Fire chiefs have enough funding to ‘invest in prevention’ post Grenfell

Commons told “extremely good financial settlement” backs fire brigades in supporting prevention specialists.

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Ahead of the formal release of the Phase 1 report from the Grenfell inquiry, former housing minister Kit Malthouse has told the Commons that an “extremely good financial settlement” leaves fire chiefs with no excuse not to invest in prevention.

Malthouse was quizzed by Labour’s Vicky Foxcroft over what government was doing post Grenfell to support brigades in recruiting and retaining prevention specialists.

“Since Grenfell, London Fire Brigade has undertaken focussed and enhanced visits to high-rise buildings, using both station-based crews and fire safety inspecting officers,” said Foxcroft.

“Inspecting officers are highly skilled individuals who ensure that those with responsibility for buildings are taking the necessary steps to uphold fire safety standards,” she said.

Acknowledging the due formal publication of the Phase 1 report, Malthouse, now Minister for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service, said prevention was a key part of the fire service mission.

“And one in which there has been enormous success in the past decade or more in driving down the number of fires attended to, in particular, and incidents across the board more generally.

“We have secured an extremely good financial settlement for the fire service across the country this year, and I have urged fire chiefs, not least in the light of the first set of inspections for some time, to invest in prevention,” he said.

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