Following on from his recent demand to developers, Michael Gove has contacted the CPA and called for a “clear commitment from the sector” by March that cladding and insulation companies will “make financial contributions” to the cost of remediating unsafe cladding.
In a letter to Peter Caplehorn, CPA Chief Executive, Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has “set out the contribution that cladding and insulation manufacturers will need to make to fixing the crisis.”
Gove explained that it was “unjust” for leaseholders to be left with the bills to remove cladding from their buildings when “the range of past practices in the industry – across its approach to manufacturing, marketing and testing – has rightly been a source of huge concern to Parliament and the public.”
He continued: “Without prejudicing the results of the Grenfell Inquiry, there is no doubt that the documentary evidence that has been published relating to the culture and practices of major cladding and insulation manufacturers has been extremely alarming.”
Gove pointed out that “there are a number of cladding and insulation companies whose products or services have contributed to the need for remediation of 11m+ buildings on fire safety grounds,” and noted that “profits made in the four years after the Grenfell Tower tragedy by just the UK arms of the three cladding and insulation firms most closely associated with the refurbishment of the Grenfell Tower total over £700m.”
Gove continued: “I am offering a window of opportunity, between now and March, for the sector to work with my department through open and transparent negotiations to agree a settlement that will restore confidence and secure an appropriate contribution from the sector.
“A new deal must include a clear commitment from the sector that they agree to make financial contributions in this year and in subsequent years as we have already asked developers to do. The total contribution from the cladding and insulation sector must represent a significant portion of the total remediation costs, caused by the dangerous products sold by some of your members. The current estimated cost to remediate unsafe cladding on 11-18m and over 18m buildings is £4bn and £5.1bn respectively.”
Responding to the letter, the CPA stated: “We received a letter over the weekend from the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to ‘set out the contribution that cladding and insulation manufacturers will need to make to fixing the crisis’ involving leaseholders and cladding remediation.
“This letter follows similar correspondence and meetings with representatives of the housebuilding sector, as well as statements the Minister made in the House of Commons.
“We have had the benefit of several meetings with the Minister’s Residents Voice and the Building Safety Levy team over the past weeks, that have helped them understand the complexity of the issues and market participants involved. That team has nonetheless made clear the Minister’s ambitions and has requested our cooperation in planning a meeting with him and some relevant construction product manufacturers to discuss the matter further. We have asked for a separate meeting to clarify the details behind the government’s proposals.
“With all this in mind we are happy to work with government and our members in the spirit of cooperation to address these issues.”