Review of fire safety rules pledged by minister last year yet to be published : The Guardian

Regulations ‘badly need updating’, say critics, but review promised by PM’s new chief of staff Gavin Barwell has not appeared.

Theresa May’s newly-appointed chief of staff promised last year that the government would review fire safety regulations, but the changes have yet to be published.

Gavin Barwell, who was housing minister before losing his seat in last week’s general election, was swiftly made the prime minister’s new main aide, following the departure of the much-criticised predecessors, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy.

Following the massive and fast-spreading fire at Grenfell Tower in west London, in which at least six people have died, some fire safety experts have suggested that delays to the regulations could have made such tower blocks more deadly in a fire.

Barwell told the Commons in October that part B of the building regulations, which cover fire safety, would be reviewed as part of a process following a 2009 fire at a tower block.

The blaze at Lakanal House in Camberwell, south-east London, killed six people, with an inquest finding it spread because botched renovations compromised fire stopping between the flats.

“We have not set out any formal plans to review the building regulations as a whole, but we have publicly committed ourselves to reviewing part B following the Lakanal House fire,” Barwell said. However, since then his department has not published any review.




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