MPs slam missed cladding remediation target

Aaron Morby 4 years ago
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Watchdog MPs have blasted Government for badly missing its target to replace unsafe cladding on tower blocks.

A lack of skills, capacity, and access to insurance is hampering efforts to to replace unsafe cladding
A lack of skills, capacity, and access to insurance is hampering efforts to to replace unsafe cladding

All vulnerable tower blocks in the UK should have had cladding replaced by June this year.

But three years after the Grenfell Tower disaster, only a third or 155 out of 455 of high-rise buildings with Grenfell-style flammable cladding have been retrofitted.

Scrutinising MPs on the Public Accounts Committee are now calling for the £1bn replacement fund to be boosted to meet the estimated £3.5bn cost of retrofitting unsafe cladding in the UK.

In a report published today, the PAC said it was “imperative” that the new deadline, for works on the remaining high-rise blocks to be completed by the end of 2021, be met.

But MPs warned the Government had no convincing plan for how it would meet that new deadline.

They also warn a host of other serious shortcomings exposed by the Grenfell disaster that also needed to be addressed.

A lack of skills, capacity, and access to insurance is hampering efforts to improve or simply assure the structural safety of apartment blocks.

This knocks on to any ability to restore the confidence of buyers and mortgage lenders in sales of flats across the country.

Leaseholders are in limbo and facing huge bills because of a system-wide failure.

Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said: “The Department set its own target to remove cladding and yet has failed to achieve even a third of the work it set out to deliver.

“Thousands of people have been condemned to lives of stress and fear in unsaleable homes with life-changing bills: for the works and for the fire-watch that is necessary to allow them to sleep at night until it is done.

“The government has repeatedly made what turn out to be pie-in-the-sky promises – and then failed to plan, resource, or deliver.

“The deadly legacy of a shoddy buildings regulation system has been devastating for the victims and survivors of Grenfell but is leaving a long tail of misery and uncertainty for those whose lives are in limbo.

“The Government must step up and show that it will put a stop to the bickering over who is responsible, who’s going to pay for the remediation – and just put this right.”

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