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.
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?
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.