The British Safety Council has raised concerns surrounding the new Building Safety Act. The news follows comments from Clive Betts MP, chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government select committee, this week that the Government’s new building safety proposals are ‘full of holes’.
The British Safety Council shares concerns that the current regime governing building safety is considered to be not fit for purpose and in clear need of reform to ensure tragedies like the Grenfell fire do not happen again.
The aims of the Government’s draft legislation address the main issues safety, but the Council’s view is it lacks the requisite detail to demonstrate that the proposed measures would be effective in practice.
The British Safety Council has said it supports greater independent oversight on key professions in the construction and building management sectors to ensure the success of the newly created roles of accountable person and building safety manager. However, the Council is calling on the Government to clarify what the precise responsibilities will be. It must make the new requirements and responsibilities on the different sectors involved clear from the outset if these are to be effective.
Mike Robinson, the British Safety Council’s chief executive, said: “If the new regulations are to secure public confidence, they need to be transparent. A good example is on the testing of building material. The tests themselves must be rigorous to prove fire safety but the results must be publicly available, particularly where materials have failed to meet regulatory standards.
“We have said, on many occasions, that it is unacceptable for leaseholders to be presented with huge bills to fix existing fire problems not of their making or be unable to sell or insure their homes due to new requirements.
“The Government must commit to funding the cost of fire remediation and leaseholders should not have to foot the bill.”