A WARRINGTON firm gave ‘entirely inadequate’ safety advice over the refurbishment of the Grenfell Tower, an inquiry into the fire which killed 72 people has heard.

Exova, based on Holmsfield Road in Howley, was appointed as the fire safety consultant on the renovation of the tower in 2012 – five years before the disaster in June 2017.

But the company has been criticised in a report by Dr Barbara Lane – who found that fitting external cladding to the existing building would have ‘no adverse effect’, without actually analysing the proposals.

The expert witness said that this was ‘very serious evidence of professional negligence’.

One internal email between staff at Exova described the proposals for the 24-storey block of flats as worsening the already ‘not great’ fire safety conditions in the development.

This note read: "I have told the architect we can massage the proposal to something acceptable.

"They are making an existing crap condition worse, so it's a matter of working the worse bits out and making the new stuff work."

The email added: "No sprinklers wanted."

Giving evidence to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry yesterday, Wednesday, Dr Lane said that Exova should have made other parties on the refurbishment aware of these concerns.

She added: "For me, fire safety engineering is about protecting people.

"It's a massive responsibility, I used the word scary earlier and I mean that most sincerely.

"When you forget that and you get caught up in the game of making things work and getting things through, you forget about your primary responsibilities which is protecting people.

"That has been a problem in the construction industry based on my own experience – I don't just mean fire safety engineering professionals, I want to make that clear.

"We're one role in a whole scheme of people who have duties, ultimately, to build things properly – to protect people in the event of a fire.

"The ultimate purpose is to protect human beings."

Dr Lane’s evidence will continue today, Thursday.