From Preet Kaur Gill MP <[email protected]>
Subject Cladding scandal, Tories put NHS on the table & government cuts aid budget
Date July 24, 2020 5:56 PM
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I hope this email finds you safe and well, John.

On Monday, the government published a draft of its Building Safety Bill,
aimed at making buildings over 18 metres high in England safer following
the fire at Grenfell tower three years ago. Disappointingly, the draft
legislation leaves many leaseholders responsible for making buildings safe.

The government has previously said that leaseholders should not face
"unaffordable costs", but this provided little consolation to leaseholders
when the government's own impact assessment states that cladding victims
could be forced to pay up to £78,000 to make their homes safe. Adding
further insult to injury, government ministers branded the costs

This week I met with leaseholders in my constituency who disagreed. They
live in a 344 apartment tower block in Edgbaston, which a recent Fire
Engineer’s report found to have a 100% FAILURE RATE [4] in the External
Wall Systems. The leaseholders shared their powerful stories about the
devastating financial and personal impact the cladding scandal has had on
their lives.

The testimonies they shared were truly heartrending. The residents rightly
feel shocked and angered by what has happened and uncertain about the
future during an already difficult time.

This is about so much more than just the significant financial costs they
are facing. This scandal has already had a serious impact on residents’
mental health, their family life, and the sense of safety they should feel
in their own home.

The government must stop prevaricating. Instead, they must take immediate
action against this injustice. Leaseholders, like those in my constituency,
need absolute clarity about where they stand.

The size and scope of the government's Building Safety Fund, set up to meet
the cost of remediating non-ACM cladding, is simply inadequate. Over 1,300
applications have been made so far for the £1 billion fund, which averages
out to around £725,000 per tower block. Given that the government says it
will cost at least £3 million per building to fix, it’s clearly

The fund is operating on a first come first served basis and is limited to
£1 billion. I have notified the buildings in my constituency which I
believe may be affected and eligible for the fund, but I would strongly
encourage building owners or other responsible entities in both the social
and private housing sectors with any concerns that their building might be
affected to apply for the fund. You have until the 31st July to register
your interest and you can do that HERE [5].

Leaseholders who are concerned that the owner of their building is not
taking sufficient action to remediate unsafe cladding, or is passing
remediation costs onto them, are strongly encouraged to fill out this FORM
[6] and get in touch with me.


On Monday, the Trade Bill came before the House to be voted on. But the
Bill contained serious shortcomings and lack of accountability.

That's why I supported a new clause that aimed to protect the NHS and
publicly funded health and care services from any form of control from
outside the UK.

I supported another new clause to require imports of agricultural goods to
meet animal health and welfare, environmental, plant health, food safety
and other standards that are at least as high as UK standards.

I also supported an amendment to ensure that the government must gain the
consent of the devolved governments.

Finally, and most importantly, I supported a new clause to address some of
the significant democratic deficits in the Trade Bill. Parliament should
have both a voice and a vote when it comes to future trade deals.

Unfortunately, all of these amendments were voted down by Tory MPs. This
represents a massive missed opportunity and it seems that the Tories have
seen to it that our health service is on the table after all.


It was a pleasure to meet with staff from Edgbaston Beaumont care home
today. They've done incredible work in demanding circumstances to look
after their residents and staff. I want to once again thank them and all
frontline heroes for everything they have done and continue to do during
this crisis.


From today, face coverings are mandatory for shoppers in England, unless
you're covered by an exemption.

Please remember your face covering when you leave home, follow the shop
rules, and respect staff and other customers.

More information on face coverings, how to make them and how to wear them,
HERE [7].

My team and I have been busier than ever in helping local residents during
lockdown and have opened and worked on thousands of cases on behalf of
constituents on a wide range of issues.

Although parliament is now in recess, I will be continuing my work in the
constituency and can be contacted in the usual ways:

TELEPHONE: 0121 392 8426

EMAIL: [email protected]

As ever, please do not hesitate to get in touch if there is anything I can
help with.



The government used the last day before summer recess to announce, in a
letter, that £3 billion will be cut from the UK's aid budget. This is
because of the UK's legally binding commitment to international development
spend of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) - which has plummeted due to

However, the latest Treasury estimates show a fall of 9.1% of UK GDP in
2020, yet the government is cutting the aid budget by 20%. It is clear that
they are using the excuse of the global pandemic and domestic recession to
cut support for the world’s poorest.

The timing of the announcement also was no accident, and left no chance for
parliamentary scrutiny nor consultation.

The British public are rightly proud of the impact UK aid has in supporting
the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.

As we face the reality of lower GDP, projects and programmes that are not
transparent or have been found to have no or limited development impact
should be the focus of re-evaluation.

Labour wants the aid budget to deliver value for money for British
taxpayers and that's why we are urging the government to make sure UK aid
delivers on its purpose of tackling poverty.

© 2020 Printed from an email sent by Preet Kaur Gill. Promoted by A.J Webb
on behalf of Preet Kaur Gill, both at 56 Wentworth Road, B17 9TA.

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