Hackitt ‘concerned’ Grenfell recommendations will fall away

Author of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety post-Grenfell, has warned not to let Grenfell slip off the agenda.

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Dame Judith Hackitt has said she is worried “we will not respond appropriately to change this broken system of ours”.

Speaking at a seminar on fire safety, she said: “Despite the fact the Review is complete and the recommendations are being implemented – all of them – I’m delighted to say by the government, I think it’s really important we keep this dialogue going because the longer we go post-Grenfell, the more concerned I become that we will allow this to fall away and we will not respond appropriately to change this broken system of ours.

“We must rebuild the trust that residents, and the public more generally, no longer have in us and in the system to provide them with somewhere safe to live.”

She added: “Residents have a right to know about the condition of the building they are living in, and that will be an integral part of the process of regular reporting, on the condition of the buildings and sharing that information with residents.

“They need to know what the critical safety features are and there needs to be a system in place for them to raise their concerns and to know that they’re going to get them listened to and acted upon.

She continued: “What’s most important is that none of us should be doing it because the law tells us we have to.

“The reason we should be doing this, and the reason we need to engage and involve residents is because we’ve let them down and we have to rebuild trust and confidence in all of us, and in the whole system so that they not only feel safe, but that they’re really part of the system.

“Not so that they feel that things are just done to them, or that they’re ignored, or that they’re not valued and don’t matter. They do matter. They matter a lot.

“We’re talking about their homes and communities.

“We owe it to them to rebuild confidence and trust and help them to feel safe.”

Hackitt released her final report in May last year, where she said “there is a need for a radical rethink of the whole system and how it works”.

She set out a list of recommendations, including:

  • A very clear model of risk ownership, overseen and held to account by a new Joint Competent Authority (JCA)
  • A new outcomes-based regulatory framework, that is simpler and more effective
  • Thinking of buildings as a system – not just one type of cladding
  • A risk-based approach to the level of regulatory oversight based on a clear risk matrix will be most effective in delivering safe building outcomes
  • Transparency of information and an audit trail all the way through the lifecycle of a building from the planning stage to occupation and maintenance

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