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Cladding removal programme in ‘disarray’

Grenfell Tower ablaze in 2017

The Scottish Government’s programme to remove risky Grenfell-style cladding from buildings is in “disarray” due to a lack of confidence in its delivery, according to new documents.

The UK Government gave Scottish ministers £97m two years ago to improve potentially fatal cladding on buildings after an investigation into the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017 which claimed 72 lives.

Holyrood identified 780 buildings across Scotland that need to be assessed and estimated the work required will take around five years to complete.

However, the Delivery Confidence Assessment has been downgraded do Amber/Red – meaning “successful delivery of the project is in doubt”. 

It said there is a “lack of clear priorities and appropriate planning”.

Holyrood has already faced criticism after taking four years longer than the UK government to ban the cladding.  

The documents obtained by the Scottish Labour Party through a Freedom of Information request raise fresh questions around the programme to replace it.

Promises made by Ministers are described as having a “clearly heroic and an impossible timescale to achieve”.

Scottish Labour Housing spokesperson Mark Griffin said: “These damning documents show a project in total disarray.

“Ministers are playing fast and loose with people’s safety by making promises they can’t keep while letting this vital programme fall into chaos. 

“The SNP wasted years refusing to ban this dangerous cladding, and now this essential work is being threatened once again by their reckless negligence. 

“There is no time to waste learning the lessons of the awful Grenfell tragedy – the SNP need to get a grip of the mess they have made of this programme and make it work.”

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