Red tape saves lives

June 19th, 2017

Red tape saves lives

Commenting on the DCLG’s request that local authorities should identify whether any panels used in new build or refurbishment are a particular type of cladding, and if so that they should be tested, Tom Copley AM, Labour’s London Assembly spokesperson for Housing, said:

“This action from the government is only necessary because building regulations have not kept up with new materials. A flammable product should have been banned before it was used.

“Following the Lakanal House fire in 2009, both the London Assembly and the coroner recommended that the government review building regulations relating to fire safety. A commitment to do this was only made in 2016, by the then Housing Minister Gavin Barwell. Tragically this review had not yet been published before the fire at Grenfell Tower.

“In 2012, the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, promised to ‘kill off the health and safety culture for good’. Under the Cutting Red Tape initiative, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, cut the time of a fire safety inspection from six hours to forty five minutes. He said he was getting rid of ‘unnecessary bureaucracy’.

“We will need to wait for the conclusion of the London Fire Brigade’s investigation before we know the details of what happened here, but I am clear on one thing, despite the dismissive attitude of this and the previous government: red tape saves lives. The government must act immediately to update our building regulations and ensure that they are kept up to date.”



  • The London Assembly report following the Lakanal House Fire can be found here;
  • The letter from the coroner to the government following the Lakanal House Fire can be found here;
  • Gavin Barwell’s commitment to review building regulations can be found here;
  • David Cameron’s quote regarding killing off health and safety can be found here;
  • Details of Sajid Javid’s comments on reducing fire inspection times can be found here;
  • Tom Copley AM is a Londonwide Assembly Member.

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