MPs say cladding proposals ‘not enough’

MPs say cladding proposals 'not enough'

MPs say the building industry is riven with conflicts of interest and complex rules that must be reformed before more lives are lost.

They criticised the findings of an independent review into the blaze, which advised a ban on flammable cladding for new high rises but not other buildings.

The committee said that combustibles should be outlawed in residential homes, student accommodation and hotels, and sprinklers retro-fitted to existing buildings.

We are now more than a year on from the catastrophic events at Grenfell Tower, yet despite an independent review of building regulations, we are still no closer to having a system that inspires confidence that residents can be safe and secure in their homes, Clive Betts, chairman of the housing, communities and local government committee, said.

We agree with the independent review that there is a need for a fundamental change of culture in the construction industry, but there are also measures that can and should be introduced now.

Flammable cladding was deemed to be a crucial factor in the deaths of 72 people in the Grenfell Tower blaze last summer.

A consultation on banning the materials, which have been widely used in the construction of residential and other kinds of buildings, was announced after a May review of building regulations by Dame Judith Hackitt was branded a whitewash.

The committee called the independent review disappointing and said it did not meet requirements that would reassure residents their homes were safe.

The disaster was a deadly warning that something has to be seriously wrong with fire safety regulation and enforcement in Britain.

It also stressed complex business dealings and rules that put people’s lives in danger – including a common current arrangement that means rescue authorities are able to assess the safety of their own work, and the practice of builders choosing their own inspectors.

The current complicated web of building regulations is compromising safety and putting people at risk in their own homes, Mr Betts said.

It desperately needs both simplifying and strengthening and the Government must act now before more lives are lost.

A spokesperson for the ministry of housing, communities and local government said it was acting quickly to change the law and impose strong sanctions for those who did not comply.

They said they were making an additional £400m available to fund the removal of unsafe cladding.

There is nothing more important than keeping people safe in their own homes and we agree fundamental reform of the regulatory system is needed, they said.

News Source SkyNews

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