Liberal Democrat candidate for York and North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, James Barker, has urged the Government to accept an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill proposed by Lib Dems which was passed by the House of Lords yesterday by 326 votes to 248.
Following the Government’s rejection of an earlier amendment to the Fire Safety Bill in February seeking to protect leaseholders from footing the bill for Government inaction, Liberal Democrats tabled another amendment which has now been debated and passed by the House of Lords. The Lib Dem amendment seeks to stop the cost of fire safety work like the removal of unsafe cladding being passed on to leaseholders and tenants. It will now go back to the House of Commons for a Government response.
During the debate yesterday on the Lib Dem amendment to the Bill, Baroness Kath Pinnock said:
This very serious problem can only be resolved with up front funding from the Government which can then be recouped from developers, construction firms, and manufacturers. The Government’s own estimate is that the total cost of remediation will be in the region of £16billion. The buildings involved are not just in London but all across the country.
Hundreds of thousands of individuals and families are watching and waiting for the decision of this House today. They are willing us on to help find a fair and just solution to a problem that is not in any way of their making. Yet they are the ones who are being asked to pay the price.
James Barker said:
I’m proud that Liberal Democrats in Parliament are proposing practical solutions to help leaseholders, who face the prospect of financial ruin, trapped in unsafe homes.
Fire safety campaigners fought side by side with our MPs and Peers in Parliament to make it clear that leaseholders should not have to foot the bill for Government inaction.
If elected in May, I will work with my Liberal Democrat colleagues in Parliament to ensure leaseholders are not held responsible for the defective and dangerous construction by developers.