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Liberal Democrats safeguard Grenfell Tower survivors rights

July 6, 2017 4:50 PM

Speaking in the House of Lords, John,Lord Shipley Liberal Democrat (a former Leader of Newcastle City Council) said :
My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for repeating the Statement, in which he confirmed that,

"everyone whose home was destroyed by the fire will be guaranteed a new home on the same terms as the one they lost".

The Statement then goes on to clarify what that means: "Paying the same rent, with the same level of security and in the same area".

I suggest to the Minister that there should be a fourth definition: "with at least the equivalent furniture, fittings and decoration at no cost to the tenant".

I raise this because there are issues around whose insurance policies will pay for furniture and fittings. In my view, that should lie not with the tenant but with the landlord. Even though the Statement overall seems to imply that it includes the substantial cost of furniture and fittings, for the avoidance of doubt the Government should be very clear about this.

Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government replied:
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Shipley. I have some sympathy with that point. Indeed, when I read the Statement I made a similar point. I think it is inherent in the Statement but I am happy to confirm that not only should the accommodation be at least as good and with as many bedrooms-I understand that in many cases it will be more-but also the furniture and fittings should be of equivalent standard. Perhaps one could go too far in setting that out but that should encapsulate the point the noble Lord wanted.