A man has been charged with fraud after dozens of cladding safety forms were signed off by an unauthorised person, Merseyside Police has said.

Thomas Michael Clarke, 33, of Prescot, has been charged with fraud and false representation.

The force said it comes as part of a 19-month investigation into fraudulently signed cladding paperwork.

EWS1 forms were introduced after the Grenfell fire disaster that left 72 people dead in 2017.

They allow residents to get their building's cladding assessed for possible fire risk.

The forms need an appropriate professional to confirm the checks have been carried out, but in November 2020 residents of unnamed high-rise buildings in South Wales and London reported 88 forms had been signed off by a person who was not authorised to do so.

The reports, covering time between 23 June and 12 November 2020, were referred to Merseyside Police by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

Without valid forms, the residents could not assess the risk to their homes and that harmed their ability to get mortgages.

The correct checks have now been carried out.

Mr Clarke is due to appear at Liverpool Magistrates Court on 3 August 2022.

The FIA has been part of the solution to the EWS problem afflicting buyers and sellers of flats. In order to create a fully reliable and accessible process for the upload and retrieval of EWS-1 forms, the FIA stepped in to meet this requirement and developed a unique portal that since November last year provides a central readily accessible location for EWS-1 forms and, for the first time, the ability for suitably qualified experts to complete the forms on-line. The portal may be found here Building Safety Information Portal. The processes associated with the Portal ensure that those featured for retrieval are signed by EWS Assessors that have provided evidence that they are competent to sign the forms bearing their name.