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“national emergency” of dangerous cladding on tower blocks

Labour will take urgent action to tackle “national emergency” of dangerous cladding on tower blocks. Visiting Bolton, John Healey, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, will announce that Labour will take urgent action to tackle the “national emergency” of dangerous cladding on tower blocks, and warn that the Conservatives’ complacency is putting lives at risk.

According to official figures published last week, the government will miss targets for removing Grenfell-style ACM cladding off tower blocks by over a decade. Nine in 10 private blocks have not had dangerous cladding replaced.

To speed up the process of replacement, a Labour government will set a deadline of the end of December for block-owners to prove they are getting rid of dangerous cladding. If they fail to do so, councils will be empowered to take over blocks to get the work done to make them safe.

Labour will:

  • Name and shame owners of blocks fitted with dangerous cladding;
  • Update sanctions available to councils to enable them to impose tougher fines on owners which don’t have a plan to remove dangerous cladding;
  • Give councils powers to take over blocks whose owners refuse to make them safe, in order to get the works done and make buildings safe;
  • Immediately make available funding for councils who take over blocks with dangerous cladding;
  • Immediately direct officials to widen the Government-sponsored testing regime to comprehensively test non-ACM as well as ACM cladding, including on private blocks.

John Healey, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, visiting the site of the tower block fire in Bolton, said “It is shameful that, over two years since the horror of the Grenfell Tower fire, people are still living in tower blocks with flammable cladding. The Conservatives’ complacency is putting lives at risk, and the fire in Bolton must be a wake-up call.

“Labour will treat the removal of unsafe cladding as a national emergency and deliver real change for the thousands of people still living in homes with deadly cladding.”