AN MP has vowed to keep fighting to ensure thousands of leaseholders and tenants living in accommodation with unsafe cladding are not left with huge safety repair bills – after his attempt to force Government to act failed.
Shipley MP Philip Davies was one of 29 Conservative MPs supporting an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill which would ensure upfront costs to remove dangerous materials on buildings, like those responsible for the Grenfell Tower tragedy, were met and not left for residents.
The costs would be paid by the taxpayer and then a levy imposed on cladding producers, contractors, and developers to recoup the cost.
Mr Davies said: “It is not right that residents and landlords through no fault of their own are facing extortionate costs for safety repair works. Not only is it putting a financial strain on people but an emotional strain given many are living in fear of a repeat of Grenfell. That is no way to live and I want Government to act and come up with a solution which does not leave people with huge safety repair bills."
“People cannot magic up tens of thousands of pounds for essential safety repairs and unless a solution is found they will face crippling debts, loans taking years to repay, even potential bankruptcy in some cases along and the impact on the value of their property, all through no fault of their own. I voted against Government on this amendment as it was the right thing to do and I expect Government to come up with a solution, this problem is not going away and along with other colleagues I will keep piling pressure on ministers to act.”
The amendment was passed by the House of Lords but defeated last night in Parliament.
As it stands Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said £3.5 billion will be spent replacing cladding, but only housing 18 metres in height will qualify. Smaller buildings are being left to take out loans.