Britain will spend £400 million (S$723 million) stripping high-rise buildings of the unsafe cladding blamed for last year's Grenfell Tower fire which left 71 people dead, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday (May 16).
He was speaking after a government-ordered review of building regulations, published earlier, drew widespread criticism because it did not recommend an outright ban on combustible materials in tall housing blocks.
Dame Judith Hackitt's report into building regulations and fire safety in England calls for fundamental reform to improve safety and rebuild trust among those living in high-rise buildings. The Conservative-led Local Government Association isn't impressed and will call for a fresh review unless a ban is advocated, according to Inside Housing.
Housing secretary James Brokenshire said the community would feel "disappointed and let down" as he expressed his own concerns about the speed of the rehousing programme, saying it was "clearly not good enough".
"I can today confirm that the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of risky cladding, by councils and housing associations, estimated at £400 million", Mrs May told lawmakers at the House of Commons.
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The Shadow Housing Secretary said: "The forthcoming final report of the Hackitt Review into building regulations and fire safety will be an important chance for the government to show its commitment to a complete overhaul of the discredited system of building safety checks and controls".
"We have to get to position where people who are putting lives at risk by what they're doing gets picked up at the time and there's sanctions applied there and then, not in the aftermath of a bad tragedy like Grenfell".
May told MPs more than 1,250 tower blocks had been checked by fire investigators since the blaze, and 158 buildings need their cladding replacing.
'What was a national disaster is now becoming a national disgrace'.
However, talking to Sky News in a question and answer session post-publication, Dame Judith said she "would be supportive" if the government announced a ban on combustible cladding. Our dedicated coverage of Labour's policies and personalities, internal debates, selections and elections relies on donations from our readers.