September is a busy period in the social affairs calendar: Parliament is back, inquiries have resurfaced, and party conference season is starting. Ministers have said goodbye to the serenity of summer holiday season and are facing up to the old and new challenges that lie ahead. As autumn arrives we find ourselves with a new housing minister, a new department name and new branding. The question shared by building allies and leaseholders alike is, will these changes make any real difference? Glossy Gove September saw Michael Gove appointed to lead the freshly-named Department for Levelling Up, Housing and
The appointment of Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in the latest reshuffle has taken many in both the commentariat and housing industry by surprise. Gove has the reputation among his colleagues of being the ultimate survivor; he has served in successive cabinets dating back to 2010 and has undergone several rebrands and the occasional political resurrection in between. A medley of Gove(s) When he entered government as education secretary in 2010, Gove was championed as a fresh start – part of a new generation of Conservatives MPs not linked to the John Major
As ministers top up their tan abroad, whilst parliament has its summer holiday, the public continues to wage the war on cladding on home turf. The fallout from Robert Jenrick’s recent announcement, that buildings under 18m no longer need an EWS1 form, has continued to attract headlines. As if the debate over who exactly requires the infamous form isn’t confusing enough, according to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) residents are now dealing with scammers posing as EWS1 assessment officials. A proposed ‘Polluter Pays’ amendment was also suggested this month, which would see those that ‘polluted’ the building liable
Proving the old adage ‘stars that burn twice as bright, burn half as long’ firmly wrong, the infamous Building Safety Bill continued to dominate the media landscape this month. The Bill had its first reading at the start of July, gaining mixed reviews. Once the typical procedural pomp of the first reading was out of the way, the media could grab its popcorn and settle in to the lively second reading. While the country’s politicians landed verbal blows on one another in Parliament, leaseholders continued to battle with remediation costs and EWS1 forms in the real world. As if remediation bills aren’t enough to deal with, residents of New
Building Safety Bulletin June 2021 You may have noticed a bright green hue emanating from your neighbour’s windows on the evening of Monday 14th this past month. This was in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. Virtual events were held nationwide and as usual, the opposition wasted no time in using the anniversary as an opportunity to highlight the government’s inadequacies. The Building Safety Bill also proved its star-power once again as it continued to grab headlines this month. Inside Housing reported that nearly half of applications to the government’s Building Safety Fund from social landlords (councils and
It has been an interesting month in the media for building safety, not least following the recent passing of the highly anticipated Fire Safety Bill. The government may have been hoping that the dust would settle quickly, but the opposition has had other ideas. Media outlets of all shapes and sizes have not held back on their criticism of the government, accusing them of betraying leaseholders and leaving innocent people to pick up the bills. You have may missed the Queen’s speech – it was a more subdued affair this year owing to the ongoing pandemic. Among the 26 Bills
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