The aim of the Group is to Represent the Owners Associations and Residents of High Rise developments in Scotland to Governments, Local Authorities, and Professional and other bodies, being both an ear and a mouth!

Updates

20 October
Urgent responses needed by THIS SUNDAY 25 October 2020. Draft Scottish Advice Note – External Wall Systems


I attended a webinar yesterday (Tuesday)relating to this DRAFT Advice note


The links are here.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/draft-scottish-advice-note-external-wall-systems-version-3-0/


https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-advice-note-background-note-consultation-questions-response-form/



Would welcome your urgent response to the questions to get a feel of people’s views


So here are the questions


Scottish Advice Note: Determining the Fire Risk Posed by External Wall Systems in Existing Multi-Storey Residential Buildings


Respondent Information Form


Questions

Please provide comments to set out the reason for your answer where possible.

1. Overall, do you find the advice helpful in understanding the guidance, legislation and processes as they apply to buildings in Scotland?

Yes

No

Comments:

2. Does the advice clearly explain the risk of external fire spread in both low rise and higher rise buildings?

Yes

No

Comments:

3. Does the advice clearly explain the risk of Metal Composite Material (MCM) cladding?

Yes

No

Comments:

4. Does the advice clearly explain the risk posed by Category 3 Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) with an unmodified polyethylene filler, and what actions building owners should take if their buildings have these systems?

Yes

No

Comments:

5. Is the guidance on non-ACM cladding (including High Pressure Laminate) panels helpful?

Yes

No

Comments:

6. Is the guidance on partial cladding helpful?

Yes

No

Comments:

7. Does the guidance clearly explain the difference between a fire safety risk assessment which considers external wall systems and one that requires an intrusive external wall appraisal?

Yes

No

Comments:

8. Is the guidance clear on when a fire safety risk assessment may need to be informed by an intrusive external wall appraisal?

Yes

No

Comments:

9. Is there any guidance that is missing or needs to be improved to provide greater clarity?

Yes

No

Comments:

10. Are there any other relevant comments you would like to make?

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and if you could respond by sending to


group.co-ordinator@highrisescotlandactiongroup.org by Thursday night that would be helpful


BUT please also respond to the Government !

(8) LinkedIn (1).pdf
(8) LinkedIn (1).pdf

13 October
Discussions today with a surveyor member of the Ministerial Working Group

and interview with the Times Newspaper.


4 October
Minister shares his thoughts on a Support Fund
and our contribution at Ministerial Working Group

A letter from the Minister to one of our members gives an insight to the current position.

30 September Private Meeting with the Housing Minister

Since this was a private meeting lasting nearly an hour, the report will of necessity (like yesterday's) be brief

The Working Group found that our contribution was helpful and unique in that we have an overview of the situation which is not and cannot be available to the group's members.

Accordingly I shall be attending future meetings for at least part of them.

In order to be play our part it is important that HRSAG is up to date with developments, and examples of issues, whether safety, or lending related.


SO PLEASE KEEP THE INFORMATION FLOWING!

I am convinced of the determination of the Minister and government to resolve this, but realistic in the assessment that a complete solution will take a considerable time

29 September

Brief report from attendance at Ministerial Working Group on Mortgage Lending and Cladding 29 September


Significant engagement with the Minister and members of the working group, and fulsome support and agreement from members confirming our analysis of the problem and the key issues needing to be addressed. Encouraged by the determination shown by those participating to work

· to resolve the safety questions

· to unlock the mortgagabilty issues

· to address the costs issue

Follow up meeting with Minister tomorrow pm

I made the point that the only people being asked to pay for resolving the problem are the people who didn’t contribute to the problem. Which cannot be right.

Our future involvement in the working group, and/or sub groups to be discussed

There was clear confirmation that it is not possible by way of Statutory Instrument to change the Factors ability to instruct investigations

16 September

STV
Looking for people willing to share their story about how EWS system and High Rise problems have affected them
Anyone in Aberdeen? but not only Aberdeen

Contact brandon.cook@stv.tv

ASAP


16 September

Progress?
Invitation just received from Minister to a private meeting. Accepted!
Chat with Scottish TV this pm

2 September

Next Session of the Holyrood Local Government and Communities this Friday 4th September 10 am
Live TV https://www.scottishparliament.tv/


HRSAG and our involvement in the forthcoming working group meeting are referred by the Minister in his written submission where he says " Working Group ... we are to meet again in late September, with updates from the sub-group Chairs on timetables and priorities to be with Government earlier in the month. As part of that discussion we expect to hear evidence from the High Rise (Scotland) Action Group"

PUBLICMTG4SEPT2020.pdf

21 August A sign of hope maybe where remediation is required ?

Grateful for this from one our members today

Could be good news where remediation is required.


We all need to press our MSPs to pursue this.


Kevin Stewart Housing Minister in a letter dated 4 August to an MSP

“I can confirm that consequential funding did come to Scotland as a result of the £1 billion fund announced for England in the budget statement of March this year. However, spending decisions are a matter for Scottish Ministers and, as you may be aware, we are currently in the process of agreeing the spending decisions for the forthcoming year. Irrespective of the outcome of these ongoing budget agreements, the Scottish Government will continue to consider how it can best support homeowners affected by this issue.”

When specifically raising this with my local MSP on Tuesday he did not give any confirmation – or otherwise

Neither was this confirmed in discussion yesterday with a Scottish Government team leader.

20 August Meeting with Mortgages and Cladding team leader at Scottish Government

Invitation to attend give evidence to the Working Team's next meeting - September = A real plus.

Clear that COVID impacted hugely with team members being allocated to different roles, but now be re- engaged on the Mortgage EWS1 issues.
Also clear that if lenders insist on surveys for all buildings where they deem there is a Risk, there are simply not enough individuals with the appropriate experience and qualification to undertake that in any sensible time frame.
Clarity being sought from lenders as to their organisations current 'underwriting' practice on loan applications.

Unacceptable that lending being decline over wooden balconies. or even metal balconies with wooden slat floors which could inexpensively be replace with fire retardant properties.

Discussion on alteration of restrictions on Factors to initiate inspections without instructions form Owners.

Such changes would, if agreed, probably take a minimum of months.

Possibility of an assessment ('Son' of EWS designed for Scotland)


More to follow!


6 August Another constructive conversation with RICS today

Grateful to John Baguley of RICS (who was one of the main architects of the EWS1 form)

He has agreed to do a 3- 5m minute interview/podcast to clarify some issues surrounding the intention, purpose and implementation of that form.

He also confirmed that the form is in course of being reviewed


4 August

Phone call received today, vigorously asserting that several flats with EWS1 forms in the names of individual owners had actually been sold.
This could be good news.
However that has not been the experience of anyone contacting HRSAG as yet. That could be because those people have no problem.
If you anyone can confirm that such sale have been completed with an EWS1 form please let us know ASAP at
group.co-ordinator@highrisescotlandactiongroup.org


2 August

Moved website to Google Sites

17 July

Some of my understanding from my conversation of this morning.

Very positive attitude from UK Finance wishing to speak with us on a regular basis, as we work with others to untangle this situation, bring clarity to those concerned for their safety, and a way ahead to unlock the impasse that many are experiencing in buying and selling their homes

I have a meeting with UK Finance representing banks in the UK this morning.

Should be another interesting and helpful conversation

13 July

Movement!

I have a meeting with UK Finance representing banks in the UK this morning.

Should be another interesting and helpful conversation

13 July

Some clarification from RICS regarding EWS 1 certificates,

"The rules do not say one per block, in fact the opposite, that said due to the basis of homeownership and not having a single entity responsible for fire safety, individual owners are being forced to request the EWS.

The EWS process is designed to be per block but if all homeowners per block moved as one, to have a single EWS that all could use, and from which to plan remediation works (if needed), that would be a solution which is not reliant on legislative changes."

10 July

Invitation to quote for an EWS1 Survey from Factors acting on instructions of Owners Association

Example of recent invitation for a quotation - feel free to adapt!

Owners Associations / Owners may need to take the initiative in INSTRUCTING their factors to take this action


We act as Factors for.pdf

8 July

Posted 8 Jul 2020

Annual/Extraordinary General Meetings of Owners Associations during 'lockdown'

Does anyone have ANY experience of how to hold such meetings. Lots of ideas - but most seem to run into legal difficulties

Has anyone actually had one?

Urgent responses would be helpful!


7 July

North Edinburgh News today

Meeting being arranged at the instigation of, and with, Scottish Government's More Homes Division: Housing Markets:

Mortgages & Cladding

6 July

Press release issued at least one story advised of by lunchtime


2 July

Meeting with RICS today. Grateful for the time given by John Baguley, who took time to explain the background to the EWS1 form.

Grateful too for his promise to keep us in the process as they review the form. It was designed upon the basis that the survey/investigation process was on a block or stair basis, and that any resulting certificate was for that stair.

If forms are completed for a single flat/apartment owner then this may be a reason for lenders to decline to lend on that property

Interesting points from over an hour long meeting. Much to review as to how to proceed to the best and timely resolution of what seems an intractable problem

1 July

Interesting flowchart of EWS 1 procedures from 'InsideHousing'.

30 June

Excellent, constructive meeting with Nicola Barclay - Chief Executive of Homes For Scotland and Chris Ashurst and Lisa Murray from HRSAG. We can achieve more together than we can apart.

29 June

EWS1 Forms are being required for new builds!

Where is the professional capacity for the checking required?

This will not help kick start the home property market!

Conversely anyone buying a new home would at least have a starting point, and at the time of renewal of an EWS1 after 5 years there is a point of reference

A view of the EWS1 form and procedures

"insurers do not consider that the required route to complete the form is satisfactory, or that those completing it are doing enough detailed investigation to understand whether the building that is being assessed has combustible material on the outside"

Evidence from Association of British Insurers to Holyrood Local Government and Communities Committee


United Nations Special Rapporteur investigates Human Rights breaches arising from cladding issues.

The allegations made are detailed, The Report is to be found here and could be very salutary.

Come on! - This needs to be sorted, not in due course, but now.

We are happy to play a constructive part in the resolution.


26 June

The Minister has written to us confirming that he has asked his officials to consider how best to engage with homeowners and to have our views heard by the members of the Working Group. And said

“My officials will contact you later in the summer to discuss this matter further”


We have responded to the Minister


"Dear Minister


I am grateful for your response, and we look forward to engaging in this process.


I would be grateful however to receive an explanation as to why you have expressed the view that " it is not appropriate that the High Rise Scotland Action Group join the Working Group as members"

Surely there could be nothing more appropriate than the Owners/Residents being members, in order to contribute to the resolution of this dreadful problem?"


The Minister has written to us confirming that he has asked his officials to consider how best to engage with homeowners and to have our views heard by the members of the Working Group. And said

“My officials will contact you later in the summer to discuss this matter further”


24 Jun 2020

MOT for buildings?

An idea that gained some initial support - Hope it shows we are trying to help solve the problems!

"Some positive ideas have come out of this evidence, one of which was for what we might call a building MOT. Would that be a good idea? I do not know how easy it would be to carry out such an MOT on existing buildings, but we could do it for any new building from here on in." - Committee member

"That is probably the type of idea that we will discuss in the private session" - Convenor

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The Official Report of last Friday's Holyrood committee meeting is now available on the Parliament’s website and can be accessed by following this link: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12712&mode=pdf


Now following up with various participants from the panels

Suggestions and comments welcome - by email, please to

group.co-ordinator@highrisescotlandactiongroup.org

Submission to committee now online

https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Local_Gov/Submission_3.pdf

22 June

The Video of Friday's meeting is now posted online.

Some of the more salient points will be posted as short clips later

https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/local-government-and-communities-committee-june-19-2020

Lots more to follow - but not today.

19 June


So this was a Good news Bad news day

Good - I think

Committee and others generally accepted that we should be part /members of the group at Parliament seeking to resolve this issue

The possibility of Government maintained, publicly held certificate for High Risk/Rise buildings renewable every 5 years (like an MOT) gained some interest.

Discussion of government funds being made available to enable factors/owners to have an assessment undertaken of their building


Bad - I think

The Insurers have no confidence in the EWS1 certification process, or its criteria, and were not involved in its conception or implementation.

The EWS form does not give enough confidence to insurers to enable them to assess that the risks are reasonable

There is no appetite and basically no interest in providing insurance related to High Risk Buildings of whatever height.

Lots more to follow - but not today.

18 Jun 2020

Submission to committee now online

https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Local_Gov/Submission_3.pdf


Submission_3.pdf


16 Jun 2020

Written submission in for the Holyrood Local Government and Communities

Committee session on Friday.

It will be live on https://scottishparliament.tv


14 Jun 2020

Grenfell - Three years on


Today we remember with sadness the 72 people who perished as a result of the Grenfell disaster

We also stand with those who are suffering and grieving.

The suffering and grief, sadly, spread and continues to affect those living in high rise flats, and indeed other dwellings. Depression, worry, anxiety, suicidal thoughts are an ongoing legacy.


We resolve to work with all to remove this blight on the lives of many thousands.

https://www.facebook.com/ukcag/videos/294926894875129/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PtYBRe9ivQ


12 June

This video from our English sister organisations show the dreadful mental impact on so many real people living in affected properties

videoplayback.mp4

12 June


Our friends at UK Cladding Action Group have prepared this report, and the statistics are shocking.


If you live in Scotland and have been similarly affected contact us confidentially through our web page

highrisescotlandactiongroup.org


It would be helpful to receive any feed back before we give evidence at Holyrood next Friday


https://www.facebook.com/ukcag/photos/a.1307995802737384/1320144384855859/?type=3&eid=ARAAcDoDt-CJceNOIEPdqhEsW8a0X-eXevFUex7yh1soJegJ5ZlYgu4jMCvJcd_IdIEiDfjESxCBH5Gn&ifg=1



10 June

Posted 10 Jun 2020

We now have a Glasgow co-ordinator

Welcome to Lisa Murray based in The Verde Building

We are currently compiling a directory of Owners Associations and contact details


Posted 10 Jun 2020

Invited to give evidence to the Holyrood 'Local Government and Communities Committee' next Friday.


If you have points that you think should be included in evidence please email

group.co-ordinator@highrisescotlandactiongroup.org

Delighted in rapid response from this Committee and the support being given


Chris



5 June
Map showing the local authorities which according to a "desktop" survey have residential building over 18 metres

5 June

5 June

Letters now sent to members of Local Government and Communities Committee, copying them in on yesterday's letter to the Housing Minister, and requesting that we are included in their deliberations.

4 June

Letter sent today (4 June) to the Scottish Housing minister asking for homeowners to be included in the working group he has established , alongside the representatives of mortgage lenders, surveyors, insurers, property managers, solicitors, house builders and the fire service

At present it does not include any homeowners, for whom he says the system has to work. Looking for a positive response!p 3