Petition launched for full and independent enquiry into cladding and fire safety scandal affecting Milton Keynes

The government needs to provide more cash to fix the problems, say councillors

By Sally Murrer
Monday, 1st November 2021, 1:59 pm
Updated Monday, 1st November 2021, 2:00 pm

Milton Keynes councillors are promoting a petition calling for a full and independent enquiry to be held into the cladding and fire safety scandal that is affecting thousands of local people.

The Labour and Lib Dem Progressive Alliance has slammed the government's pledge to allocate £5bn to remove unsafe cladding across the country following the Grenfell fire disaster.

They say independent estimates show the problem could cost at least £15bn to fix.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week re-announced the £5b funding, which will come from a 4% tax put on the top 30 property developers.

Leaseholders criticised this, saying the amount is not nearly enough and that they will still be left with extortionate bills to pay for remediation works.

Local leaseholders believe the government scheme is unlikely to cover any of the safety work that will be needed in Milton Keynes.

Earlier this month, Milton Keynes Council pledged its support to residents battling this scandal. A motion calling for leaseholders to be protected from these unfair costs was passed with cross-party support.

Ben Nolan, Labour councillor for Central Milton Keynes, moved the motion: “There are thousands of innocent leaseholders living in Milton Keynes that are facing frightening bills for remediation work that is not their fault.

“The government announced the £5bn fund in February so last week’s announcement is nothing new. They need to stop misleading the public and take accountability for this crisis. It has been four and half years since the Grenfell Tragedy and it is despicable that people are still suffering at the hands of this Conservative Government.”

Lib Dem Councillor Jenni Ferrans (Monkson Ward) seconded the motion: “At Full Council we heard harrowing stories from local leaseholders who are trapped in their properties, which have been valued at zero pounds, all because of the failings of this Government.

“Where are our MPs in all of this? How can they sit by while blameless residents are evicted and even declare bankruptcy, for living in a home that is meant to be safe?”

The Progressive Alliance is calling on residents to sign a petition asking the government to hold an enquiry.

The petition will get a response from the government as it has passed 10,000 signatures and may be considered for debate in Parliament once it passes 100,000.

Residents can view the petition here.