Homeowners hit by cladding scandal stage rally on Ipswich waterfront

Campaign group Ipswich Cladiators rally at Ipswich Waterfront. The rally is part of a National Day o

Campaign group Ipswich Cladiators rally at Ipswich Waterfront. Chu Man at the rally. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Homeowners who live in Ipswich properties which they say have been left worthless by the cladding scandal have held a rally on the waterfront.

Downpours rained down on protesters on Saturday as they pushed the government on unsafe buildings and called for further action.

Alex Dickin, of Ipswich Cladiators, said: "It has been difficult with the wind and rain. 

Alex Dickin at the Cladiators rally on the Ipswich Waterfront. Picture:Sarah Lucy Brown

Alex Dickin at the Ipswich Cladiators rally on the Waterfront. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"But it's just like the cladding issue, you're trying to stand up while everything is pouring down and be against everything that is happening." 

Ipswich Cladiators are particularly angry at chancellor Rishi Sunak who confirmed £5billion would be set aside for unsafe cladding removal on Wednesday. 

Campaign group Ipswich Cladiators rally at Ipswich Waterfront. The rally is part of a National Day o

John Cook at campaign group Ipswich Cladiators' rally on the Waterfront. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Only 12 apartment blocks in Ipswich are eligible for the fund out of the 19 with cladding issues and the money is less than the £15billion estimate to solve the crisis by the housing, communities and local government select committee.

"We are calling the government take action now on building safety," he added. "Running it on the Waterfront highlights to people they could be next being shrink-wrapped after St Francis Tower," he said.

Campaign group Ipswich Cladiators rally at Ipswich Waterfront. The rally is part of a National Day o

Campaign group Ipswich Cladiators rally at Ipswich Waterfront. Chu Man at the rally. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The "suffocating" plastic sheeting was placed on the building in May, which led Franciscan Way residents to claim they are living in prison-like conditions

Alternatives have been sought to get rid of the sheeting from the tower block but its estimated to take some time before a solution can be found.

ACM (aluminium composite material), partly in use on Grenfell Tower, is also to be removed from the Orwell Quay complex behind Aurora.

Campaign group Ipswich Cladiators rally at Ipswich Waterfront. The rally is part of a National Day o

L-R: Julian Gibbs, Chu Man, John Cook, Cllr Carole Jones, Alex Dickin, Cllr Elizabeth Johnson. - Credit: Cladiators

It was revealed by this newspaper in September that this will mean putting in a breathable material, which the project consultants say will offer a “breathable solution” that lets in natural daylight.

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Mr Dickin, whose flammable cladding flat is at Cardinal Lofts, added: "Residents want to wait and see what the situation is before speaking about it. 

Campaign group Ipswich Cladiators rally at Ipswich Waterfront. The rally is part of a National Day o

Alex Dickin at the Ipswich Cladiators rally on the Waterfront. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"There is a potential situation like St Francis Tower but no one can say for certain yet. 

"We are concerned and worried about the possibility."

Campaign group Ipswich Cladiators rally at Ipswich Waterfront. The rally is part of a National Day o

Cllr Julian Gibbs at the campaign group Ipswich Cladiators rally on the Waterfront. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A spokesman for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities said: "The new Secretary of State [Michael Gove] is looking afresh at this issue to make sure everything is being done to protect and support leaseholders, and further details will be set out in due course."

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