Lawyer Meeting taking place today
Today lawyers will be meeting to work towards finding consensus to end the Building Safety Crisis. Mr Greenberg CB released a statement yesterday about the meeting.
- In the last couple of weeks there has been some discussion on social media of how the
Building Safety Bill Lords Stages can be used as a final opportunity to enact an effective
solution to the appalling injustice of the cladding scandal that has left innocent
leaseholders responsible for overwhelming costs of remedying defective construction.
- There has been discussion, in particular, of different amendments drafted by different
groups, and a suggestion that the Government would like a more focused and unified
- Beyond a certain level, that is not an entirely reasonable expectation. It is not to be
expected that every stakeholder in this crisis will see either the problem or the solution
in exactly the same way.
- As always, it is for stakeholders and relevant interest groups to set out their policy
imperatives, and for the Government to use its resources to enact that policy, in so far
as Ministers agree with it, in legislation.
- Different opinions between stakeholders are only to be expected. They will matter only
if they deflect attention from the immediate urgency of having a solution to this crisis
enacted in some form by way of amendments for the Lords Stages of the Building
Safety Bill presently before Parliament.
- That Bill may be the last chance to effect change at all, or at least in time to help a
reasonable tranche of people affected.
- For this reason, in consultation with the Earl of Lytton, I have prepared a simple
amendment for tabling in Committee, which will enact a simple duty (enforceable as a
matter of administrative law) for the Government to solve the problem on the basis of
a “polluter pays” principle articulated in the amendment.
- The clause gives the Government a choice of how to do that: it can commence a
Schedule also to be tabled encapsulating the Polluter Pays amendments drafted by me
and already published; or it can enact amendments tabled by anyone else; or it can
devise its own solution.
- The purpose of this simple amendment is to make it clear to the Government that it
must act decisively and definitively now, and that it is Ministers who are responsible
for crafting legislation that they believe will be effective.
- I expect this amendment to be tabled in Committee as a probing amendment, to be
withdrawn on the Minister’s assurance that the Government will on Report table their
own amendments to achieve the policy set out in the clause.
- Lord Lytton and I hope to meet stakeholders tomorrow to discuss the polluter pays
principles as set out in the simple clause, so that they can be amended in an aim to
reflect a consensus as to the core policy imperatives.
- I hope everyone affected by and interested in finding an effective solution to this
dreadful scandal, including the Minister Lord Greenhalgh who has been enormously
generous with his time and effort to help to resolve this issue, will be able to endorse
the principle of this simple amendment, that will establish the polluter pays concept
while allowing flexibility for different approaches to delivery.
Daniel Greenberg CB
9 February 2022
The statement and proposed amendment(s) can be downloaded just below.