The Problem with Cladding
Thousands of high rise buildings across the UK have been clad in what turns out to be flammable cladding, presending a huge risk to life for everyone living in those buildings.
True to form, rather then getting on with fixing the problem, stripping off the offending cladding and making those buildings safe, our Government opted for a public enquiry.
It was the 14th June 2017 when 72 people died in Grenfell tower in Kensington, London. almost 5 years ago any yet we still have similar cladding on buildings across Britain.
I understand that replacing the cladding will cost £ billions, but that is no excuse for leaving UK citizens vulnerable to unnecessary fire risks. Surely we should be removing all flammable cladding from buildings as a priority while we discuss who is going to fund it.
Initially at least the cost of replacing the cladding with a safe equivalent was pushed onto building tenants. This is a lazy, unworkable option. The costs involved in some buildings worked out at £50,000+ per tenant. Way beyond the affordability for most tenants.
Somewhere along the line, the testing and approval of materials failed the tenants of buildings. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56403431).
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So who is responsible?
Problems with fire safety of some types of cladding were known about as far back as 2013. But sales continued unabated.
The industry was allowed to fit flammable cladding and continued to do so.
The solution as to who pays for safe replacement is straightforward. The cost should be borne by the industry that enabled it in the first place. Some responsibility must lie with the Government & building control for allowing its use too.
The people currently facing the cost are the ones who shouldn’t be liable. The tenants of tower blocks didn’t cause the problem, but face paying for it.
Some building residents are having to employ fire wardens to keep a watch over the building 24 / 7 so they are safe from potential fires.
Reform UK have a 3 step plan:
- a long term funding / warranty solution
- a guarantee that leaseholders will not pay for cladding and fire safety related items
- the polluter will pay; i.e the industry
Existing Government plans will bankrupt many thousands of people and leave many flats and apartments valueless.