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Consultation plea for "critical step" to prevent Grenfell-style tragedy, says Moray politician

By Lewis McBlane

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A MORAY politician has encouraged local people to respond to a consultation on Scottish Government plans to stop future Grenfell-style cladding tragedies.

Ariane Burgess is encouraging people to get involved with the ongoing consultation.
Ariane Burgess is encouraging people to get involved with the ongoing consultation.

Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands Ariane Burgess, who represents parts of Moray, said the Holyrood committee which she chairs wants opinions on Scottish Government plans to better regulate dangerous cladding.

The new legislation would give Scottish Ministers new powers to assess and remediate buildings in Scotland with unsafe cladding, following the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire.

Ms Burgess is the convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee, which is leading scrutiny of the plans.

She said: "Cladding was a major contributing factor to the fire which destroyed Grenfell Tower in June 2017, one of the UK's worst modern disasters.

“We’ve launched our call for views on the Housing (Cladding Remediation) (Scotland) Bill, as it provides the first opportunity for public input on the proposals.

“It’s vital that we hear from the owners and residents of property in buildings with potentially unsafe cladding, to hear if this Bill addresses their concerns, as well as from industry professionals and developers about their views.

“The committee understands the urgency in addressing the issue of unsafe cladding, and this Bill represents a critical step towards achieving safer conditions for all those affected.”

The Housing (Cladding Remediation) (Scotland) Bill would allow Scottish Ministers powers to assess and fix buildings with unsafe cladding – even when consent of the owners cannot be provided.

And a Cladding Assurance Register would be created to give residents confidence about the assessment and works undertaken.

Ministers would also be able to establish a Responsible Developers Scheme, to support engagement by developers and encourage them to pay for or carry out remediation work.

Such a scheme would likely include agreement to pay for remediation costs by developers, with potential sanctions for developers that are eligible but do not join or fail to comply with the terms of membership.

As the Scottish Government has not carried out public consultation on the Bill, the Committee’s call for views will be critical in providing stakeholders including owners and residents of properties in buildings with potentially unsafe cladding, developers, insurers, surveyors, and fire safety experts an opportunity to comment on the proposals.

The call for views is open now and will run until Friday, December 8, 2023.

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