Residents in a ‘freezing’ block of flats wear their dressing gowns to keep warm


A mother of two from Malus Court, Salford, revealed that she and her family must wear robes and mittens all day to keep warm after the tower she lives in was stripped of its cladding in the wake of Grenfell.

Jane, with her two children, says the family has to wear gowns and gloves to keep warm.
Jane, with her two children, says the family has to wear gowns and gloves to keep warm.

Residents of a tower stripped of its cladding after the Grenfell tragedy say they are “freezing” and forced to wear gowns to keep warm.

Jane, with her two children, says the family has to wear robes and gloves to keep warm, the Manchester Evening News reports, as Malus Court, where the family resides, had its outer layer removed.

The block of flats was stripped of its cladding following the Grenfell disaster in 2018, which killed 72 people.

But since the building’s heating system relies on the building’s insulation, the removal of the cladding has left the building, and its residents, exposed to the icy elements.

Some residents of the Pendleton block of flats say energy prices are now so high they can’t afford to have their heating hotter than 11C and they rarely have their lights on.

Jane, a mother of two, who moved into the property in October 2021, works part-time and has Universal Credit and says energy bills regularly exceed her monthly income.

The siding at Malus Court, Salford, was removed in 2018 in the wake of Grenfell


ABNM Photography)

As a result, her 10-month-old son has to spend his days in gloves and a hat, while his three-year-old sister and mother are forced to wear smocks.

Jane said: “I sit up at night, scared, wondering where I’m going to get the money.

“I have aluminum foil behind the radiators to try to keep the heat in. [The kids are] don’t open the curtains to keep the heat inside.

“They have to sleep with hot water bottles. They are always full of cold. So they are full of moisture.

“I can’t get into the kids’ money. That’s for diapers.

Jane says the cost of heating her home is more than what she receives each month from her part-time job and Universal Credit


ABNM Photography)

Another mother from the block of flats, Maria, who is unable to work due to English lessons and caring for her five-year-old son, added: “The job center said I should stay home without childcare because it costs a lot, I I can not afford it.

“I have a smart meter and I am always checking it. I have a five year old son. I have to do things at home.

“These are simple and ordinary things. My son has to sleep in my bed.

“I can’t leave it there. This is not a life.”

One of the residents shows his heating bills from last year.


ABNM Photography)

Last year, he spent £1,400 on energy, with the minimum being a monthly payment of £180. Sometimes Maria spent close to £300 every four weeks.

The building’s NIBE heating system uses vents to draw in fresh air which can then be heated and circulated.

Removing the cladding means there is less waste heat than is designed for, leading to freezing conditions for residents of the building owned by Salford City Council.

Deputy Mayor John Merry said completion of work to heat the building would be done “as quickly as humanly possible.”

People at Malus Court have to take drastic measures to keep warm


ABNM Photography)

He added: “The reason the cladding had to be removed from the blocks was for the safety of the residents.

“After Grenfell, it has been revealed that there has been a national breach of building regulations and we are now legally required to remove and replace all cladding made from these materials.

“From the Council’s perspective, we are working as hard and fast as we can with the resources we have available.

“Salford was one of the first municipalities in the country to announce the removal and replacement of its lined blocks, but the government blocked our attempts to fund rapid removal and replacement locally, and then also told us that Pendleton Together [PTOL] the blocks were not eligible for government grant money.

“After a long process of acquiring private financing in the private financing markets, PTOL removed the dangerous lining.

“But structural problems have slowed down work, along with international supply chain shortages and domestic labor shortages.”

Pendleton Together added that “we are sorry to hear examples of residents facing difficulties.”

A spokesperson said: “Pendleton Together knows that some of our residents face difficulties heating their home each winter.

“When this is due to energy prices or financial difficulties, we provide specialist staff who can advise on the support available and work with them to provide peace of mind.

“This is a service we have always provided and will continue to provide once the fire safety work program is complete.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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