Man describes how he feels 'trapped' in his Central Milton Keynes apartment due to cladding scandal

"I'm physically, financially and mentally trapped in a building that I do not own" man claims

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 3:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st October 2021, 3:50 pm

Residents living in flats with unsafe cladding have described to MK Council how they feel trapped and helpless.

Last night councillors voted to write to the government to support the thousands of people in the borough who are battling with the national cladding scandal.

The issue is that fire safety standards for cladding have tightened since the Grenfell tower block fire. As a result, many high rise blocks in MK have now been declared unsafe and are awaiting costly remedial works.

MK Council is writing to the government about the cladding scandal

In some cases, the residents themselves are facing large bills.

Labour councillor Ben Nolan told the meeting: “Residents should be protected from unfair costs and not live in fear that they could pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for something that isn’t their fault.”

The meeting of the full council heard several moving and heart-breaking stories from people in Milton Keynes whose whole lives have been put on hold by the government’s failure to act.

Adam, who lives in Central Milton Keynes, is unable to sell his apartment and claims the mandatory building insurance has increased by 600%.

“This leaves me trapped,” he told councillors.

“Physically trapped, financially trapped, and mentally trapped in a building that I do not own, that I did not design, build, or assess and sign off as compliant with regulations at the time."

He added: "This issue does not just affect me. There are over 1,000 flats within a five-minute walk of my building, which are home to people trapped in the same way.”

The council believes the government should ensure adequate funding for local authority building control services and proper funding for fire services and fire safety inspections.

Cllr Nolan, whose ward is CMK, said: “It has been nearly four years since the Grenfell tragedy and the government still isn’t doing enough to for people who are stuck living in unsafe properties."

He added: “I have also heard repeatedly from residents that their emails to the two Milton Keynes Conservative MPs have gone unanswered or they had just been brushed off. I hope, and I know the residents of Milton Keynes will also be hoping, that following this strong show of local unity – that this will no longer be the case.”

Jenni Ferrans, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Monkston ward, said: “We share residents’ concerns about the cladding scandal and believe the current system is flawed.

“The government is not providing enough financial support to those who are living in unsafe buildings and we will support residents to achieve fairness on this issue.”