Victory for Steve and campaigners as flammable cladding will be taken down
Residents in the Citiscape development in Croydon are celebrating after hearing that flammable Grenfell-style cladding will be removed from their housing block.
Local MP Steve Reed backed residents in their long battle to have the potentially dangerous cladding removed from the block following the fatal blaze at Grenfell Tower. Residents were originally told the cladding would only be removed if they paid up to £31,000 per flat which many of them simply couldn’t afford. Residents bought their flats believing the cladding was safe, but found out later that failed Government safety rules had allowed the dangerous cladding to go up on the building.
During a campaign lasting months, Steve Reed MP demanded action from Government Ministers in Parliament and won coverage in the national media. Now the orginal developers, Barratts, have stepped in to pay to have the cladding replaced, although they pointed out the Government should have taken responsibility after Conservative Government Ministers ignored repeated calls to change the fire safety regulations to ban this kind of cladding.
Speaking outside Citiscape, Steve Reed said:
This is fantastic news for Citiscape residents, but we must not let the Conservatives off the hook for allowing this situation to happen in the first place. The Government allowed this cladding to go up, and the Government must accept responsibility for taking it down. I will keep campaigning until not one person has to sleep in a home covered in flammable cladding.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.