Theresa May pledges £400m to strip Grenfell-type cladding

The Government has finally agreed to foot an estimated £400m bill to remove and replace all dangerous cladding on council and housing association blocks.

The funding pledge comes on the eve of the publication of the Hackitt Review into the Grenfell Tower disaster, which is widely expected to recommend a new regulatory system for tower blocks, but will not call for a sweeping ban of all combustible cladding and insulation materials.

So far the Government has identified 158 high-rise block in public ownership where cladding should be stripped off.

Work is underway on 92 of these buildings, but councils had warned that they faced cutting back on local services to pay for the urgent remedial work.

During Prime Minister’s question time, Theresa May said: “Our thoughts as we approach the anniversary of the appalling tragedy which was the Grenfell Tower fire are with the victims of all those affected by the tragedy.”

She added: “On the issue of the safety of buildings, the fire and rescue services have visited over 1,250 high-rise buildings and immediate action has been taken to ensure the safety of every resident.

“Councils and housing associations must remove dangerous cladding quickly, but paying for these works must not undermine their ability to do important maintenance and repair works.

“I’ve worked closely with the Chancellor and Housing Secretary, and I can today confirm that the Government will fully fund fun the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding by councils and housing associations, costing an estimated £400m.”

[Ref: constructionenquirer.com]

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