salford cladding crisis

Rebecca Long-Bailey is sticking up for her constituency after the spending review in November resulted in no extra money for the Salford cladding crisis.

After three years, nine high rise blocks recently had their flammable cladding removed, but it will not be until 2022 when those buildings receive a safer substitute and are installed with modern sprinkler systems.

However, there is still outrage in the area, as numerous buildings in Salford contain the dangerous material.

Salford and Eccles MP, Rebecca Long-Bailey, has growing concerns for the members of the community that still live in dangerous high-rise buildings.

She was disturbed by the fact the spending review had no extra help for the members of her constituency that live with flammable cladding,

“It was absolutely astounding that there was no money for cladding.

“It was a real dereliction of duty really that the government did not address this on Wednesday.”

Mrs Long-Bailey also shared her concerns over residents living with more than just the fear of cladding, as it has become apparent people are buying buildings with more safety issues.

She said: “There are so many stories in Salford of buildings that are not just cladding, but they’ve also noticed there’s a whole load of fire defects that were inherited in the time that the buildings were constructed.”

Spruce Building in Pendleton having it’s cladding removed (Image Credit: Owen Widdowson)

The other issue residents of these buildings face are the financial impact.

Due to legal reasons, the removal of cladding has been billed to the owners of the buildings. Rebecca Long-Bailey provided a current situation from Millennium Point in Salford Quays,

She said: “Residents could be paying upwards of 90 grand each, for defects that they did not cause, when they bought their home in good faith with the assurance that they were completely safe.”

Charly Woods, 27, who lives in the Saltra development in Salford, has recently received her ESW1 report. An ESW1 report shows if you’re building is safe, if it fails then this means work needs to be carried out. Miss Woods explained why her development received a fail,

She said: “Under the cladding, cavity barriers need to be correctly installed, the timber frame needs replacing with a metal frame and the insulation needs to be replaced with mineral wool batts.

“The cladding is also recommended to be replaced.”

Charly explained that if the other measures were already fitted then the cladding would not need to be removed: It is not considered flammable enough to need to come off, but when combined with the current insulation is it too dangerous and work needs doing.”

Charly explained how difficult life is now, with the uncertainty of the costs of the removal and repairs: “We were supposed to get married next year and now we worry we might not be able to afford it. We wanted to start a family, but we feel like we can’t even think about that until this is resolved.”

Image Credit: Owen Widdowson. Cladding removed from a high rise building in Pendleton.

A scheme that was set up in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, ‘The Building Safety Funds’ has helped remove cladding from some buildings across the country, however, as the funds aren’t available for all buildings.

The help is only available to high rise residential buildings that are 18 metres and over. “We do not qualify for the Building Safety Fund so as it stands all of the costs are on leaseholders. Unless the Government steps in, we are likely to be looking at a bill for thousands next summer – the same time we are getting married!”

The Salford and Eccles MP shared another fault with the ‘Building Safety Funds’, adding that: “It’s tiny in comparison to the amounts that are going to be required across the country.

“And there were problems with the systems, we know already number of applications have gone in and they have not had any responses or been progressed at all.”

Mrs Long-Bailey supports a campaign called ‘End Our Cladding Scandal’. The campaign have produced ten points they believe need to be followed to deal with the crisis. Rebecca went into detail about one of their suggestions.

Salford Cladding Crisis

She said: “One suggestion was that the government need to front load payments to all the properties that need to be remediated, and then the government sought compensation from those who were actually responsible for the defects.

There are cities in Australia that have adopted that approach, and there is a lot support right across the political spectrum, not just from the left within the labour party, but certainly from the Tories and other political parties as well.”

She believes that the government gave a false sense of hope after the Grenfell disaster.

“Lease holders were told they should not have to cover the bills to remediate their homes, however, this was never legislated.

“Legally they’re in a very difficult situation unless the government does something more constructive.”

There is still growing concern over when the crisis will end,

“This is a huge scandal that the government really needed to make a national mission.

“The really sad thing is they’ve been messing about on this for years, since Grenfell happened…”

Charly was asked what she would like to say to the Government and she shared this statement:

“Where is your conscious? Conservatives encourage people to acquire capital, buy a house, start a family, and yet you’re now punishing people who have chosen to invest in a home and are stopping people from being able to start a family. Everyone I speak to about this can’t believe it’s real, but it is.”

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