Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

UK to spend £400m removing Grenfell Tower-style cladding from high-rises

UK to spend £400m removing Grenfell Tower-style cladding from high-rises

The government will commit about £400m to cover the cost for councils and housing associations of replacing potentially unsafe cladding from high-rise blocks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, Theresa May has announced.

Theresa May made her announcement during prime minister's questions after being asked for an update on the work done by the government to ensure that tower blocks are safe.

The decision comes after Labour increased calls to remove the unsafe coverings on the high-rises, many of which still fail key fire safety tests and are susceptible to disasters such as the fire at Grenfell Tower, which took 71 lives in June past year.

Mrs May replied: "Councils and housing associations must remove risky cladding quickly, but paying for these works must not..."

The government will pay in full for councils and housing associations to remove and replace unsafe cladding at an estimated cost of £400 million, the prime minister has announced. "And the housing secretary will set out further details later this week".

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She warned that the work to remove and replace the cladding should be done promptly alongside other needed improvements to social housing.

"Work has already started on 104 of these", she added.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils, said it had been in talks with ministers over the issue for some time. "We expect private building owners to take responsibility for removing and replacing and to not pass the cost onto leaseholders".

She said: 'As we approach the anniversary of the appalling tragedy that was the Grenfell Tower fire our thoughts are with the victims and survivors and all those affected by that tragedy'.

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