Audit, Inspection and Safety

19.07.17

Councils join call for immediate review of building regulations after Grenfell fire

Councils have today joined other organisations in calling on the government to launch an “urgent and immediate” review of building regulations following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

It follows a number of safety organisations, including the British Safety Council and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, penning an open letter to the government this week to reconsider its position on health and safety regulations.

And now, the Local Government Association (LGA) has stated that a review of building regulations was needed urgently.

The group added that the government should not wait for the result of the public inquiry or for the coroner’s report before the review is started, but instead act based on the information that is already known so that preparations can be made to revisit building regulations.

“There is complexity and confusion in the current system that must be addressed and local government must play a central role in this review from the outset,” said Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA.

“The review needs to consider how easy it is to use, comply with and understand the building regulations and the associated documents supporting them, particularly those relating to the installation of cladding and insulation on external walls of buildings and how the building control, fire safety and planning regimes interact.”

Lord Porter also stated that councils will do whatever it takes to ensure residents are safe in their homes, and that the LGA had been clear all along that entire cladding panels and the insulation behind them needed to be fire tested together as a system, rather than just the core of the panels on their own.

“It is vital that we get this right and this whole-system testing needs to happen as soon as possible,” he explained.

The LGA boss added that there were concerns from the organisation that the Building Research Establishment (BRE) carrying out safety tests, did not feel able to release the results of previous cladding system tests, as these are deemed commercially confidential.

“If the public are going to have faith in this fire safety testing process then everything needs to be out in the open,” Lord Porter continued. “It is no time for contractors or manufacturers to withhold test results from both councils and the public.

“The industry and BRE needs to waive this confidentiality in the public interest to assist the government and councils in gathering as complete a picture as possible of what is and is not acceptable in cladding systems.

“These are exceptional circumstances when not only the safety of thousands of residents, but also the peace of mind of many more, is at stake.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Academies mean councils struggling to take integrated approach to education

23/02/2018Academies mean councils struggling to take integrated approach to education

Councils are struggling to take an integrated approach to education in areas where high numbers of secondary schools are academies, a report by the... more >
Core Cities leaders press for domestic post-Brexit agenda after meeting with Barnier

23/02/2018Core Cities leaders press for domestic post-Brexit agenda after meeting with Barnier

Leaders and mayors representing Core Cities UK have met with the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier this week. The Brussels meeting saw leaders ... more >
DHSC seeks views on addressing care workforce challenges

23/02/2018DHSC seeks views on addressing care workforce challenges

A consultation focusing on the adult social care workforce has been launched by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), in partnership wit... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
ICO forced to take down its website amid cryptocurrency hacker fears

12/02/2018ICO forced to take down its website amid cryptocurrency hacker fears

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has had to take down its website as a “precautionary measure” against hackers, who have infected hundreds of government computers with a pro... more >
Local government finance settlement: Javid announces £150m care fund

06/02/2018Local government finance settlement: Javid announces £150m care fund

The housing and communities secretary has today revealed details of this year’s local government finance settlement, including £150m of extra funding for adult social care. Sajid... more >

the raven's daily blog

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11/12/2017Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order to be realised in full. Last Monday saw the long-awaited launch of the UK’s new Industrial Strategy, the government’s plan for prosperity and growth in a ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

An unsettling finance settlement?

23/02/2018An unsettling finance settlement?

Piali Das Gupta, head of policy at Solace, looks over the final local government finance settlement and argues that it does not do enough to supp... more >
Finance settlement: a golden opportunity

23/02/2018Finance settlement: a golden opportunity

The local government finance settlement must enable counties to continue to be the engines of the English economy by providing a fairer funding a... more >
Data protection by design

23/02/2018Data protection by design

Nigel Houlden, head of technology policy at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), looks at how organisations can win back public tru... more >
Citizen-centric cities for a better tomorrow

22/02/2018Citizen-centric cities for a better tomorrow

Mark Collin, group director of Ventures at ThoughtWorks, discusses how governments can learn from a bottom-up, citizen-focused approach to d... more >

interviews

BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >
Duncan Selbie: The energy of devolution

19/02/2018Duncan Selbie: The energy of devolution

The NHS plays a part in keeping the country well – but when it comes to places and their people, local government has a major role to fulfi... more >
Are we taking a risk on education?

14/12/2017Are we taking a risk on education?

Adrian Prandle, director of economic strategy and negotiations at the National Education Union (NEU), questions the stark lack of announcements a... more >
A fantastic opportunity awaits you

11/12/2017A fantastic opportunity awaits you

Eight months on from the government’s announcement of major training reforms, Anne Milton, minister for apprenticeships and skills at the D... more >

public sector focus

View all News