Last week marked the anniversary of Grenfell and still 5 years on we have hundreds of people in Birmingham Ladywood still living in unsafe blocks wrapped in flammable cladding, in flats littered with other fire safety defects – be it broken fire doors or faulty sprinkler systems.
At the Islington Gates development in the Jewellery Quarter, cladding remediation works finally started after years of delay – but they look set to falter again.
Costing a total of £9 million, residents were paying for the works to keep themselves safe, but they cannot afford to pay the outstanding bill and the building’s original developer has been liquidated.
Under the Government’s own rules, the current developer, Galliford Try bought the original builder, Miller Construction, and is therefore responsible for funding the works, but they refuse to front up the money that would complete life-saving works to keep residents safe.
In Scotland, Galliford Try has admitted it has contractual responsibility to fix the structural issues in a number of schools built by Miller Construction.
The Government is aware of this issue and has even advised that Galliford Try is responsible for paying. But so far, has done nothing to enforce these rules or provide redress to those at Islington Gates.
MP for Birmingham Ladywood, Shabana Mahmood has long campaigned on behalf of the residents of Islington Gates, as well as all the other affected blocks in her constituency.
Shabana Mahmood MP, said:
“We owe it to those who died five years ago to stop that failure from ever taking place again. But the Building Safety Act has gaping holes in it, which are leaving my constituents trapped in unsafe properties.
“Galliford Try needs to make good on its responsibility and finally take the multi-million pound burden off my innocent constituents who simply cannot afford it.
“Why is it they will pay for remedial work in Scotland, but refuse to do so for my constituents?
“They cannot roll the dice to decide whether or not they honour their legal commitments – and if they won’t, it’s down to the Government to ensure leaseholders are fully protected.
“It is unconscionable that innocent leaseholders are left in half finished, unsafe buildings having paid thousands of pounds of their hard-earned money, whilst a massive property developer is let off the hook.”