It was fantastic to visit King Edward VI school in Aston this week, speaking with students about civic responsibility and answering some brilliant questions. Thank you to the staff and students who showed me around. It is great to see schools such as King Edwards supporting young people to be their best.
I also had a great time at St Anne’s Primary in Highgate, where I met the student council and we discussed the very important issue of climate change and our clean air zone.
In answer to a written question the Government admitted that 84 per cent of buildings with an application with the Building Safety Fund in the West Midlands are yet to start the remediation of dangerous fire safety defects. Many more buildings are in need of funding and remediation works in Birmingham but have not qualified for the Fund. Over 100 buildings in the West Midlands registered for the Building Safety Fund, but in many cases, developments cannot receive funds due to issues with securing professional insurance, or because their building does not meet the strict requirements to be accepted. Other developments are not able to start the work because they are only awarded a small portion of the funding needed to complete the works in full, leaving leaseholders to pick up the tab.
These statistics lay bare the Government’s lack of political will on the issue and highlight how many people are in desperate need of their cladding works to start. This Government is dragging its feet and choosing to leave leaseholders trapped, through no fault of their own, in flats littered with fire safety defects and flammable cladding. The Treasury is simply not willing to provide additional funding, leaving leaseholders with bills running into the millions of pounds that they simply cannot afford.
In Westminster, the Conservatives really outdid themselves this week. After an Independent Standards Committee found a Conservative MP had broken the rules about lobbying, the Government sought to change the rules in order to get him off the hook. Let’s be clear, this is corruption and a rotten attempt to fix the system. We forced the Government to U-turn and it’s now time for the Prime Minister to apologise to the British people and outline a plan for restoring public trust. You can hear more about my views on the issue here: https://twitter.com/PA/status/1456549106420228151
Finally, I would like to wish a happy Diwali to everyone who is celebrating this week! Enjoy the fireworks this evening and stay safe everyone.