Bridgend County Borough Council has welcomed comments from Minister for Climate Change Julie James confirming that Welsh Government has approved its business case to address failed wall insulation works at homes in Caerau.
Referring to the need to continue to learn from previous and current housing programmes while announcing new plans to improve the energy efficiency of Welsh homes, the minister said: “Multiple Welsh and UK schemes have delivered real benefit for vulnerable households. However, we are dealing with the legacy of some very poorly designed and delivered schemes from a decade ago, and I recently approved £4.5m for schemes in Bridgend and Caerphilly county borough councils to fix over 150 homes let down badly by previous UK Government schemes. It is important that we learn from these mistakes to make a positive and lasting difference.”
In 2012-13, wall insulation works were provided at 104 homes in Caerau as part of the national Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP) and Arbed initiatives. As these works later failed, Bridgend County Borough Council has been working on a long-term solution to remedy the problem.
Although the council originally administrated the funding for just 25 of the properties involved with the schemes, the new remedial works intend to target all 104 premises to ensure that householders will be able to benefit from the initiative as it was originally intended.
Council Leader Huw David said: “The Minister’s decision means that £2.65m funding will soon be made available to support work at all of the affected properties in Caerau along with a further £850,000 that the council has already pledged towards the scheme. As we want the remedial works to provide householders with permanent, positive, long-term benefits across each of the 104 affected properties, this will be a comprehensive and thorough process which will require technical surveys and careful programme management over a period of two years or more. I would like to thank minister Julie James and Welsh Government for their support on this project and I look forward to receiving official notification on the success of our business case.”
Councillor John Spanswick, Cabinet Member for Communities, added: “This is wonderful news, not just for the residents of the 25 properties where the council originally approved funding for wall insulation works, but for all 104 premises who took part in the CESP and Arbed schemes. Following the failure of much of that work, steps were taken to prevent such a situation from reoccurring and we made a public promise to ensure that the sub-standard work would be put right. Today’s decision means that we will be able to deliver on that promise and I too would like to thank Welsh Government for making this funding available. I am looking forward to the confirmation of further details on how the remedial works will be carried out once formal notification of the funding has been received.”