Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown questions Government about funding for non-cladding fire safety in buildings

10th February 2021

Following the Government statement on extra funding to remove unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown asks if the finance will cover buildings that require non-cladding fire safety work such as fire doors and asbestos.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con) [V]
 
In drawing the House’s attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, may I say to my right hon. Friend that I think this is one of the most generous and innovative schemes anywhere? In buildings to which the finance loan scheme is applicable, will it apply to non-cladding costs that nevertheless contain a material health and safety element—for example, fire doors and asbestos?
 
Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
 
We have chosen to focus both the grant scheme and the financing arrangements on cladding. That is for good reason, because the expert advice that we have received from the independent panel has consistently been that cladding is the greatest danger that needs to be combated. There may be other defects in buildings, and they will vary widely from building to building. They will have to be a matter for the building owner and for the homeowner. We, as a Government, are going to tackle the big issue here, which is cladding. We are going to end the cladding scandal that began with the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Hansard

PUBLIC MEETING

THE COTSWOLDS
FLOOD RESILIENCE

An opportunity for residents of Bledington, South Cerney, Cerney Wick, Siddington, Cirencester, Fairford, Lechlade and Moreton-in-Marsh to hear and ask questions of the continued flood resilience work taking place and to speak with officials from the County and District Councils, Parish Council, Thames Water and the Environment Agency about ongoing issues.  

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Planning White Papers

I have submitted my responses to the two planning consultations: “Changes to the current planning system’ and “Planning for the future’.

These planning changes are one of the most significant events to affect the Cotswolds since WWII. I think that both papers contain positive proposals, in our case commitments to protect the AONB. The proposal to abolition Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should speed up the planning process and it is important that the money is retained locally so that the infrastructure can be built at the same time as the development. 

Too often we see a development being built long before the supporting infrastructure, which I know can cause significant issues for existing residents. The proposals to simplify and speed up local plan-making and retaining neighbourhood plans where possible are welcome, in that design codes can be specified so it should be possible to protect our unique Cotswolds vernacular.   

I spoke in the planning backbench business debate on the 8 October and called for a change to the algorithm the Government uses in its planning White Paper which fails to take account of local variations and concentrates all new house building in the south-east and central south of England. 

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