Home >FBU calls Hackitt Review omission “perverse“

FBU calls Hackitt Review omission “perverse“

18 May 2018

THE FIRE Brigades Union has described the omission of a recommendation to ban flammable cladding in the Hackitt Review as “perverse”

Responding to the publication of the Hackitt review into building regulations in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, the general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) Matt Wrack said: “It is perverse that the Hackitt review does not recommend an outright ban on flammable cladding despite claiming that a new regulatory framework would stop the use of these materials. 

“The safest course of action for the public and for firefighters is for these dangerous materials to be taken out of the equation entirely.

“The government has this afternoon announced a consultation on the banning of combustible cladding which means it will take months before action, if any, is taken. A wholesale ban on combustible material is the most-straight forward and efficient way the government could put public safety first; they have instead chosen to kick it into the long grass.”

"Although we welcome Hackitt’s recognition that systemic change is necessary to improve safety, we are deeply concerned that the report seems to prioritise business concerns over public safety. At one point in the report it is recommended that an inspection regime be put in place that will not cause regulators to lose business. The profits of regulators should not be an area of concern when we are talking about a fire that claimed the lives of 72 people. Instead the system of inspection and regulation, including specific regulators, need to be publicly owned and accountable.”

However, The Institution of Fire Engineers and the Fire Sector Federation were far more welcoming of the final report. A statement from IFE said: “IFE welcomes the publication of Dame Judith Hackitt's final report of her Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The review's final report was commissioned by Government following the Grenfell Tower fire to make recommendations on the future regulatory system.

“The IFE believes that such a review was necessary and has properly considered fire safety within the widest context of the design, construction and management of buildings. The IFE has participated in all stages of the review.”

Fire Sector Federation president Brian Robinson added: “The Fire Sector Federation welcomes the completion of the review and recognises the direction is consistent with the UK’s approach to general health and safety.

“We are pleased to see greater focus on the recognition of responsibilities and control of the fire safety building performance through the whole process from planning to building occupation and throughout the life of a building. We also support the creation of the Joint Combined Authority.

“The report gives us a direction of travel but it is now up to the Government to drive the recommendations forward. The lack of an interim arrangement and the need for substantial further work on other issues does not give confidence in an immediate or long-term outcome. The industry needs direction and impetus and we will work with all other groups to ensure a fire safe environment.”