The Grenfell Tower fire was one of the worst tragedies that this nation has experienced. I cannot begin to comprehend what those affected by the fire have had to deal with. The Government must ensure that those affected continue to receive the support that they both need and deserve.
I understand the concerns around fire safety and I welcome the work that the Government is doing. Following the final report of the Hackitt Review, a ban on flammable cladding in high rise buildings took effect in December 2018. A new Building Safety Bill will put in place enhanced regulations for building safety and ensure that residents have a greater say in safety regimes.
It is good news that the Fire Safety Bill has been introduced to Parliament. This Bill will clarify that the responsible person or duty holder for residential buildings must ensure fire risk is managed and reduced for certain parts of the building. These include cladding, balconies, windows and entrance doors to individual flats opening into common areas.
I welcome the fact that this will provide fire and rescue services with the power to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account, further supporting residents
My ministerial colleagues had previously announced that they would meet the £400 million costs of remedial cladding work on social housing high rise buildings and £200 million for private high-rise buildings. At the Budget 2020, the Government set out an additional £1 billion to remove unsafe cladding from buildings over 18 metres high. This will help to speed up the work which is already well underway on the majority of these buildings with unsafe cladding. The prospectus for the Fire Safety Fund has now been published and is open for registrations of interest here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings
The disaster at Grenfell Tower should never have happened: the police investigation and public inquiry will find out why it did, to ensure this can never happen again.