Buildings: Repairs and Maintenance

Wales Office written question – answered on 7 June 2022.

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Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care), Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, with reference to the written statement of 12 May 2022 by the Welsh Minister for Climate Change entitled Update on building safety, if he will take steps to work with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to deliver a system of protection from fire safety remediation costs for Welsh leaseholders, in line with those planned for leaseholders in England.

Photo of Simon Hart Simon Hart The Secretary of State for Wales

The UK Government are actively engaging with the Welsh Government and other Devolved Administrations on building safety matters. While it is for each Administration to take their own approach to building safety as a devolved matter, there is positive potential for sharing approaches to proportionality, data, engagement with industry, and other areas of mutual interest.

Pledges with developers are explicitly stated to be without prejudice to any discussions or arrangements the developers might have with Devolved Administrations. The UK Government is happy to support Devolved Governments in any approaches they may wish to take to secure similar commitments from developers that are appropriate to arrangements in each nation.

Whilst acknowledging that building safety is devolved, there are benefits to sharing learning from the development of the Building Safety Levy and how it applies in England. Systems, regulatory frameworks and the scale of the issue will vary across the UK meaning that no one solution will fit all. The UK Government is happy to support the Devolved Administrations to explore which solution is available to them and best suited to their needs.

There has been an active programme of engagement between UK Government and Devolved Administration officials on building safety since November 2020. Fortnightly meetings have had a standing agenda focused on the Building Safety Bill and activities undertaken by the Devolved Administrations. These have been supplemented by meetings on topics of specific interest, such as technical discussions on the Building Safety Fund. To further support the Devolved Administrations in considering how industry should pay in their nations, and other building safety matters, the UK Government has set up an official level task and finish group.

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