British Safety Council responds to Government’s cladding announcement
Commenting on an announcement today (10 January) by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing, in which he set out plans to raise £4bn to replace combustible cladding on buildings of heights between 11m and 18m, Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of British Safety Council said:
“Today’s announcement is a positive step forward as it will hopefully take the burden off many thousands of leaseholders facing large costs to replace unsafe cladding. It is also of course right that the construction industry continues to play its part in helping to resolve these issues.
“The Government must also shoulder its own responsibilities, having overseen the regulatory framework that led to Grenfell and other similar tragedies. We need to see all sides taking a positive and constructive approach to discussions between now and March.
“The sad truth is the funds announced today may also not go far enough. They will not pay leaseholders’ costs for other issues beyond cladding that aren’t included in these plans, such as balconies on a building that have been built with flammable material.
“The Grenfell fire showed how broad the building safety crisis is, spanning not just construction but design, manufacturing, fire safety and building management. However, there is no excuse for it having taken over four and half years to get to this point and these other issues also need to be approached with urgency.”
LGA Responds to Gove’s Cladding Crisis Announcement
Responding to warnings by government that developers must pay to fix cladding crisis, Cllr David Renard, housing spokesperson for the Local Government Association, which represents 350 councils across England and Wales, said:
“No leaseholder should have to pay the costs of making their homes safe and the Secretary of State’s threat to use the legal system to ensure developers meet their responsibilities to leaseholders is a positive step in the right direction. However, leaseholders are not the only innocent victims of the construction industry’s failure to build safe homes.
“The construction industry must also be made to fix the fire safety defects it has built into blocks owned by councils and housing associations. Unless the Government forces the industry to act – or provides funding – we are concerned that the costs of fixing social housing blocks will fall on council housing revenue accounts and housing associations.
“This will reduce the funding available to meet the Government’s ambitions for improvements to social housing, net zero and the provision of new social housing, leaving tenants and those on the waiting list to suffer the consequences of decades of industry failure and poor regulation. Like leaseholders, council tenants and those on the waiting list are innocent victims and the Government needs to help them too.”