I welcome Michael Gove’s announcements, detailing that the government will be pursuing the developers responsible for unsafe cladding. It is absolutely right that the bill for remediation works does not fall to the leaseholders. Previously only the buildings over 18 metres were included in the Government’s funding for remediation works – this has now been extended to buildings between 11 and 18 metres, should they require cladding works; there are a group of my constituents falling into this category who will be incredibly relieved. The Secretary of State for Housing told us that he would be making sure developers paid for cladding removal from the mid-sized buildings, ensuring that leaseholders won’t have to foot the bill. I do also have concerns about non-cladding related fire safety issues, such as timber balconies and firebreaks.
I told the Secretary of State for Housing that I do not want to be standing in front of him in 6 months’ time with evidence that leaseholders have been unable to sell their flats due to fire safety issues. Of course, the remediation works need to be carried out, but must be sensitive to the residents it affects. In the chamber today I raised the circumstances faced by residents of St Francis Tower, and I was pleased to hear that the Secretary of State, or a minister from the Department, will be visiting Ipswich to see the conditions