hrf

Concern as lack of funding delays fire safety work in private towers


Grenfell Tower after the
fire in 2017
Grenfell Tower after the fire in 2017

by NADEEM BADSHAH A CAMPAIGNER living in a tower block that is covered in Grenfellstyle cladding has called for ministers to launch an urgent fund in order to get unsafe material removed from all homes. Ritu Saha has spoken of her frustration at the battle that residents in the Northpoint block in south London have had to get the cladding replaced since 2017. Saha, who is among residents carrying out night patrols to ensure their neighbours’ safety, is a member of the UK Cladding Action Group which is demanding action to make homes across the country safe. June will mark two years since the blaze at Grenfell Tower, in Kensington, west London, which killed 72 people and injured many more. Since the fire, only 10 of the 173 private buildings found to have combustible cladding have been fixed while rows rumble on over who should foot the repair bill. Saha, whose group is set to host a forum for MPs in May to discuss an action plan, told Eastern Eye: “The government’s tactic has been coaxing freeholders and developers into paying. Legally there is nothing they can do to make them fix the cladding. “The cladding was passed fit at the time. Developers are laughing at the government. They are passing on the costs to leaseholders. “The government should step up and say the buildings are unsafe and set up a fund to fix the problem on these buildings.” Saha, who came to the UK from Kolkata in 2009, added: “It is incredibly frustrating. There’s been very little progress. It’s quite upsetting, as a lot of people lost their lives in this tragedy. “I wouldn’t think this would happen in a developed country like the United Kingdom. “None of this is our fault. We bought the flat in good faith.”…

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