Grenfell inquiry ‘should focus on building safety’

However, LGA Building Safety Spokesman Lord Porter said it was wrong for the public inquiry to focus on the response of the fire service first before examining why flammable materials were allowed to be used on the building.

He said: “There are undoubtedly lessons that can be learned about how the fire service responded on that tragic night as it faced the worst fire in this country for more than half a century. However, the inquiry has made a fundamental error by examining the response to the fire before examining its causes.

“The consequence of this is to scapegoat the fire service while those responsible for the fire have yet to be exposed or held to account.

“It is clear that the fire was caused by a catastrophic failure of the building safety system in England.

“This has been proven by the number of public and private buildings with flammable material and the number of modern buildings that are behaving in unexpectedly dangerous ways when they catch fire. Reform of this broken system cannot come soon enough.”

The LGA said any new regulatory system must not only cover high-rise residential buildings, but extend to any building where vulnerable people sleep like hospitals, care homes and residential schools.

The second phase of the inquiry will focus on the wider circumstances of the fire, including the design of the building, and begin in 2020.

Meanwhile, the LGA will continue to work with the next government to deliver the much-needed regulatory reforms that will ensure the safety of local residents in their homes as well as in hospitals, care homes and schools.

 

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