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29 June 2017

Remove cladding without delay says head of Housing Fed

Stop testing cladding and take it down - this is the message from David Orr, the Chief Executive of the umbrella body for housing associations, the National Housing Federation.

In a statement reported in Inside Housing (28.6.17), describing the tests on aluminum composite material (ACM) cladding as "conclusive", he stated:

"We are calling on government to halt the testing on ACM cladding and shift its focus to making people safe... This process has powerfully demonstrated a systemic failure in construction, manufacturing and the way that regulation has been applied. Putting this right will require a strategic look at the issue of fire safety in buildings as a whole, as well as clear prioritisation and funding from government - the costs should not fall on the residents of these properties."

But the government is refusing to give assurances about funding. Housing minister Alok Sharma pulled out of a housing conference at the last minute today (29.6.17). A hapless substitute, Marcus Jones was sent. Reportedly, he spoke for less than ten minutes and refused to stay for the planned question and answer session (Inside Housing, 29.6.17).

Tenants and residents of both housing associations and councils will agree with David Orr - Don't wait! Take down the cladding and charge the government! 24-hour fire patrols until the work is done!

Paul Kershaw