Councillor Carolyn Redfern: Julie Marson Must Vote to Protect Those Impacted By the Cladding Scandal
East Herts District Councillor Carolyn Redfern has written to Julie Marson MP, calling on her to back Labour’s motion in Parliament to protect millions of leaseholders from huge bills for the cost of replacing unsafe cladding on blocks of flats.
The Labour Party is calling on the Government to establish the extent of dangerous cladding and prioritise buildings according to risk, provide upfront funding to ensure cladding remediation can start immediately, and protect leaseholders and taxpayers from the cost of pursuing those responsible for the cladding crisis.
“Across the country, many leaseholders are faced with enormous unexpected costs arising from the replacement of unsafe cladding on their buildings following the deficiencies exposed by the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire.” Councillor Redfern said. “They didn’t build the homes they live in or select the building materials or certify the buildings as safe. Yet they are faced with massive costs for the work of remedying these deficiencies. They cannot sell their homes since potential buyers are refused mortgages till the properties are made fire safe.”
Councillor Redfern also described the impact the cladding crisis has had on Network Homes, who provide social housing in East Herts. They face exceptional bills to replace cladding on tower blocks in London and are now being forced to consider recharging shared owners and leaseholders for their share of the replacement cost, something which they had hoped to avoid.
“Network Homes are really alive to the terrible position that this will put those residents into, but they are obliged to stay solvent for the sake of all their tenants,” Carolyn added. “If they cannot recover the cost then they may be unable to build more social housing, something we desperately need - the Government must provide more money to support the effort to replace unsafe cladding.”
A similar amendment to that tabled by Labour was proposed by Tory backbenchers Stephen McPartland MP and Royston Smith, which gathered the support of more than 50 cross party MPs, but was ducked by a majority of Tory MPs. Subsequently, Councillor Redfern has called on Julie Marson to support the campaign to End Our Cladding Scandal.
Read Councillor Redfern's full letter here.