Agenda item

To consider the following Motions in accordance with Council Rules of Procedure No. 13

Motion A

Cladding Scandal


Proposer: Councillor Dawn Barnes

Seconder: Councillor Julia Ogiehor


Council notes that:

  • The tragedy of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, which led to the loss of 72 lives, was caused by Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding;
  • The government banned the use of all combustible materials on the walls of new high rises in November 2018, extending the problem beyond ACM cladding to buildings clad with other flammable materials;
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the UK Council of Mortgage Lenders agreed to the industry External Wall System fire review and certification process resulting in what is known as an EWS1 form;
  • There is no legal requirement for owners to produce EWS1 forms or take remedial action, but many lenders are now refusing to provide mortgages without such a form;
  • Snagging is largely left as a responsibility of residents to take up with developers post-purchase, and even when covered by new build insurance schemes, leaseholders often suffer poor response and cycles of poor quality repair;
  • Remediation costs for cladding are sometimes spiralling to over £100,000 per flat, with many owners forcing these charges back onto leaseholders;
  • December 2020 saw the first case of a leaseholder being bankrupted by costs associated with the crisis;
  • Government plans for leaseholders to sue developers with no financial support will not help many due to: high legal costs, the issue of dangerous cladding being legal at the time buildings were built, and the possibility of developers having since become insolvent;
  • Waking watches, when a person patrols all floors and external areas of a building to give warning in the event of a fire, are being used in buildings at high risk of fire due to cladding, and are costing Londoners an average of over £20,000 per month;
  • Residents and leaseholders, through no fault of their own, are being left in potentially ruinous limbo, unable to mortgage or remortgage and therefore unable to buy and sell.


Council believes that:

  • The combination of this cladding, EWS1 and snagging scandal is having a devastating impact on many residents;
  • The current industry EWS1 process and public funding of remediation works is not fit for purpose and needs rapid attention;
  • The funding given by central government towards remediation works is completely insufficient, and costs are still falling on the shoulders of individual leaseholders;
  • An independent public inquiry should be set up to look at the government’s response to concerns about fire and building safety;
  • The council has a responsibility and arguably a duty of care to residents who have innocently purchased properties granted planning permission by the council;
  • The council should not stand by and leave action to the government and should now step in and take action where legally allowed to.


Council resolves to:

  • Sign up to the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign;
  • Immediately perform an audit and consultation with resident associations of all habitable buildings in Haringey (regardless of tenure) to establish the potential scope of the cladding, EWS1 and snagging issues, with a report back to Cabinet by the end of 2021;
  • Consider options on advice and support including establishing a Cladding and Snagging Hub by October 2021 to provide assistance to all Haringey residents and residents associations regardless of housing tenure which would support in lobbying developers, building owners and claiming Government funds to urgently rectify their buildings;
  • Investigate options such as redeployment and upskilling of staff, supporting and upskilling surveyors or other suitable professionals as appropriate, in order to perform more EWS1 assessments and accelerate remediation and certification;
  • Lobby all private building owners and Housing Associations in Haringey to act immediately in rectifying issues and achieving EWS1 certification – noting that some of these owners may not be the original developer and will therefore need the council’s assistance to engage and trace developers or find other routes to remedy, thus avoiding any cost to leaseholders;
  • Explore ways to delay approving planning applications where the applicant has outstanding snagging or EWS1 certification issues in Haringey and include a condition to be discharged on all future planning applications to provide an EWS1 form before first occupation;
  • Lobby and work with MPs, MHCLG and the Mayor of London to:
    • Devolve powers to Haringey Council in order to have jurisdiction over enforcing remediation of housing of all tenures and to obtain local control over the relevant compensation funds from the government, so the council can actively support affected residents in Haringey of all tenures;
    • Adopt the sensible recommendations of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee in their report on cladding remediation from April 2021;
    • Support the 10 steps set out by the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign.


Supporting documents: