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Building Safety Statement and Announcements

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On 20th January Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government made a Statement to Parliament on various Building Safety related issues. This was followed by several related announcements and on 21st January the House of Commons held a three and a half hour debate on the Government response to the Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Inquiry, issued at the end of October.

The statement is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-improve-building-safety-standards.

The full transcript of yesterday’s announcement, along with answers to the accompanying questions is available at: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-01-20/debates/BDA42465-816B-4700-9E6E-9D8B2013C621/BuildingSafety.

Following the statement MHCLG published an updated version of the FAQs on the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018, initially published on 17 April 2019 with 10 questions. It has now been updated with 3 further questions following feedback and consultation with industry. The updated FAQ is at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-amendment-regulations-2018-frequently-asked-questions/building-amendment-regulations-2018-frequently-asked-questions.

The response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report was published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/grenfell-tower-inquiry-phase-1-report-government-response. It summarises what government has been doing on fire safety and building regulations in response to the areas of concern emerging from the public enquiry.

Of particular interest is the establishment of the new Building Safety Regulator, initially within the Health and Safety Executive, and appointment of a new Chief Inspector of Buildings. It is also worth noting the proposed Fire Safety Bill which will give local fire authorities the powers to compel the replacement of ACM cladding where it is still not being removed. The language is uncompromising – do it willingly or we will do it for you as soon as we have the full powers.

Other issues addressed are as follows: