After consulting local constituents affected by the cladding and building safety scandal in the light of Michael Gove’s announcement last week, I spoke again on the issue in Parliament yesterday during the debate on the third reading of the Building Safety Bill.
I expressed concern that we were debating the Bill before the Secretary of State had the opportunity to table the amendments he had promised to secure the position of leaseholders, so that they could receive the scrutiny they deserved. I set out the concerns – expressed to me by residents of Mandale House, Millsands, Wicker Riverside, Metis and other buildings – which must be addressed in the Government’s amendments which will now be introduced in the House of Lords.
I said that the Government must provide an absolute assurance that the statutory protection will cover all non-cladding remediation; that full support must be provided where developers are no longer in business; that support should be provided for leaseholders not in occupation of their flats; that developers must be prevented from imposing costs on leaseholders now, before the protection becomes part of legislation; and that action must be taken over insurance costs and uninsurable buildings.
Finally, concerned over potential delays caused by litigation, the Government should simply act to fix all the faults now and then use the full resources of the state to recover the money from those responsible – so that no costs will fall on leaseholders who have no responsibility for the predicament they are in.
Read my speech here or watch it below.