News

14.08.17

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Source: PSE Aug/Sep 17

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 open — and this needs to happen as soon as possible.

The fire at Grenfell Tower has been an unimaginable tragedy and it continues to be a hugely difficult time for communities. 

Councils are clear that no one living in a high-rise block should have to live in fear about their safety. 

Around 10% of the 166 councils which own their housing stock have high-rise buildings with confirmed ACM cladding. They have worked hard to take steps to reassure residents about safety: from speedily sending samples of ACM cladding for testing, carrying out fire safety checks, implementing precautionary measures where necessary and reviewing or replacing cladding materials on those blocks. 

Councils will continue to get on with what they need to do to ensure people are safe in their homes. This includes replacing materials on high-rise blocks affected by fire safety tests. 

The government must commit to meet the full cost to councils of removing and replacing cladding and insulation systems. 

It is also imperative that this testing process moves quickly to identify what landlords should be replacing these systems with as soon as possible. 

The Building Research Establishment and the industry also must urgently release results of previous safety tests, including desktop studies. 

If the public are going to have faith in this testing process then everything must be out in the open, and this needs to happen as soon as possible.

Complexity and confusion 

With these latest test fails affecting buildings owned by a range of different landlords across the country, it is clear that the tragedy at Grenfell Tower has clearly exposed a systemic failure of the current system of building regulation. 

We are pleased the government accepted our call for an immediate review of 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. 

The review announced by the government 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. 

Local government stands ready to – and must – play a central role in this review from the outset. In the meantime, councils will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure our residents are all safe in their homes.

Comments

Linda Peterss   17/11/2017 at 23:53

Great post!!ouncils will continue to get on with what they need to do to ensure people are safe in their homes. This includes replacing materials on high-rise blocks affected by fire safety tests. With these latest test fails affecting buildings owned by a range of different landlords across the country, it is clear that the tragedy at Grenfell Tower has clearly exposed a systemic failure of the current system of building regulation. Thanks for sharing your post..... http://onedaytop.com/google-faces-antitrust-research-missouri-records-collection-search/

Malcolm Grimston   02/01/2018 at 14:25

Wandsworth has chosen to impose sprinklers on 10+ storey leaseholders whether they want them or not (a very large number do not) and has refused to publish the legal advice on which it is relying to recharge the £3-4k costs to those leaseholders. It seems that none of the lessons of Grenfell - to listen seriously to residents who actually live in the blocks and to be open and honest - have been heeded here. Are there any example of councils which chosen instead to engage with residents and listen to their views?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

Inspiring leadership in social value

15/10/2018Inspiring leadership in social value

We have learned a lot since the last National Social Value Conference, with... more >
Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

15/10/2018Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

David Phillips, associate director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, dis... 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 feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... 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 open more > more last word articles >

interviews

Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to c... more >

the raven's daily blog

What cities should become

15/10/2018What cities should become

Tom Leaver, project manager at Future Cities Catapult, examines the rationale behind the creation of the City Data Sharing Toolkit, and explores how this is driving a seismic ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar

back

October 2018

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4

featured articles

View all News