Lib Dems call for urgent buildings safety review after Grenfell Tower fire
By Alan Bullion
The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to urgently publish a long-awaited review of building regulations on fire safety and implement its recommendations, following the deadly fire at Grenfell Tower.
Sal Brinton, Liberal Democrat Party President and member of the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group, commented:
"My heart goes out to the victims of this tragedy, their family and friends and the emergency services who have shown such bravery in appalling circumstances.
"It is too soon to say the exact causes of this deadly fire, but we must not shy away from asking difficult questions.
"In particular, we need to look at why the lessons of the past seem not to have been learnt.
"Ministers have been asked repeatedly to upgrade fire safety regulations but have done nothing, including on sprinklers and strengthening compliance rules.
"The government must conduct an urgent review into fire safety and building regulations, with recommendations implemented as soon as possible.
"We must also hold a public inquiry into what caused this tragic fire and how it could have been prevented."
Former Housing Minister Gavin Barwell told the House of Commons in October 2016 that part B of the building regulations, which cover fire safety, would be reviewed following a 2009 fire at Lakanal House tower block.
The All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group on fire safety has repeatedly called for a review into fire safety regulations, including last March when it warned the government delay in reviewing building regulations could be endangering tower blocks throughout the UK.
Alan Bullion added that local tenants groups and residents always need to be listened to:
"When residents and tenants groups speak out about safety and security concerns they should be listened to and appropriate urgent action taken by local councils and government bodies."