The Minister for Levelling Up, Michael Gove MP, has issued a strongly-worded letter to the Construction Products Association, accusing it of ‘coming up with excuses to do nothing slowly’, in the after-math of the Grenfell Tower fire and the ongoing Grenfell Inquiry.
The Department for Levelling-up revealed that 35 house builders have signed the Government pledge to fund cladding and building fire safety upgrades as a matter of urgency, and Gove wants to know why relevant manufacturers have failed to follow suit.
The letter say: “In January, I asked property developers and construction product manufacturers to make a public funding commitment by early March. Unlike the approach taken by developers, manufacturers have failed to make any such commitment. This is simply not good enough.”
Gove criticises an earlier response from CPA chief executive Peter Capelhorn for, he says proposing “several reasons why making such commitments would be challenging or require years of preparatory work. Leaseholders do not have the luxury of waiting years for every building to be assessed before funding is committed, and five years on from the Grenfell Tragedy, there is little in your letter to suggest that manufacturers are ready to show leadership and play their part in bringing this unacceptable situation to an end.”
“The scale of this injustice should have spurred manufacturers into doing more, at speed, and it is disappointing that the sector appears instead to be using it as an excuse to do nothing, slowly.”
Gove’s letter says that it is “unacceptable that there has been no clear acknowledgement that actions taken by cladding and insulation manufacturers have contributed to the problem, and that manufacturers have individually and collectively failed to come forward with a proposal for playing their part in addressing it.”
The letter also references the new Building Safety Bill, stating that officials will be instructed to do “whatever it takes to make sure that construction product manufacturers are held to account”.