LABOUR LEADER, Sir Keir Starmer, has called for a National Cladding Taskforce to speed up the pace of removal of unsafe cladding from high rise residential properties.
New figures from Labour suggest up to 11 million people – 1 in 6 homes – are at risk from huge costs to remove unsafe cladding and from having unsellable properties.
The National Cladding Taskforce would drive forward Labour’s six demands for safer homes, which are:
1. Immediate up-front funding for removing deadly cladding and other urgent fire safety work
2. Protecting leaseholders and taxpayers by pursuing those responsible for the cladding scandal for costs
3. A new, legally enforceable 2022 deadline to make homes safe
4. Legislation to protect residents from costs
5. Getting the market moving by ensuring affected residents can sell and re-mortgage
6. Stamping out rogue builders by reforming the sector
The British Safety Council has said, on many occasions, that it is unacceptable for leaseholders to be presented with huge bills to fix existing fire problems not of their making or be unable to sell or insure their homes due to new requirements.
Slow removal of dangerous cladding
The slow speed of dangerous cladding remediation has been repeatedly criticised in the past three years, since the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.
Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, said:
“We support the call for a National Cladding Taskforce and for legislation to protect leaseholders from costs. Some four years after the Grenfell tragedy, the pace of removal of unsafe cladding has been disappointing, particularly given the risk to life that it presents.
“While there have been warm noises from the Government about protecting leaseholders from costs, no concrete steps have been taken to rule this out – to do anything other would be unjust and plain wrong.”
“A legally enforceable 2022 deadline to make homes safe would help to catalyse action to remove unsafe cladding and provide some comfort to leaseholders.”