Holyrood 'dragging its heels over Grenfell-style cladding' removal

Scottish Labour has demanded money be released to help secure buildings constructed with flammable materials.

Scottish Government ‘dragging its heels over Grenfell-style cladding’ removal STV News

Scottish Labour has accused Holyrood of “dragging its heels” over the removal of Grenfell-style cladding on public buildings.

The Scottish Government has earmarked £180m to fund the removal of aluminium composite material (ACM) insulation, however the vast majority of that pot does not become available until 2025.

A freedom of information request by the party found over 100 locations in which the material is used – including more than 80 primary and secondary schools.

Labour’s housing spokesman, Mark Griffin, accused the Government of “failing to grasp the urgency of the situation,” adding funding was required immediately.

The Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017 claimed the lives of 72 people before investigations found the cladding used on the block allowed the blaze to spread.

Griffin said: “After years of needless dither and delay, they have finally accepted that this dangerous cladding needs to go, but they are still dragging their heels making it happen.

“Every year that they fail to act is another year that people are left living and working in unsafe buildings.

“There is absolutely no more time to waste learning the lessons of the Grenfell tragedy – the SNP needs to stop this dangerous negligence and speed up this programme.”

The cladding remuneration programme was initially set to be rolled out this year.

Instead, a £30m budget will start it in the 2023/24 financial year, increasing by £50m in 24/25 and a further £100m in 25/26.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Our ban on combustible cladding from domestic and other high risk buildings applies on buildings of 11m and higher, whereas elsewhere in the UK it is 18m. We have also banned the highest risk metal composite cladding material from any new building of any height.”

“The vast majority of buildings in the initial phase of our programme have secured fire engineers.

“A new streamlined process for commissioning the assessments will help identify at-risk buildings more quickly. We still expect the vast majority of buildings assessed through this programme to be found to be safe. We have allocated almost £400m to this programme of work.”

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