I have written to the Housing Minister, urging the Government to commission an audit into the various types of cladding used on residential properties in the wake of the recent fire at the student accommodation building in my constituency, The Cube.
It has become clear that the cladding used on The Cube facilitated the spread of the fire, which caused huge damage and has led to hundreds of students needing to be rehoused. The cladding in use was not of the same material as Grenfell, but had a similar effect.
It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that all homes in the UK are safe for habitation and do not pose any safety risks. The Government has thus far abdicated any responsibility and has claimed that it is the job of the property owner. Although some responsibility must fall on the head of the owner, it is wrong to claim that the Government has no obligations to the safety of its citizens.
The cladding material from Grenfell has since been banned from use, so clearly there is scope for the Government to employ some regulation and oversight of property development. Why is it, then, that no arm of the Government sought to establish whether other cladding materials could be dangerous? Disinterest. Disinterest and kowtowing to the power of wealthy property developers.
I am calling on the Government to take an interest in the health and safety of British citizens and conduct an audit of cladding used on tower blocks in the UK. The Cube fire is the warning that this Government should not have needed, if it cared for the welfare of the people.