Lib Dems call for tougher fire safety rules

The Liberal Democrats have called for safety to be put at the forefront of new building regulations in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

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The party have voted to give a stronger role to the social housing regulator, and are pushing for a package of measures to improve fire safety and building regulations.

Party members have criticised the effective ‘privatisation’ of building control which has led to a watering down of fire safety checks.

Liberal Democrats are fighting for sufficient funding from central government to pay for the improvements to tower blocks that will be needed across the UK once the review of building regulations is concluded.

Liberal Democrat DCLG spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse MP said: “The government has many tough questions about why the current regulatory environment did not prevent a tower block from going up in flames in a matter of minutes

“We need proper scrutiny of the government’s regulator for social housing, which has so far avoided being under the spotlight.

“The public inquiry will tell us about the failures in the particular case of Grenfell Tower, but will not deal with wider matters of public concern.

“The government has presided over systemic failures in enforcing safety standards and a general neglect of social housing. It must not be let off scot-free.

“There are residents living in tower blocks across the UK who are deeply concerned about the safety of their own homes and need assurance that protections are in place to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.”

Liberal Democrat councillor for Kensington and Chelsea, Cllr Linda Wade said: I still think about the survivors of Grenfell Tower every day. The whole community lives under its shadow and it is impossible to forget what has happened.

“I have been working on the ground with residents who have been affected, many of whom have experienced trauma beyond anything we could imagine. It’s made me more determined than ever to do something to improve the way many of our fellow citizens are forced to live.

“The government must reverse the decades of neglect of social housing and builds the affordable, decent quality homes that we need.”

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