Theresa May: Fund replacement of Grenfell-style cladding. No more fires, no more cold.

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In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster, where cladding on the outside of the building helped to cause a raging inferno, Prime Minister Theresa May promised: “My Government will do whatever it takes to help those affected, get justice and keep our people safe.”

Since Grenfell, 306 high-rise buildings across the UK have been found to have similar cladding. Few have had it replaced (as of March 2018, only seven). Meanwhile, 103 blocks have had cladding and insulation partially or completely removed, leaving tenants exposed to freezing temperatures , damp and mould. Cold, like fire, kills.

This is not a natural disaster. For decades, successive governments have watered down regulations and privatised inspections; corners have been cut and dangerous materials have become the norm.  Now the Government has refused to provide funds for replacing cladding.

Without central government assistance, the bill has been left with councils, who have been systematically starved of funding since 2010. Social housing tenants are seeing their services slashed and repairs are not getting done.   

Elsewhere, leaseholders in privately owned buildings are being asked for tens of thousands of pounds each to fix a problem they did not cause.  Many simply do not have this money.

Thousands of people across the UK are living in tower blocks at risk of fire, whilst others are freezing.  This is a national emergency.  The national government should be making sure that cladding and insulation are replaced without delay, and that residents can keep warm and dry throughout this process.  

They should fund fire wardens, alarms, and other safety measures for residents living with flammable cladding, and a package of special measures - from help with bills to damp treatments - for all who are left in the cold.

Tell Prime Minister Theresa May to make emergency funding available by adding your name to this petition.

For further demands, developed in consultation with residents affected by this crisis, see here. 

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What more can I do?  See suggestions here.

Or help fund the campaign:

Fuel Poverty Action is a volunteer-led organisation, and relies entirely on grants and donations to support our essential campaigning. We need funds to reach more people and put pressure on the Government to address this national crisis. We estimate that £2000 could help to sustain our campaign for another 9 months. This is how your money could help:

  • £5 will pay for an hour in a shared working space for FPA volunteers.
  • £10 will pay travel costs for low-income attendees to attend meetings and direct actions.
  • £20 will pay to print 100 flyers to reach out to residents in more tower blocks, and for direct actions, printed by ‘eco-print’ printers.
  • £100 will pay for a day's work to make a longer video where residents affected by this issue can speak in their own name to policy makers.

If you can contribute, please follow the link here to donate. All donations will go directly to funding our work, and will help to ensure that residents in tower blocks are kept warm and safe.


Residents interviewed in the video are from two London estates: Granville Estate in Barnet, and Chalcots Estate in Camden, and from Croydon's Citiscape building.


For more on this campaign see our parliamentary briefing, Vice article with social housing residents’ experience, and more here, including ‘When the facade comes down’ our blog about the wider implications of the issue.

 



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