In light of the upcoming Fire Safety Bill, I would to thank every resident who has written to me with their concerns on this and for continuing to keep me updated on the cladding issues affecting their property. I recognise what an exceptionally difficult time this is and appreciate how much anxiety the cladding proposals are causing to many leaseholders.
On more than fifteen occasions, Ministers promised that leaseholders would not be landed with the costs of remedial works. Yet, people are still being put at risk, trapped in flammable buildings for a third lockdown, with leaseholders placed in an impossible position and promises broken. It is evident that the Government’s handling of the cladding crisis has lacked any sense of grip or urgency.
For this reason, the Labour Party have tabled an Opposition Day Debate on cladding for Monday, which will subsequently bring forward a vote that will call for leaseholders to be protected from the costs of remediating their blocks with dangerous cladding.
The party will also be tabling a number of amendments to the Fire Safety Bill that will aim to protect leaseholders from unfair costs through the power of the law. I am aware that many residents have been in touch to request that I support the McPartland and Smith amendment, which provides welcome clarity on the specific costs that would be prevented from being passed on to leaseholders. Labour has sought to go further on this.
As currently drafted, the McPartland and Smith amendment would not have covered blocks like Grenfell - where flammable cladding has been added at some stage following the building of the block. It only applies to defects in the original design of buildings. The Labour Party’s amendment would ensure that the cost of fire safety problems from refurbishment jobs, like the cladding on Grenfell Tower, cannot be passed on to leaseholders. Labour’s amendments also include new clauses so that the Bill protects leaseholders from the day it comes into law, instead of an unknown date in the future.
I would like to thank my colleagues in the Labour Party, Sarah Jones MP, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Thangam Debbonaire MP and Mike Amesbury MP for their hard work and commitment to addressing this large injustice on a national scale.
If any residents have any further queries on this issue, please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss this further. In the meantime, I hope this post assures you of the steps myself and the Labour Party are taking to protect tenants and leaseholders during this cladding crisis.