Theresa May announces cash for new high-rise cladding after Grenfell tragedy
Councils across the country will be handed millions of pounds to replace flammable tower block cladding in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, Theresa May announced today.
The Prime Minister said the Government will fund replacement building materials for some 158 high rises to the tune of £400m.
She said ministers had stepped in to ensure local authorities were not strapped for cash when it came to vital maintenance and repair work in their areas.
The announcement comes a month before the anniversary of the horrific incident in west London that claimed 71 lives and left scores more homeless.
Investigations in the wake of the blaze found dozens of tower blocks around the country were clad in the same flammable materials that enabled the Grenfell fire wreak its destruction so fast.
During Prime Minister’s Questions today, Mrs May said: “Councils and housing associations must remove dangerous cladding quickly.
“But paying for these works must not undermine their ability to do important maintenance and repair work.”
She added: “I’ve worked closely with the Chancellor and the Housing Secretary and 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 she said: “Our thoughts as we approach the anniversary of the appalling tragedy that was the Grenfell tower fire our thoughts are with the victims and survivors and all those affected by that tragedy.”
Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey welcomed the announcement on Twitter but questioned why it had come 11 months after the fire.
A Downing Street spokesperson said work had already begun on 104 of the tower blocks in need of new cladding.