Companies use Annual General Meetings (AGMs) to show shareholders how well the Directors are running the company. With the right planning, and access to company shares, they are a good opportunity for campaigners to raise issues with key decision-makers.
Thanks to our friends at ShareAction who lent him a share, Dave Richards from the London Cladding Action Group attended developer Barratt’s AGM on 13 October. The meeting was held on a hybrid physical/virtual basis with a small number of other shareholders in attendance, able to speak directly to the Barratt Board of Directors.
This is a guide to the McPartland-Smith amendments to the Building Safety Bill, as at 27 July 2021. We recommend that you read it together with the amendments. Many thanks to Liam Spender for providing this helpful summary.
We cautiously welcome today’s shock government announcement on EWS1 and the need to inject some much-needed common sense into how building safety is being handled for low- and medium-rise apartment buildings – a true and proportionate risk-based approach is something we have been calling for since we relaunched our campaign.
The Building Safety Bill offers the unique chance for the Government to finally take control of the building safety crisis and, once and for all, to help leaseholders who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves physically, financially and mentally trapped. Unfortunately, the Government still seems scared of getting a grip on this nightmare that has blighted our lives for years.
Last night Conservative MPs voted to remove an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill that would have protected leaseholders from the cost of replacing dangerous cladding. The amendment was rejected 322 to 253.
When Lord Greenhalgh (Minister for Building Safety) and Richard Goodman (Director-General for Building Safety at MHCLG) appeared before the HCLG Committee on 8th March, it was already 1,363 days since the Grenfell tragedy. Forty-five months. Almost four years. Yet there was still no sign of urgency in solving the building safety crisis for the thousands of leaseholders who remain trapped.
Leaseholders frequently tell us they have heard nothing since their building applied to the Building Safety Fund last summer. When asked why the pace of non-ACM remediation funding has been so slow (only £160m of the £1bn fund has been allocated so far), Lord Greenhalgh said the delays were due to applicants, as information is missing or insufficient in about half of all registrations.
When we relaunched our campaign in September 2020, one of our key Campaign Aims was a fairer, faster process to replace EWS1 together with the Government funding necessary to ensure all buildings requiring a form are surveyed at pace, to help the millions of people trapped in limbo due to the zero-risk approach inherent in the Government’s January 2020 Advice Notes.
We are pleased to learn that Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) has passed on our letter to its independent Council on Ethics, and we look forward to the opportunity to meet with their representatives to discuss our concerns. This crisis has left about three million people trapped in unsafe or unsellable flats in the UK; it is of the utmost importance that NBIM engages properly and hears directly from the innocent victims. Read NBIM’s reply to our letter here.
Alongside our campaign partners, Grenfell United, The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, The National Leasehold Campaign, Action for Fire Safety Justice and Father of the House, Sir Peter Bottomley, we have sent a letter to the Directors of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), Norway’s £1 trillion sovereign wealth / pension fund.
Michael Gove made a major announcement on Monday 10th January declaring, amongst other measures, an additional £4bn to remediate buildings between 11 and 18m in height. This article is our response to that announcement.
This is a guide to the McPartland-Smith amendments to the Building Safety Bill, as at 12 November 2021. We recommend that you read it together with the amendments. Many thanks to Liam Spender for providing this helpful summary.
For some years we have been aware of, and faced directly, issues in the opaque residential building insurance regime. There has long appeared to be evidence of cartel-like behaviour by the Insurers, with apparent conflicts of interest between Freeholders, Brokers, and Insurers, meaning the building insurance, that leaseholders are forced to pay for, is not and has never been fair or fit for purpose.
On 8th November, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee questioned Secretary of State, Michael Gove, on a range of subjects including Building Safety. You can read our statement following Mr Gove’s appearance here.
Many leaseholders in London bought their flats
through flagship government-backed schemes such as shared ownership. As a
result, a significant number of leaseholders have a housing association (HA) as
their landlord; the HA is also often the freeholder of their building, but this
is not always the case.
Unfortunately, many leaseholders who are
caught up in the building safety crisis have found that their HA has been unhelpful,
and we hear frequent examples of leaseholders experiencing very poor customer
service. We also hear many reports of requests for fire risk assessments (FRAs)
and EWS1 documents being turned down by HAs. We are also aware of an increasing
number of requests to sublet flats being summarily refused. HAs often fail to
provide any support, but also fail to uphold leaseholders’ human right to
Following on swiftly from the successful #LeaseholdersTogether rally in Westminster on 16th September, we have organised the Cladiators’ Party Conference, which will take place outdoors next to Manchester Central Library in St Peter’s Square M2 5PD, from 11:30am to 1:30pm on Sunday 3rd October. This event has been arranged to coincide with the opening day of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
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