Councils pledge to resume unsafe cladding removal during Covid-19

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building safety,
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Leaders from 25 councils across the UK have pledged to ensure vital building safety work, including the removal of unsafe cladding on high-rise buildings, continues in the face of Covid-19

The leaders from 25 councils have pledged their commitment to ensuring vital building safety work continues where this can be done safely and in line with public health guidance, building safety minister Lord Greenhalgh has announced.

So far, the pledge has been signed by 26 councils and five regional mayors.

It sets out a commitment to improving the safety of residential blocks while ensuring those working on site are given clear information and support to guarantee their own safety and limit the spread of Covid-19.

The new signatories to the building safety pledge include representatives of 18 London councils, as well as leaders in Manchester, Slough, Leeds, Sheffield, Salford and Liverpool.

‘Biggest change in safety’

Lord Greenhalgh said: “We are bringing about the biggest change in building safety in a generation backed by our unprecedented £1bn fund for removing unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings, in addition to the £600m already made available.

“In order to ensure the safety of residents, building safety work must resume where it can be done safely and in line with public health guidance.

“The agreement reached with local leaders from across the country is an important step that demonstrates a shared commitment to ensuring this vital work continues during the pandemic.”

John Biggs, executive mayor of Tower Hamlets, added: “As a borough with more high-rise buildings than almost anywhere else in the UK, we know how important the issue of fire safety is to our residents.

“Almost 3 years on from the Grenfell Tower tragedy, delays and inaction on the part of private property owners means there are still too many people forced to go to sleep at night not knowing if they are safe in their homes.

“It is right that we are focusing as many resources as possible on our coronavirus response, but where work can continue safely, it is also essential that we continue to make progress on vital fire safety work.”

In order to support this vital building safety work, the MHCLG appointed a firm of construction consultants, Faithful & Gould, to advise those planning and doing ACM cladding remediation work, including identifying and increasing awareness of safe practice under current Covid-19 restrictions.

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