Editor, IFSEC Global

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James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
July 14, 2022

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Building safety

New UK Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Secretary reaffirms commitment to protect leaseholders

Greg Clark, who has previously served as a local government minister, treasury minister and education minister, as well as Business Secretary, has been appointed the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.

GregClark-Portrait-22

Greg Clark MP (Image credit: Parliament.UK)

Amongst a tumultuous 48 hours in UK politics which saw a throng of ministers resigning and calls for the resignation of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, Michael Gove was removed from his post at the Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Secretary and has been replaced by Greg Clark.

The permanency of the appointment will remain to be seen. Following Johnson’s confirmation of his resignation on 7th July as Leader of the Conservative Party and eventually Prime Minister, another cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place once a new leader is appointed. Johnson and the cabinet will continue to serve until a successor is elected in early September.

Gove had been appointed as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 15 September 2021, having taken over from Robert Jenrick. Throughout his appointment, Gove made several commitments to assuring leaseholders would not be held financially responsible for cladding remediation costs, instead targeting developers and the wider building industry.

Gove was asked to leave office by Johnson after he refused to publicly declare his support for the Prime Minister on 6th July and called for him to resign.

Clark will now take over Gove’s role, which involves overseeing local government, planning and building safety across the UK. Since taking over, he has reaffirmed the commitment to ensure leaseholders are protected from remediation costs.

On 13 July, Clark published the draft contract that the Government expects large developers to sign, with the aim of refining and finalising it within four weeks.

Speaking to the i newspaper, he said: “Progress has been made, though it has taken too long. Nevertheless, it is now becoming irreversible. The Building Safety Act came into force last month – the biggest reform to building safety in a generation. Leaseholders are now protected in law from unfair bills to make their homes safe, and a rigorous regulatory regime will bring order to decades of lax practice.

“My predecessor, Michael Gove, was absolutely right in his drive to ensure that companies should fix the buildings they played a part in constructing. A landmark agreement has seen a majority of the UK’s major housebuilders pledge an estimated £2 billion to this end. That pledge was given to the house building industry in March and there have since been over 45 signatories. I welcome the proactive approach taken by those developers like Barratt that have gone beyond the commitments in the pledge.”

 

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