Call for Safer Building Standards

The Liberal Democrats, at their annual conference held this year in Bournemouth called for significantly safer building standard in the light of the terrible Grenfell Tower tragedy.

In a motion overwhelmingly agreed, the Party expressed its deep regret at the appalling Grenfell Tower fire.

It called for the public inquiry to be full and as swift as possible, and commits Lib Dems to implementing quickly any recommendations it makes. It then went on to call for a number of fire safety measures to be implemented immediately in all social or privately rented homes, including annual fire checks for all tall buildings, and having fire drill evacuation practices for very tall buildings.

Specifically it said:

-Residents in social or private rented homes to be comprehensively listened to when there are issues of concern over the quality of their housing, through clear channels of accountability and a means of redress when action is not taken.
– Sufficient funding from central Government to ensure all homes are brought up to safe standards.
– All blocks over four stories to have annual fire checks by persons on a professional register who meet the competency criteria established by the Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council with mandatory actions on private and public landlords, owners, freehold owners and managing agents stemming from such checks.
– Central government to now comply with the recommendations of the Coroner who investigated the Lakanal tower block fire in 2013, and provide clearer guidance on the extent to which fire safety regulations apply to residential blocks.
– All blocks over ten stories to have a fire evacuation drill practices at a time of peak occupancy by the end of June 2018.
– Compulsory electrical safety tests in all rented homes in both the social rented and private rented sectors.
– A review of the emergency planning procedures for all councils to ensure there is clarity over how incidents will be dealt with and where responsibility lies.
– A complete review of the content and implementation of building regulations, including provisions for:
The use of sprinklers and cladding in tower blocks.
The ability of local councils to check details of development prior to building and during building or renovation.
— The ability to update building regulations as new products, processes and techniques become available.
— The ability of building regulations to be used to enforce changes where necessary in buildings based on updated knowledge of new products, processes and techniques.

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