Grenfell Tower fire: May pledges to fund cladding removal

ANALYSISMay 17 2018 5:00pm The Times Banning Grenfell cladding won’t fix the rotten construction industry Sean O’Neill

Theresa May announced that it will fully fund the removal work carried out by councils and housing associations.

Some councils have already started work on removing and replacing cladding on tower blocks.

Her spokesman said it would take two years.

71 people were killed in the blaze at Grenfell Tower which happened overnight on May 14 previous year.

"Councils and housing associations must remove risky cladding quickly", May said.

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.

"Those that have begun re-cladding will also have access to the fund".

Britain will spend £400 million stripping high-rise buildings of the risky cladding blamed for last year's Grenfell Tower fire which left 71 people dead, Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday.

In another part of her answer to Blackman, May said that of the 210 Grenfell households in need of rehousing after the blaze, 201 had accepted an offer of temporary or permanent accommodation.

But the money will not be available to private landlords undertaking work on cladding, according to Downing Street.

The announcement came as Labour prepared to use an opposition day debate in the Commons to press ministers on their detailed demands on building safety, including the fitting of non-combustible cladding and insulation on high-rise blocks.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said: "More than 11 months on, the time for warm words is long past, and people are rightly asking why so little has changed since the Grenfell Tower fire". It said in a statement: "It is great that the government has honoured its commitment from last summer to meet the unexpected exceptional costs for councils arising from major remedial fire safety work on high-rise buildings".

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