EDM (Early Day Motion)286 was tabled on 06 July 2021. It says:
That this House notes with deepest regret that 8 July 2021 marks the tragic death of June Harvey after a tower crane fell on her house in Bow in 2020; further notes with sadness other fatalities as a result of crane collapses; pays tribute to the construction safety campaign, largely led by bereaved relatives and trade unions, raising concerns about the under-regulation of health and safety in the construction industry amidst a reduction in inspections and reductions in the Health and Safety Executive’s resources, particularly since 2010; and calls on the Government to ensure that legislation and guidance regulating cranes are robust and that the HSE has the resources for vigorous enforcement.
It has been signed by 13 MPs so far. You are urged to contact your MP to ask them to sign it.
Demonstrators in Wales, Leeds and Chelmsford keep up the pressure for government to end the cladding scandal
A wave of protests across the country greeted the first reading of the Building Safety Bill, which does next to nothing to help leaseholders facing life-changing bills for fire safety remediation. The Action for Fire Safety Justice group helped to coordinate the protests and pledged to continue them until their demands are met.
Meanwhile a flashmob descended on the Novello sales centre in Chelmsford, including Chelmsford TUC, where protesters were able to speak to six potential buyers and let them know that Bellway was still building homes with flammable cladding. Given that the protest was not advertised beforehand, the turnout was pretty impressive!
Steve Day from Polluter Pays Bill joined our Homes for All meeting the same day and we agreed to publicise the campaign here. Steve wrote to us:
“The Building Safety Bill is the Government’s last chance to remedy this grave injustice of the Building Safety Crisis by implementing a solution that places the burden of dealing with the crisis on the shoulders of those who caused it. Only legislation can make those developers that built unsafe buildings pay for the cost of their failures. They took the profits and now must be made to compensate their innocent victims. If no action is taken, the slow drumroll of forfeitures, evictions, bankruptcies, mounting mental health problems, and even suicides will be placed at the Government’s door.
Campaigners with the help of experts and counsel have devised and pushed forward a Polluter Pays Bill which the government are actively considering to include in the Building Safety Bill. The proposal, is based on existing environmental legislation, where a wide pool of those responsible for causing the problem in the first place bear the responsibility to cover the costs of putting it right – in this case, placing the responsibility with developers, subcontractors, materials suppliers and architects, as opposed to innocent leaseholders or the taxpayer.
The proposal has already won the backing of 14 cross party back benchers and 4 peers and has been tabled twice in Parliament, but not yet debated on. Campaigners are urging Government to add these clauses to the Building Safety Bill, as it will bring in much needed consumer protection for buildings common to many other kinds of purchases. It takes the burden away from innocent leaseholders for pursuing litigation, doesn’t require tax payer funds and doesn’t make other innocent parties pay to bail out the construction industry’s failures. It will also free up existing funding for non-defective buildings and where no responsible party can be found.
In the end, it has to be right for all those that breach building regulations be made to pay in full for fixing their mistakes. This bill will achieve that, the government have a moral duty to include it. How you can help!
1) Write and get everyone you know to write to their MPs to urge the government to include Polluter Pays In the Building Safety Bill.
2) Get pressure groups onboard with the bill. This is the fight of a generation for future building as well as clearing up the mess of the last 20 years.
We are calling everyone who can make it down to support this important protest.
The Building Safety Bill is getting a hearing this week, but it doesn’t protect leaseholders, it protects developers. We must demand that developers pay, not innocent leaseholders, and that tenants and leaseholders have the right to safe, secure housing NOW. Action for Fire Safety Justice is the group that organised the developer showroom protests on 5th June. Now we are supporting them as they take the fight to 10 Downing Street.
Action for Fire Safety Justice – Fire Safety Crisis Protest
Grenfell United called a silent march on the day and in an incredibly moving display of solidarity and anger, people across the country came together for vigils and protests to stand with the bereaved and survivors and to remember the 72 lost lives.
A common theme of the protests was that the real perpetrators of social murder are getting away with it, but innocent people remain trapped in unsafe homes and in some cases forced to pay thousands to make their own buildings safe. There is no reason to suppose that another Grenfell tragedy will be avoided. It is only a matter of time.
At Homes for All we are proud to be part of the continuing fight for justice for Grenfell and the struggle to make all housing safe, without the huge financial costs being passed on to the leaseholders, and in some cases, the tenants. The Grenfell fire was the result of a thoroughly corrupt system of housing in this country, where the profits of construction firms, manufacturers, developers and landlords are the main priority, safety comes a poor second and the government ensures they keep getting away with it through a totally inadequate regulatory regime.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the Grenfell community for fighting to get these facts into the open. We will fight on.
Agenda 1. #EndOurCladdingScandal showroom protest day report (5 June) and next steps 2. Grenfell 4th anniversary actions Monday14th June 3. Campaign Against Empty Homes Day of Action (2nd October) and local reports on empty homes 4. Evictions (moratorium ended 31 May?) 5. Cllr Diarmaid Ward will attend to discuss requisitioning 6. AOB
On Monday 14th June, Homes for All is calling for supporters to remember the 72 lives lost and to stand in solidarity with the survivors and bereaved of the Grenfell fire. This must never happen again.
We are asking people to join their friends, workmates, family and neighbours. Make a placard using the slogans below and bring a candle.
Where? Your protest or vigil could be at work, after college, at a developers’ showroom or town hall. It’s up to you.
The important thing is to come together, discuss how we can achieve our demands for justice and have a visible show of solidarity. Take photos and post them on social media.
The leaseholders’ protests at develeopers showrooms and in town centres demanded an end to the building fire safety crisis. Homes for All hosted an online rally including rolling coverage from 10 of the protests and a panel of speakers. There were inspiring contributions from Matt Wrack, General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union, Karim Mussilhy, Grenfell United Jenni Garrett, End our Cladding Scandal and Sarah Rennie, Cladding Leaseholder Disability Action Group (CLADDAG). Protesters in Manchester, West Ham, Chipping Barnet and Brighton demanded that developers should pay to make buildings safe, whilst MP John McDonnell and other MPs and Councillors joined in to support the protests in their areas.
The protests caught the attention of the national press alongside BBC and ITV regional news.
Mirror article Flat owners demand urgent action from Government to end cladding scandal
PRESS RELEASE from Homes for All – 02/06/2021 for immediate release
Housing Campaign condemns the government’s heartless decision to end the eviction ban, putting hundreds of thousands at risk of homelessness
The Government’s announcement to end the ban on evictions on May 31st 2021 is now on course to plunge hundreds of thousands of private renters into homelessness
The pandemic has shown the extent to which extreme inequality in the UK can be measured through the indicators of insecure, unaffordable and unsafe housing. Shelter and other leading organisations have revealed that the wellbeing of many families has already been compromised in order to pay their rent.
It is essential that the government reverses its decision to end the eviction ban immediately if it is to avoid a massive crisis of homelessness over the coming months and over 100 organizations, campaigns, union representatives and leading spokespeople have signed a letter by the national housing campaign Homes for All calling for this.
John, Lord Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said:
“With the Eviction Ban ending, I fear what the coming months will bring. This is about making sure we don’t condemn hundreds of thousands of people to homelessness.
“It is key that the Government supports decent landlords by getting them back to profitability, whilst preventing mass evictions.
“Those who privately rent will have felt the brunt of Covid-inflicted job losses, falling incomes and rising debts in the past year. The government urgently needs a Covid Rent Debt Fund to clear these debts, get tenants back on their feet, and allow landlords to claim the income they’ve lost.
The Big Issue set up the Ride Out Recession Alliance in Spring 2020 to prevent mass homelessness caused by Covid-19 poverty and called for the Eviction Ban to be upheld. “
John McDonnell MP said:
“The government cannot just stand by and do nothing about the massive wave of evictions that we are now facing. Action is needed urgently to prevent this threatened dramatic rise in homelessness.”
Homes for All is a broad-based coalition campaigning for secure, safe and affordable housing for all and their letter to highlight this issue with nearly 150 signatures from leading union, campaign and political organisations is here: letter here.