London Fire Brigade has welcomed a new report which scrutinises the draft Building Safety Bill and agrees with its calls for an urgent solution to address dangerous cladding on high-rise buildings.
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s report was published yesterday (Tuesday). The Brigade fed into the consultation on the draft Bill, which sets out how the Government will bring forward recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, which was commissioned following the Grenfell Tower fire.
Many of the points raised in the Brigade’s evidence have been included in the Committee’s report, including agreement that the draft Bill is an important step in establishing a robust regime to improve fire safety in buildings.
The Hackitt Review concluded the whole system needed major reform and that residents’ safety must be a priority.
The draft Bill includes the introduction of a Chief Inspector of Buildings who will enforce the new rules and take strong actions against those who break them. The report agreed with evidence calling for the scope of the regulator’s remit to be widened in future to include more risk factors, such as buildings with vulnerable occupants like care homes as highlighted by the Brigade.
London Fire Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Paul Jennings, said: “We welcome the select committee’s report on the draft Building Safety Bill.
“The Brigade submitted evidence to the consultation and we are pleased many of our comments have been taken on board. We have been clear that building height as the only measure of risk is too restrictive. While we understand the approach of starting with tall buildings, we would again like to highlight that there are other high risk buildings with vulnerable occupants that also need to be considered.
“This report and subsequent legislation is very welcome and will play an important role in improving building safety for residents. However, there continues to be the urgent issue of dangerous cladding on buildings across London and the UK and we are working with government and other stakeholders to develop and bring the new regime forward.
“National and local government need to bring forward an urgent solution and we will continue our work with them and the wider industry to achieve this.”