‘Hundreds’ still living in buildings with dangerous cladding, claims Leeds council deputy leader

A senior Leeds city councillor has said hundreds of people living in Leeds are living in blocks of flats covered in “dangerous cladding”, while building owners do nothing.

Friday, 6th November 2020, 11:42 am
Updated Friday, 6th November 2020, 11:46 am

Leeds city councillors are set to vote on whether to put further pressure on government over flammable cladding, with the council’s deputy leader Debra Coupar claiming private leaseholders are being “held to ransom” during a time of economic uncertainty.

Coun Coupar will present a motion, known as a white paper, to a full Leeds City Council meeting next Wednesday. It calls on national government to provide funding to ensure all flammable cladding is removed by 2022.

The motion reads: “This council believes it is a scandal that hundreds of private leaseholders in Leeds still live in high rise flats with dangerous cladding, despite it now being over three years since the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.

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A workman in Sheffield replaces cladding on a block of flats. (Pic: SWNS)

“Council believes it is unfair that many residents who bought their properties in good faith now face both the immediate cost of having to fund waking watches, as well as not knowing whether they will one day wake up to a financially crippling bill from their building owner for remedial works.

“This is in addition to the increased impact on the mental wellbeing of individuals held to ransom in this way at a time of steadily rising unemployment.

“Council believes it is time for firm action from the Government rather than continued broken promises, to avoid a repeat of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

“Council therefore expresses its support for the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign and calls on the Government to lead a national effort and provide the funding to remove all dangerous cladding from all buildings by June 2022 at the latest, with the prioritisation of those blocks most at risk.”

The Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 saw 72 people die after a flat fire spread across the building due to flammable exterior cladding on the building.

Members of Leeds City Council will hold a vote on whether to adopt the motion as policy at a meeting on Wednesday, November 11.