Letter to Editor: Why did our Conservative MP abstain from motion to deal with Grenfell style cladding?
News / Fri 5th Feb 2021 at 07:30am
MANY residents in Harlow may not be aware of an extremely important motion on Grenfell style cladding that was put to Parliament earlier this week. The Labour Party put forward a motion to establish a national independent task force to get a grip on the crisis for leaseholders facing crippling financial bills to remove flammable cladding from their properties.
We are fortunate in Harlow that all council owned property and tower blocks do not have this flammable cladding and I am grateful for that, but huge numbers of leaseholders in this country are not so fortunate. They are trapped in unsellable properties, trapped living in a potentially unsafe home.
The issue of unsafe cladding came horrifically to the attention of the country super to Grenfell disaster in 2017. Harlow Council took immediate action to ensure our buildings were safe. As the cabinet member for housing I, along with fellow Labour councillors in this town, have committed huge sums of money to make sure our tower blocks are amongst the safest in this country, a subject we take extremely seriously.
I am sure leaseholders in Harlow will understand the anguish that fellow leaseholders living in areas that have taken a less rigorous approach to fire safety are going though.
Even Conservative MP Stephen McPartland told the commons that the “government have been incompetent in this saga”. A statement was also made by Conservative MP Liam Fox who said that “those that build sub-standard dwellings need to be held to account.”
Therefore, like most residents in this town, I was shocked to hear that our local MP Robert Halfon abstained in this vote, showing a contemptuous disregard for those leaseholders so badly affected in this country.
Cllr Mark Wilkinson
Cabinet member for housing