From Preet Kaur Gill MP <[email protected]>
Subject Here's your weekly update John
Date February 12, 2021 7:11 PM
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Dear John,

The building safety crisis is one of the biggest scandals in the housing
sector in decades. As I wrote in my newsletter last week, an estimated 11
million people around the country are living in unsafe homes, and progress
to fix these issues has been glacially slow.

This week I put my name to two amendments to the Fire Safety Bill that
would protect leaseholders from the incredible burden this crisis has
placed on their shoulders.

In response to growing pressure from campaigners and politicians, the
Government announced on Wednesday an additional 3.5bn of funding to
remediate buildings over 18 metres high, but that leaseholders in buildings
below this or six stories, would have to take out loans costing £600 a

While additional funding is welcome, this announcement comes too late for
many of the first-time buyers who have already gone bust, and still
excludes the majority of those affected from support.

Progress has been too slow. Over 100 buildings in Birmingham have applied
to the Building Safety Fund, yet not one has received a drop of money so
far. Meanwhile, leaseholders in Edgbaston continue to pay for stopgap
safety measures that have already cost them more than £200,000.

I am also concerned that the 18 metre threshold for funding is arbitrary,
when really we need remediation works prioritised by risk.

In 2019 Richmond House in London burned down in just nine minutes. Not a
single flat was saved. Yet, because this building was below 18 metres,
under the Government's proposals it would not be eligible for funding to
make it safe.

Ministers have promised on 17 separate occasions that leaseholders
wouldn’t have to pay for a crisis they didn’t cause. A cladding tax on
leaseholders breaks that promise.



Tackling the jobs crisis

Almost seven months after the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, launched his ‘Plan
for Jobs’, 81,710 people in Birmingham are claiming out of work benefits
with a further 68,487 people still being furloughed by their employers.

With the furlough scheme due to end in April, thousands of people’s jobs
could be on the line, including 5,600 people in Edgbaston.

Businesses and workers need certainty, and can’t wait until the Budget to
get it. That’s why this week I have called for a “smart” furlough
scheme to help tackle the jobs crisis.



Exempt accommodation consultation

Exempt accommodation has grown by almost 25% in just 12 months in

This type of accommodation is supposed to provide housing, care and
supervision for some of our most vulnerable citizens. But it is a growing
concern as the range and quality of some providers, in this largely
unregulated sector, varies wildly.

There are now over 18,500 units of this type of housing across the city and
the problem is growing. Birmingham City Council Scrutiny Committee has
launched an inquiry to look into this sector and have put out a call for

They want to hear from both residents and members of the community where
exempt accommodation exists to better understand what improvements need to
be made either directly by the City Council or from the Government.

If you would like to give your views, please click below and follow the
guidance to submit your information by Friday 19 February.



Vaccine Appointments

Over 80s should now have all had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine,
but there are still some over 70s to go.

In our constituency there are over 4,000 people over the age of 70. If you
or one of your family is one of them and are still waiting for an
appointment, please click below to book your jab.


© 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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