Tom Hunt – 2023 Comments on Building Safety and Cardinal Lofts

The comments made by Tom Hunt, the Conservative MP for Ipswich, in the House of Commons on 14 March 2023.

Tom Hunt (Ipswich) (Con)

The Secretary of State is well aware of the situation with Cardinal Lofts. Today at 10 minutes past two, a formal prohibition notice was served, so any remaining constituents of mine in that building will be obliged to leave. One of the worst things is the lack of timescale for how long my constituents will be in limbo. They cannot plan their lives—their lives are on hold. Will the Secretary of State work with me to try to get that certainty as soon as possible and look into compensation that goes beyond covering temporary accommodation? The extent to which their lives has been affected is unacceptable. He will also know that Railpen was aware of these issues for two years before it decided to take any action at all.

Michael Gove

My hon. Friend is right, and he has been a fantastic champion for the residents of Cardinal Lofts and other people affected by this. I think I am right in saying that Railpen is the ultimate owner of the freehold for this building. It is the pension fund for those who work in the rail sector. There are good trade unionists on the board of that pension fund to whom I appeal to show the same degree of energy in helping working people as my hon. Friend. While pension funds of course have fiduciary responsibilities and all the rest of it, it is vital that we do right by the residents of this building. I hope I will have the chance to visit Ipswich soon, to make good on that commitment.