Government spending £400m to remove defective cladding from high-rise blocks
Sudbury House: Google Streetview
Wandsworth council has 99 blocks of 10 storeys or more - more than any borough in London - and following the Grenfell fire last June set aside £30 million of Council resources to pay for vital safety measures such as replacing cladding and installing sprinklers.
Fire crews rescued two people from the building (Photo by Alex Joy) 2010
During this time council leader Ravi Govindia, together with council officers, has been in regular contact with ministers and civil servants, strongly making the case that councils should get additional funding to assist with these urgent works.
During Prime Minister’s Questions this week Theresa May told MPs: “I can today confirm that the Government will fully fund the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding by councils and housing associations, estimated at £400m. And the housing secretary will set out further details later this week.”
Wandsworth’s cabinet member for housing Councillor Kim Caddy, said: “This is excellent news and I am delighted that the Government has agreed to meet these costs. This is particularly important for Wandsworth, as we have two tower blocks - Sudbury House and Castlemaine - where essential cladding removal works are already well under way.
“Since the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower this council has acted quickly to reassure our residents and ensure they are safe in their homes and we have made it clear that we would do everything we can to make sure that nothing like Grenfell ever happens in our borough.
“Wandsworth has campaigned strongly for financial assistance for these works and it is really pleasing to see that the Government has listened and released the necessary funding.”
Local London Assembly member Leonie Cooper said: "In Wandsworth we have seen the council quite rightly pay for fire wardens to be on hand 24 hours a day at both towers (Sudbury House and Castlemaine Tower) - but this has incurred cost for more than a year.
"The council has been quoted almost £10 million by a private company for cladding removal. In the aftermath of the fire, Wandsworth has had to reserve £30 million of resources for the replacing of cladding and the installation of sprinklers.
"Going forward I would urge the Government to give the council the money for all necessary works as a matter of urgency... the Government should also announce a ban on the use of flammable materials, as it clearly makes no sense to remove flammable cladding and replace it with other flammable material."
May 18, 2018