BOLTON council is urging more financial support for fire safety at buildings like student block the Cube, which suffered a major blaze last year.

During a full council meeting members debated a motion which heard current criteria for help replacing cladding excluded student accommodation such as the Cube in Bolton town centre.

Councillor Richard Silvester, told the meeting: “Government funding towards the remediation of high rise building in the social and private sector that have

unsafe cladding has so far fallen way short in making sure that the scenes which occurred at Grenfell do not happen elsewhere.

“A few months ago the government published a registration prospectus for certain types of high rise buildings, 18 metres high and over but excluded any

help for high rise hotels and student accommodation.

“The Cube building in Bolton town centre which suffered its own fire late last year is excluded from remediation funding as it is classed as student accommodation.

“We find this absolutely ridiculous and a prime reason why the funding should increase and the criteria widened so the the Cube and all ‘at risk’ buildings, regardless  of height and status can be covered.

“We also believe that retrospective payments should be made where work has already been carried out.

“Unless this is done the majority of buildings affected with such cladding will be left with no financial support.”

Councillor Cunningham: “I think a great responsibility lies on developers and architects and building regulations inspectors.

“At Grenfell people ignored the the actual regulations whether it was for profit or simply because of its insulation properties.”

The Cube fire saw fire crews called to the six-storey building in Bradshawgate,  at around 8.30pm on Friday November 15, last year.

At its height, around 200 firefighters were tackling the blaze, with 40 fire engines, three aerial platforms and other specialist appliances being used.

Extensive structural damage was incurred.

The council motion, stated: “Council notes that the registration prospectus would leave the majority of buildings, including the Cube in Bolton,

without financial support, and agrees with the concerns expressed by parliamentary committees and the National Audit Office.

“The council therefore calls upon the Government to increase the funding pot and widen the criteria, so that all at risk buildings can be covered, including

retrospective payments where work has already been carried out. include the remediation of additional fire safety defects, as well as external cladding and

introduce a complete ban on combustible cladding on all buildings – regardless of height.”

The motion received cross party support and was carried.