Labour activists in Beam Park, led by retired firefighter and prospective candidate Trevor Mckeever, have been campaigning for dangerous and inadequate cladding to be removed from buildings in Orchard Village, as well as other affected areas. Recent government proposals have failed to reassure leaseholders in particular, who bought homes in good faith, but now face being unable to sell their homes. It has been estimated that £15bn will be needed to fix fire safety defects in the highest-risk buildings.
Trevor McKeever has this message for residents: “The cladding crisis is a national disgrace, aided by an inept government which has allowed deregulation in building control standards and fire safety standards, this has happened on a monumental scale. Let’s go back to the London Building Act which stated that the façade or external walls of a building should maintain fire integrity for one hour, this would be a good starting point, then let’s put together regulations that are fit for purpose, not for financial gain.
“This cladding crisis is having a debilitating effect in people’s mental health and wellbeing, residents are going to bed at night not knowing if they are going to wake up in the morning. I wonder how many government ministers live in ACM cladded buildings.”
His fellow prospective candidate Matt Stanton wants to see greater scrutiny of plans in ongoing and new developments: “Cladding isn’t the only problem with these buildings, too often we see local authorities and private developers in a ‘race to the bottom’ of build quality and safety. As a society we need to look at where wealth is being hoarded when it could be used for the greater good, and we need to realise that some things in life are not meant to turn a profit – people’s homes and safety among them.”
Labour would make sure that new and existing buildings are safe for their residents to live in, and that the actual residents of buildings are not saddled with the financial burden of removing flammable cladding that greedy developers, incompetent councils, and slapdash Conservative administrations collaborated to inflict on them.