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.
Pictures from the London protest by photojournalist Mark Kerrison.
ITV Report from Leeds protest, with interview with Hilary Benn MP, Saturday 17 June.
The Protest in Wales on Saturday was joined by two Cardiff politicians
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.
3) Share our website and raise awareness : https://buildingsafetycrisis.org/ “
Background information on the building safety campaign:
Building Safety Crisis map of buildings https://buildingsafetymap.co.uk/
Protests are going on all across the country – find out where https://buildingsafetycrisis.org/events/