Iain Duncan Smith calls for an end to high-rise tower blocks

26th June 2017

Iain Duncan Smith calls on the Government to look at whether we still need these older tower blocks and whether it would be better to demolish them and provide better, more family-friendly, low-rise accommodation.

 
 
I commend my right hon. Friend for the action he is taking, the urgency with which he is seeing this process through and the way he wants to drive it through, but to return to the points raised by the Opposition Front-Bench spokesman, there is one issue we need to revisit in parallel and to get on with as fast as we can. My main concern is that, as we look at the cladding and all the other issues, such as the windows in these tower blocks, which can explode into flames if they are made of the wrong type of glass—that is often overlooked among the other things, such as the fire doors—we should really ask ourselves the simple question, and have a real review into, whether it is necessary any longer in many cases to have these older tower blocks, and whether we would not be better off taking a very strong decision to bring some of these tower blocks down and to provide much better, much more family-friendly low-rise, or even council house, accommodation. Will my right hon. Friend comment on that?
 
I thank my right hon. Friend for his remarks— he makes a very good point. Our most urgent work right now is to make existing tower blocks safe, but there are also longer term consequences, and that includes looking at our whole approach to social housing and the quality of social housing.