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Building owners who fail to remove cladding will be publicly named

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  • 21/01/2020
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Building owners who fail to remove cladding will be publicly named
Building owners who are yet to remove unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding from their buildings will be publicly named by housing secretary Robert Jenrick from next month, he has warned.

 

Jenrick said the “slow pace” of improving building safety standards would “not be tolerated”. He also announced measures to speed up the process including the appointment of a construction expert to review remediation timescales. 

Speaking in the House of Commons, Jenrick said where there is no clear plan to remove cladding, the government will work with local authorities to support them in enforcement.  

The government will also consider options to support the remediation of cladding to lessen costs to individuals or provide alternative funding routes. 

 

Bolstering building safety standards

The government is also consulting on extending the ban on combustible materials to buildings below 18 metres and seeking views on how risks are assessed within existing buildings to inform future policy. 

Further to this, a Building Safety Regulator will be established by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to help raise building safety and performance standards, including overseeing a new regime for higher-risk buildings.

It will work with other regulators to implement the new regime and Dame Judith Hackitt will chair a board to oversee the transition. 

Jenrick said: “The government is committed to bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation. Progress on improving building safety needs to move significantly faster to ensure people are safe in their homes and building owners are held to account. 

“Unless swift progress is seen in the coming weeks, I will publicly name building owners where action to remediate unsafe ACM cladding has not started. There can be no more excuses for delay, I’m demanding immediate action.” 

 

Grenfell inquiry 

The government has published its response to Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, released in October, which it said would “rightly be scrutinised” by Members of Parliament. 

It said it would work closely with organisations to make sure changes are made to implement suggestions by the chairman of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

These included the banning use of combustible materials and the implementation of the Home Office’s upcoming Fire Safety Bill. 

The government said the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) had continued to work with the Association of Composite Door Manufacturers (ACDM) to ensure fire doors exceeded minimum standards and said it was progressing with policies regarding the testing and certification of construction materials. 

Phase 2 of the inquiry will examine the wider context of the fire, including building regulations, the response of the local and central government and the handling of concerns raised by tenants over the years. 

The MHCLG response said: “The Grenfell Tower fire remains one of the darkest days in our nation’s history.

“Nothing can bring back the family and friends who people have lost. Nothing can fully capture the heartache and anger that people rightly feel.  

“Our promise as a government is to work together to ensure that swift and decisive action continues to be taken to address the inquiry’s recommendations, so that no such tragedy can ever be allowed to happen again.

“We are committed to ensuring all residents are safe in their homes, and feel safe, now and in the future.” 

 

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