MP: We must learn tragic lessons - The Evesham Observer

MP: We must learn tragic lessons

Evesham Editorial 27th May, 2018   0

A BAN on inflammable cladding on high rise buildings to avoid another Grenfell tragedy has been urged by Evesham’s MP Nigel Huddleston.

The Mid Worcestershire raised the issue with both the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Housing in the House of Commons.

Mr Huddleston spoke out following the release of a report on building regulations in light of last year’s Grenfell Tower tragedy, which has been conducted by a team led by Dame Judith Hackitt, and the beginning of the wider inquiry into Grenfell this week.

The Hackitt review conclude prohibiting the combustible materials such as those that spread the fire at Grenfell would not address the root causes of risk.

MPs and survivors reacted to the report with anger, with Tottenham MP David Lammy calling it ‘a betrayal and a whitewash’, and James Brokenshire, the communities secretary, had already hinted the government was considering going further than the report’s recommendations.

Mr Huddleston used Prime Minister’s Questions to ask Theresa May whether she intended to go further than the report’s recommendations and pursue such a ban.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the Government was minded to ban all combustible materials on high rise buildings, subject to the legally required consultation processes.

This followed Mr Huddleston’s question to the Housing Secretary James Brokenshire earlier in the week in which he pointed to the fact that many modern high rise buildings contain a mix of residential, office, retail and leisure offerings and asked that due attention be given to all high rise buildings and not just those that are purely residential.

Acknowledging this point, the Housing Secretary said that the Hackitt Report had revealed the need for a ‘culture change’ in attitudes to building regulations.

“It would be unacceptable if we did not learn important lessons from the horrific Grenfell tragedy,” Mr Huddlestone told the Observer.

“I have been reassured this week the Government is committed to making sure important changes are made and the safety of those living and working in high rise buildings is ensured.”

“I have been happy to take the opportunity to press both the Prime Minister and the Housing Secretary on ensuring that our response to the terrible tragedy in Grenfell last year is effective and ensures the safety of people across the country.

“I was encouraged by both answers, particularly the Prime Minister’s confirmation that the Government are minded to go further than the Hackitt Report recommendations and ban all combustible materials on high rise buildings.

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