The government has been criticised by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) for taking far too long to remove all flammable cladding from residential buildings.
The government says it "has been working tirelessly" with councils to remove unsafe cladding. But the FBU has condemned the government's action removing cladding as "too slow and too weak".
The union has called on the government to requisition any building that the owner will not make safe.
Responding to yesterday's investigation by the National Audit Office (NAO) into the UK's flammable cladding scandal, Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “This report confirms much of what we already know – government action removing flammable cladding has been too slow and too weak. Buildings far beyond those covered in the Building Safety Programme are at risk, while fire services do not have the investment needed to enforce new safety regulations.
“It should shame this government that they are now not expected to remove the same cladding that was on Grenfell from high-rise homes until a full two years after their own deadline and five years since the tragedy itself.
“The coronavirus pandemic is no excuse – the pace of cladding remediation has been glacial from the start. Even without the months lost, their deadline was likely little more than a PR gimmick.
“Attempts to make building owners pay for remediation have clearly failed. The government should now requisition any building that the owner will not make safe.”
Grenfell campaigners are urging the government to commit to a deadline to remove all flammable cladding.
The Justice4Grenfell group is asking people to write to their MP demanding a time limit and a detailed plan for how and when cladding will be removed.
Last year, then communities secretary James Brokenshire said he expected the removal of all unsafe cladding by this month, but thousands of homes are still covered in aluminium composite material (ACM) deemed to be dangerous.
More than 23,000 homes in the UK are still covered in "Grenfell-style cladding", according to Justice4Grenfell spokeswoman Yvette Williams.
She commented: “At a time when people are urged to stay in their homes more, safety is paramount.
“For the people affected there is still no clear understanding of the time-frame to have these panels removed.
“We believe the government needs to act with urgency and set clear timings for completion and take accountability for an expedient removal.”
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