'Singling out developers to sort out the cladding scandal'

The blaze engulfed six floors of the block of flats. Picture: @mobee_me /PA Wire

The Samuel Garside House blaze engulfed six floors of the block of flats. - Credit: @mobee_me /PA Wire

Four years on from the tragic Grenfell fire, the cladding scandal is still ruining lives. I have been working hard to support everyone in our community affected by this injustice.  

Every case is different. Some blocks have major safety flaws and are built with flammable materials. Others are safe but are trapped in limbo because of poor regulation. Meanwhile residents are stuck and facing rocketing bills that they cannot afford. 

I know of nearly 20 developments in the borough facing these issues. That’s tens of blocks, hundreds of families, thousands of people, many of them struggling to sleep due to the fear that one day tragedy could strike. 

Dame Margaret Hodge MP, Barking

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge asks that we shop local to help our high streets - Credit: Parliament UK

We saw it in Barking with the awful fire at Samuel Garside House in 2019. While just this weekend another block caught ablaze in nearby Tower Hamlets. Thank heavens nobody was killed in these fires. But homes were lost and people were hurt.  

What more has to happen before the government steps in to sort out this mess? 

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Instead of making leaseholders pick up the tab for this scandal, the government should make those responsible stump up. Local residents didn’t put dodgy cladding on these blocks.  

The buck should stop with the developers, the contractors, the building owners, the regulators, the manufacturers and the suppliers. They all have a moral obligation to support leaseholders and cover the costs.  

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Some organisations do the right thing but many do not. It’s time they are named and shamed.  

Fairview New Homes is the developer of a local block. Yet they did not attend a meeting with me and residents to help solve the issues. Unacceptable.  

Gateway Property Management has so far failed to deliver on promises to transfer authority over building management to leaseholders. They have been obstructive and uncooperative. Outrageous. 

Gladedale Homes has been dissolved and the new company created from the remainder of its group has been transformed into a new brand, and no one takes responsibility. Appalling.

These firms are failing our community. I will continue to single them out and any others for their terrible conduct. Residents cannot just be ignored; I will continue to challenge these injustices at every turn. 

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