March 7, 2018
Petition calls for urgent action on re-cladding of Mount Wise towers
A petition calling on the Government to pay for the recladding of three tower blocks in Devonport has been launched.
Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, has teamed up with Devonport Councillor, Bill Stevens, to offer his support to a local petition, calling for urgent funding to be allocated to reclad Mount Wise’s three tower blocks.
The cladding on the three tower blocks failed a series of fire safety tests ordered in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Despite assurances of support from central Government and an agreement the cladding would be removed and replaced, work has stalled due to a lack of funding being provided by Ministers.
Plymouth Community Homes, a local non-profit housing association is struggling to find the estimated £20 million for the recladding without Government support.
Anyone interested in signing the petition will find petition forms in Devonport Live and the Devonport Guidhall.
Councillor Bill Stevens said: “It is unacceptable that six months, let alone six weeks after the awful tragedy of Grenfell Tower, the Government has not taken the urgent action it promised on other tower blocks around the country like here in Mount Wise.” ”Devonport’s councillors want to see this dangerous cladding removed but the only way we can afford to do that as a city is if Government helps us with funding. Every day in the tower blocks, residents are living under uncertainty and fear. This is not right. “It is time Plymouth Community Homes got the funding it needs and that the Mount Wise residents got the peace of mind they deserve. The Government needs to act to stop a similar incident happening again.”
Luke Pollard MP, elected just before the Grenfell Fire in June 2017, has raised the issue with the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid calling for the Government to support Plymouth Community Homes.
Luke intends to present the petition to the Speaker of the House of Commons in April to demonstrate the strength of support for recladding the tower blocks from local residents in Devonport.
Luke Pollard MP said: “The Government is failing the people of Devonport by refusing to help with the costs of recladding the tower blocks. There’s always enough money for tax cuts for the rich, but when it comes to helping some of the poorest communities in the country with these essential fire safety measures there’s no money to be found. In April I will present Councillor Bill Steven’s petition to the House of Commons helping to pile pressure on Ministers to fund this essential work.”
“The fact that six months on from Grenfell there is still combustible cladding on Devonport’s tower blocks is a national disgrace. In times of national emergency like this we need a national response and it simply isn’t good enough for Conservative Ministers to delay and delay in the hope that this goes away. It won’t and I won’t stop fighting for the people of Devonport until the unsafe cladding is removed.”
First published in the Plymouth Shopper – March 2018