Planning and Housing

19.12.18

Brokenshire to implement all Grenfell recommendations after ‘painfully slow’ progress at council to date

The government will implement all recommendations on combustible cladding, including a tougher regulatory system for building safety, after a taskforce found that both the pace of change at Kensington and Chelsea council following the Grenfell fire tragedy and the rehousing process remained “painfully slow.”

The independent Grenfell recovery taskforce said that whilst there were signs that the royal borough council was “beginning to reinvent itself,” there were concerns about the lack of capacity amongst the authority’s chiefs to drive forward change at pace.

There were still too many “avoidable mistakes” when dealing with victims made by a small number of staff, and there were also fears over integrating issues relating to Grenfell into the delivery of wider council services in the future.

James Brokenshire has announced in response that the government will be taking forward all of the recommendations set out in Dame Judith Hackitt’s review into building regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell fire. A new regulatory group will be launched to ensure the recommendations are properly implemented.

“My plan for stronger, tougher rules will make sure there is no hiding place for those who flout building safety rules,” Brokenshire said. “By making people responsible and more accountable for safety, we will create a more rigorous system.”

This will see a more effective regulatory and accountability framework to provide greater oversight, and clearer standards and guidance will be introduced.

The recommendations include setting up a standards committee to advise on construction product and system standards and regulations, as well as introducing a new regulatory body for all buildings over 10 storeys high.

Hackitt said in her review: “This new regulatory regime needs to change the culture and mindset of those people and businesses involved in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of certain buildings so that they take proper ownership of the potential building safety risks and provide intelligent leadership in managing and controlling those risks rather than being told by government what to do.”

 Image credit - Rick Findler PA Wire

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