The Chair invited Charles Loft, Senior Adviser, to introduce the update.
Charles reported that remediation of residential blocks with ACM cladding had slowed down as a result of Covid-19 with just 4 blocks being completed in the previous month.
Charles reported that the Fire Protection Board was launching the next stage of its Building Risk Review programme this week.
On the Joint Inspection Team, Charles said that the funding agreement had now been signed and they were recruiting new staff members with a view to starting inspections up again in July.
On non-ACM remediation, Charles reported that the Government had now published the prospectus for bids to its new £1 billion fund and added that the deadline for submitting bids – 31 July 2020 – would be very challenging. Councils would be eligible if the cost of the remediation works threatened the financial viability of the provider, or the Housing Revenue Account for stock holding authorities.
Charles then ran through the recommendations of the recent Housing, Communities & Local Government Select Committee report on dangerous cladding and said that all bar one of them were measures that the LGA had been calling for.
Charles reported that the Fire Safety Bill was entering the Committee stage in the House of Commons and the LGA was working on a set of amendments which would address some of the concerns set out in paragraph 27 of the report.
On Approved Document B, Charles said that the Government had announced that the height at which sprinklers would be required in new buildings was to be lowered to 11 metres from November. This was an excellent result after a long period of lobbying by the LGA.
Finally, Charles highlighted the continuing insurance and mortgage issues being faced by leaseholders in blocks that had dangerous cladding and the difficulties faced by surveyors seeking insurance to demonstrate that cladding was safe. The LGA was providing examples of these problems to MHCLG.
Members of the Safer & Stronger Communities Board noted the update.