We still have dangerous cladding on buildings with 24/7 fire patrols

Workmen remove the cladding from the facade of a block of flats in Paddington, north London.

Workmen removing cladding from a block of flats in Paddington in December - Credit: PA/Aaron Chown

Grenfell was a tragedy so horrific, so devastating and so avoidable, that I think we all thought that any government would do whatever it takes to get rid of the flammable cladding that caused it.

Far from doing whatever it takes, this government has done whatever it felt it could get away with. Nearly four years on from Grenfell, from West Hampstead Square to South Kilburn and all over our constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn, people are still living in flammable buildings.

In parliament last week, I spoke in Labour’s opposition day debate about the cladding crisis, where I shared the plight of many of my constituents who have been living in fear of a fire engulfing their dangerously cladded building for many years now. Work to remove unsafe cladding hasn’t even begun on many blocks, and some require 24/7 "waking watch" patrols to check for fires.

Worst of all, it is the residents of these buildings who have been forced to bear the costs of measures like "waking watches" and even the cladding replacement. On top of all the stress of living in an unsafe building, the leaseholders are facing crippling fees and are unable even to sell their homes.

Meanwhile, the developers and other companies which installed this cladding in the first place have largely been allowed to get away scot-free. 

This is a travesty. I’m calling on ministers act now to make these buildings safe and shield leaseholders from the costs. Anything less is unforgiveable.

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq - Credit: PA/ Lauren Hurley