Lambeth residents at high risk from fire in their own homes

Lambeth residents are at high risk from fire in their own homes.

More than 12,000 people living in the borough are housed in buildings covered in dangerous flammable cladding.

The same material was responsible for the Grenfell tower disaster, which claimed 72 lives in 2017.

The information was gathered by the Labour party, who are asking for a national cladding task force.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour MP for Streatham, said: “It’s an absolute disgrace.

“This is a matter of life and death.”

She believes there have been too many platitudes from the Government, and the data on which buildings are compliant with safety regulations is still not entirely clear, even four years after Grenfell.

She compared the Government’s behaviour in the aftermath of the tragedy to their response to the Covid pandemic.

In both instances, she says, they were slow to act and have put people’s lives at risk.

Ribeiro-Addy cites Australia as an example of good practice, where the authorities efficiently gathered together all the available data before eradicating dangerous cladding.

In 554 addresses across the capital, leaseholders are hiring walking watchers – people who patrol housing blocks in case of a fire – at their own expense.

Ribeiro-Addy said that just because people have bought a flat it doesn’t mean they can afford to do this.

She said: “These interim measures are not good enough because they’re literally bankrupting some leaseholders, especially in such a difficult time when some people have lost their jobs or are on furlough.

“The government need to stop being so slow about resolving the situation and stop being cavalier about attempting to pass the cost on to innocent individuals.

“Now is not the time for individuals to have to shell out just to make sure they don’t burn in their homes.”

People across the UK have no option but to spend the coronavirus lockdown in unsafe conditions. There are however signs of progress.

An Opposition Day Debate on protecting tenants and leaseholders has taken place in the House of Commons.

It called on the Government to protect people living in hazardous conditions.

The motion was passed by 263 votes to none.

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