Ipswich MP will 'not let up' support for plastic-wrapped tower residents

St Francis Tower block Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

St Francis Tower block has been covered in "Shrink Wrap" since 2018 - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

An MP has described the plight of Ipswich residents living in a plastic-wrapped tower block as “unacceptable” and “unbearable”. 

Tom Hunt MP has criticised the ongoing works to replace cladding at St Francis Tower on Franciscan Way.  

Works to remove the tower’s flammable cladding began in April 2021, in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy in 2017 which saw 72 people lose their lives.  

In the meantime, St Francis Tower has been covered in plastic sheeting 'shrink wrap'. As temperatures all around the country soar, residents of the tower said last week that the sheeting was making the flats “impossible to live in”

Mr Hunt said: “The experience of residents in St Francis Tower has been totally unacceptable and I am determined to not let up in my efforts for urgent change.” 

He has been a vocal supporter of the tower’s residents, securing a parliamentary debate on the situation in parliament, and visiting residents of the tower with then-Minister for Building Safety and Fire Lord Greenhalgh earlier this year. 

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has spoken about the ongoing struggle of St Francis Tower residents

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has spoken about the ongoing struggle of St Francis Tower residents, whose homes are wrapped in plastic sheeting while flammable cladding is removed. - Credit: House of Commons

Mr Hunt said he has been told by property manager Block Management Ltd that those responsible for remediation works were project management consultants Oander and developer Guildmore. 

However, he said he was “frustrated” that it had not been possible to contact either company. 

He said: “I am still very disappointed and frustrated with the communications.  

“I am trying to get the best outcomes for my constituents, but the companies involved don’t seem to be taking any responsibility or initiating any urgent action.  

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“I want to know how Oander Ltd and Guildmore are supporting my constituents through the unbearable temperatures exacerbated by the plastic wrap, but so far, I haven’t heard anything positive.”  

Monday was Suffolk’s hottest day on record with a reading of 38.1C in Santon Downham at 4pm. This is expected to rise to 40C on Tuesday. 

Mr Hunt said he would continue to contact Block Management Ltd, Oander Ltd and Guildmore on his constituents’ behalf. 

He concluded: “I know the upcoming days are going to be incredibly difficult for them and I will not let up in further support going to residents whilst these works take place."  

Are you a resident of St Francis Tower, and want to share your experience? Email: Abygail.Fossett@archant.co.uk