Aluminium Composite Material Cladding (Guidance)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 6th December 2017.

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Photo of James Kelly James Kelly Labour

5. To ask the Scottish Government what guidance it can provide for owners of properties affected by aluminium composite material cladding. (S5O-01558)

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

We have directed owners and local authorities to guidance and advice issued by the United Kingdom Government on steps that should be taken by owners of properties that might have aluminium composite material on them. That guidance is applicable in Scotland and includes steps to have the material tested and to commission an independent fire safety assessment, as well as information on large-scale fire tests, which will help owners to understand what materials on their building need to be replaced to reduce the fire risk.

I stress that an independent fire safety assessment is key to determining any course of action as, depending on the type of ACM, the extent of its coverage, the design of the overall cladding system and other fire safety features, there may be no need to take further action.

Photo of James Kelly James Kelly Labour

The minister will be aware that there are properties in Glasgow that have ACM cladding. One of my constituents stays in an affected block. Despite being approved at the time when it was put in place, the cladding would not currently gain planning permission. Consequently, the owners are being charged thousands of pounds to have a fire warden on patrol and the replacement cladding will come in at somewhere between £6 million and £9 million. Will the Scottish Government explain what it is doing to help worried property owners such as my constituent?

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

Glasgow City Council is communicating with owners, factors and others on the buildings that Mr Kelly highlighted. Buildings are primarily the responsibility of owners. However, local authorities have broad discretionary powers to provide assistance for work that is needed to bring any house into a reasonable state of repair. They are best placed to make decisions about what assistance should be provided to address local circumstances and priorities. However, I assure Mr Kelly that I and my colleagues in the ministerial working group—the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance; and the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing—will continue to liaise with Glasgow City Council to determine exactly what the situation is.