any other student accommodation.

The Bolton News:

This is despite the fact there have been calls to add the type of cladding on The Cube to the list of materials to be removed from buildings ­—but other building owners, say the Government, are being given "unprecedented support" to keep residents safe.

Shadow Secretary of State for Housing Thangam Debbonaire, and the Shadow Minister of Housing and Planning Mike Amesbury met with Bolton's Labour councillors on a special Zoom meeting to discuss the Building Safety Fund, set up to strip cladding off buildings.

The Bolton News:

Mr Amesbury said: "There's lots of talk talk and spin, whether it be floods or other disasters while its in in the headlines some politicians might want to take short term advantage, but this is a long term thing and what it is ultimately about that's got be a a relentless focus."

"Over three years on from Grenfell we have thousands of people living in unsafe flammable, there are still 300 wrapped in AMC -style cladding, as you will know in terms of The Cube that was in HPL equally flammable cladding."

He said: "The key concern we have with the building safety fund the size and the scope of the fund are no where near sufficient ­— first come first served is obviously not a way to organise a fund which is supposedly about people and people's safety in dangerous buildings."

His colleague, Ms Debbonaire said that the Government should prioritise safety for everyone living in cladded high-rise buildings and then look to recoup the costs.

She said: "Everybody should have a safe and secure home it ought to be something everyone should be able to take granted, we know particularly since Grenfell, that's not something many people who cannot take for granted, that should apply to you whether you are private rented sector, student rented sector or if you own your own home."

She added: "You will have homeowners, whether landlord or owner- occupiers who bought the home in good faith who bought under a regulatory system that was inadequate and I think there is a question here why the Government won't take more responsibility for taking the burden off them whether they are owner occupied or privately rented but whatever sector they are in and then recouping the money because I don;'t actually see why the taxpayer should pay for this either.

"I think there are people here who were at fault, it's complicated if you try and track it back to see who is actually responsible there is a complicated unpleasant web of which bit of regulation was cut at which time, who chose to work round it who chose to skate very close to the edge and who is failing to take responsibility."