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Scottish government ‘asleep at the wheel’ on post-Grenfell safety

SCOTTISH LABOUR housing spokesman Mark Griffin took aim at the Scottish government yesterday for its lack of urgency in replacing the flammable cladding on dozens of buildings.

Only two buildings in Scotland have had Grenfell-style cladding removed, official figures show.

The Housing (Cladding Remediation) (Scotland) Bill is yet to make it through stage one of the Holyrood process, which starts today, while just two of the 105 buildings identified as having the lethal cladding have been made safe. 

The Scottish government only moved to ban the cladding last year and says that most work on removing it will not begin until 2025.

This is in contrast to completed works on 37 buildings and 86 more planned this year by the Welsh government, and the 797 buildings made safe in England.

Mr Griffin said: “On this, and so many other issues, the SNP government are simply asleep at the wheel and the consequences for many families could be a matter of life and death.

“Will it take another Grenfell tragedy, this time in Scotland, before the SNP government finally do their job and make these buildings safe?

“It is one thing saying that the dangerous cladding needs to go: however, the reality is that all we see is more dither and delay.

“It is time for them to wake up and get on with the job.”

Fire Brigades Union Scotland’s John McKenzie told the Morning Star that the lack of progress showed “complacency to the point of contempt for those living, working and being educated in buildings wrapped in these materials and for the firefighters who would be called to rescue occupiers and extinguish cladding fires.

“What happened at Grenfell Tower was an avoidable catastrophe that cost 72 of our fellow citizens to needlessly lose their lives,” he said.

“After such an appalling event, the public would expect lessons to have been learned and swift action taken to ensure that the risk of another fire like Grenfell was minimised. The reality is that in this time very little has changed.

“The FBU stands in solidarity with all victims of the building safety crisis, a crisis they did not create. The union has always been clear: residents should not carry any cost for failure they did not cause.

“Developers, suppliers and building owners are responsible — and they should pay.”

The Scottish government was contacted for comment.

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