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Joint pledge to continue cladding work despite COVID-19

20th April, 2020

The Mayors of Greater Manchester, Sheffield City Region, London, Liverpool City Region and the West Midlands have all pledged their commitment to ensure vital building safety work to replace unsafe cladding on high-rise buildings will continue during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government’s view is that the work to remove unsafe cladding from buildings is critical to public safety and so must remain a top priority. The Government will do all it can to support building owners, managers and residents to ensure that remediation work continues where it is safe to do so. Faithful & Gould, a firm of expert construction consultants, have been appointed by the Government to provide additional programme management capability. This additional construction expertise support will identify blockers and work with those responsible for remediation to support individual projects.

The Government has also provided updated guidance for construction workers making clear that ‘work on-site can continue if done in accordance with the social distancing guidelines wherever possible’. A number of sites across the country have been leading the way, adapting their procedures in ways that include:

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said:

“The government is bringing about the biggest change in building safety in a generation. The new building safety regime will put residents’ safety at its heart and follows the announcement of the unprecedented £1 billion fund for removing unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings in the Budget.

“However, I have been deeply concerned that vital building safety work has significantly slowed down as a result of the pandemic. I have been clear that work must resume to ensure the safety of residents living in buildings with unsafe cladding or with insufficient fire safety measures, and it is entirely possible for this work to be done safely within health guidelines.

“I brought together Mayors and local leaders to find a solution. The agreement that I have reached with them will ensure those working on these vital repair projects can continue to do so safely.”

Cllr Peter John, Chair of London Councils, said:

“We cannot allow the unprecedented challenge that we have all faced with Covid-19 as an excuse to forget the challenge of making our buildings fire-safe across London and the UK.

Councils in London want to see our residents safe in their homes, so remediation work must continue urgently and building-owners and contractors must treat this work as an absolute priority.”

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LEASE is governed by a board, appointed as individuals by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

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