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Protest plan by cladding victims facing huge bills in Birmingham

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 04/06/2021 Tom Dare

Leaseholders told they will have to pay thousands in bills to replace unsafe cladding on their homes are demanding that developers and the government foot the bill.

And they have called on people in a similar position to join them in a protest outside the council house tomorrow (Saturday, June 5), ahead of a potential nationwide protest in London next month.

Thousands of residents from across Birmingham have found themselves saddled with debt in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy in 2017, as the government attempts to crack down on buildings with unsafe cladding.

Several buildings, such as Hemisphere Apartments in Edgbaston and Islington Gates in the Jewellery Quarter, have been deemed unsafe by fire safety inspections since the disaster in North Kensington - but in the majority of cases, the cost for replacing the cladding has been passed on to residents.

And tomorrow's protest will call on developers and the government to stop passing the cost of the works on to leaseholders, many of whose homes have essentially become worthless in the wake of updated fire safety inspections.

"Are you a leaseholder facing huge bills for cladding / fire safety remediation?" a poster for the event reads.

"Join us for a "peaceful protest calling on the Government to #EndOurCladdingScandal and make the polluter pay.

"Bring your family and friends and make your voices heard. Enough is enough."

The protest will be taking place at noon on June 5 outside of the Council House in Victoria Square, with attendees invited to practice social distancing and wear facemasks if possible.

And Tanya Murat of Homes for All wants leaseholders to send a message to developers and the government.

“14th June will be the four-year anniversary of the Grenfell fire where 72 people died as a result of a building industry that routinely put profit before safety and an unaccountable landlord-backed by a totally inadequate regulatory regime," she said.

"None of this has changed. Instead, there are up to 11 million people still living in buildings that could kill them. Leaseholders should not be forced to pay for cladding removal and fire remediation.

"Developers made millions in profits from this system, now they must pay to make these buildings safe.”

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