Grenfell Tower fire: May pledges to fund cladding removal

Lester Mason
May 16, 2018

Ministers had previously refused to fund the removal of cladding found not to be fire-safe in tests after the Grenfell Tower disaster, which claimed the lives of 72 people.

Answering a question from the Conservative MP Bob Blackman about the government's progress leading up to the anniversary of the fire on 14 June a year ago, in which 71 people died, May said fire services had now checked more than 1,250 high-rises.

She told MPs: 'Councils and housing associations must remove risky cladding quickly but paying for these works must not undermine their ability to do important maintenance and fix work'.

But the Prime Minister hit back, saying fire and rescue services had visited over 1,250 high-rise buildings following the blaze.

The prime minister said "immediate action" was needed but added that this new funding "must not undermine" councils' ability to do their own maintenance and fix work.

She also gave an update on the accommodation of the West London block's former residents.

Tower block fire in London
Cautious welcome for government cladding pledge

Some 201 households have accepted an offer of temporary or permanent accommodation out of the 210 families made homeless in the wake of the fire.

There is no funding for privately owned blocks, but May's spokeswoman said No 10 thought the cost should be met by the landlords rather than leaseholders: "This is money for social housing".

Labour had been preparing to use an opposition day debate in the Commons to question ministers on building safety for high-rise blocks.

Theresa May confirmed the risky materials would be removed during Prime Minister's Questions earlier today.

Mrs May also faced criticism for not releasing funds for the Grenfell community earlier this year, with rap artist Stormzy asked on-stage at the BRIT awards: "Theresa May, where's the money for Grenfell?"

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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