Grenfell disguise – Only two per cent of Scotland’s removal money has been spent

Miles Briggs, spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives on housing, accused the Scottish Government of a “pathetic lack of progress” in removing potentially flammable insulation.

The Scottish Government received £97.1million in follow-up Barnett payments from the UK Government in 2021/22 to facilitate the removal of cladding in high-rise buildings.

However, official documents released in May showed that spending on the multi-family cladding compensation scheme totaled £1,826,610 at the end of the 2022/23 financial year.

Housing Secretary Paul McLennan recently admitted the eviction process was taking “too long” and said the Scottish Government wants to speed up the rehabilitation process.

READ MORE: Investigation into Grenfell material at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, which killed 72 people, a number of safety changes were introduced, including a ban on flammable cladding on high-rise buildings.

It is understood that 105 buildings in Scotland are currently undergoing the Unsafe Cladding Assessment programme.

In May, Mr MacLennan said assessments were underway at 27 of those buildings.


But Mr Briggs said the delay was “inexcusable”. He said: “These deeply alarming numbers highlight the abject lack of progress by the SNP government in removing dangerous cladding from high-rise buildings.

“It is inexcusable that SNP ministers have failed to carry out the necessary surveys or to distribute this money which is essential to ensuring Scottish high-rise buildings are safe.

“The SNP ministers seem to have inexplicably taken their eyes off the ball when dressing up.

“It has been six years since the Glenfell Tower tragedy and the flammable material that contributed to it has been banned.

“Residents of Scotland’s tower blocks need reassurance their homes have been cleared of it. The resources have been committed so ministers must pull together and deliver.”

READ MORE: Will there ever be justice for Grenfell?

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring that buildings in Scotland with potentially unsafe cladding are refurbished.” Our cladding refurbishment program is complex and involves comprehensive and technical assessments, many of which are in the Final or preliminary reporting phase.

“These figures form part of a regular quarterly release through March 31, 2023 and are scheduled to be updated this month. We’ve spent over £148,000 to boost cleanup and spent over £640,000 on wake guards to provide real-time protection for occupants in the most dangerous buildings.

“We expect that the vast majority of buildings in the program will be classified as safe. We are delighted to have reached an agreement in principle with Homes for Scotland and a number of Scotland’s largest developers to ensure developers step up and fulfill their responsibilities in relation to redevelopment.”

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