'Just 2%' of cash to remove Grenfell-style cladding in Scotland spent

Ministers criticised over 'lack of progress' with 105 buildings to be assessed for unsafe cladding in Scotland.

Just 2% of cash to remove Grenfell-style cladding in Scotland has been spent, Tories claim STV News

Just 2% of money allocated to remove dangerous Grenfell-style cladding from Scottish homes has been spent, the Scottish Tories have claimed.

The party’s housing spokesman Miles Briggs accused the Scottish Government of a “pitiful lack of progress” in removing potentially flammable insulation.

The Scottish Government received £97.1m in Barnett consequentials from the UK Government in 2021/22 to facilitate the removal of cladding in high-rise buildings.

However, official documents published in May revealed spending on the cladding remuneration programme for multi-occupancy residential buildings amounted to a total of £1,826,610 at the end of the 2022/23 financial year.

Housing minister Paul McLennan recently admitted the removal process was taking “too long” and said the Scottish Government were looking to speed up the remediation process.

A number of safety changes, including a ban on combustible cladding for high-rise buildings, were introduced after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 which killed 72 people.

It is understood 105 buildings are currently in the programme to be assessed for unsafe cladding in Scotland.

In May, MacLennan said assessments were under way in 27 of these buildings.

But Briggs said the delay was “inexcusable”. He said: “These deeply alarming figures highlight the SNP Government’s pitiful lack of progress in removing dangerous cladding from high-rise buildings.

“It’s inexcusable that SNP ministers have failed to deliver the surveys needed, or distribute this money, which is essential to ensuring Scottish tower blocks are made safe.

“SNP ministers seem, inexplicably, to have taken their eye off the ball on cladding.

“It’s six years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and the highly combustible material that contributed to it has been banned.

“Residents in Scotland’s tower blocks need the peace of mind of knowing their homes have been stripped of it. The resources have been made available, so ministers need to get their act together and deliver.”

The Scottish Government said it was determined that buildings with potentially unsafe cladding are remediated.

A spokesperson said: “Our Cladding Remediation Programme is complex, involving comprehensive and technical assessments with a number of these at final or pre-final reporting stage.

“These figures form part of a regular quarterly publication up to March 31, 2023 and are due to be updated this month. We have issued over £148,000 to kick start remediation and have spent over £640,000 on waking watches to provide real time protection for residents in the most dangerous buildings.

“We expect the vast majority of buildings in the programme to be found to be safe. We are pleased to have reached an in-principle agreement with Homes for Scotland and a number of Scotland’s largest developers to ensure that developers step up and meet their responsibilities around remediation.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code