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CPA hits back at Gove accusations

 The Construction Products Association (CPA) has defended itself and its members against  Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove, who had accused materials manufacturers of using the scale of the cladding crisis as an “excuse to do nothing”.

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A statement by the association said that there was “uncertainty and concern” over a lack of data on how many homes are affected by building safety issues and that a “robust and trustworthy” assessment of each dwelling was needed to an agreed standard.

“Despite our considerable effort and numerous lengthy detailed discussions to get actions moving, it has not been possible to gain widespread support to enable the industry to sign up for a voluntary funding scheme.”

Earlier, Gove said: “Leaseholders do not have the luxury of waiting years for every building to be assessed before funding is committed.”

The CPA says is it far easier to link the building with the housebuilder than with the manufacturer of the products used, who is “at the end of a long supply chain”.

The dispute follows a breakdown in talks between the government and the construction products sector over how much manufacturers should pay for cladding remediation costs.

The housing secretary said he considered negotiations with the sector to have “concluded” and that he would now do “whatever it takes” to hold products firms to account, including pursuing them through the courts.

In a letter sent to Gove last month, the CPA said: “At this point in time, the construction supply chain has made it clear to the CPA that, given the aforementioned uncertainties and lack of clear information, a consensus is lacking for any model of remediation funding beyond a ‘polluter pays’ model that is limited to the cladding and insulation sector.

”Once key information and clarification can be provided as set out above, we can assist the Government further in this endeavour.”

The government said 35 housebuilders have now signed up to its cladding pledge to fix building safety issues on residential blocks.

 

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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