This week Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire, raised the issue of inflammable cladding on high rise buildings with both the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Housing in the House of Commons. This follows the release of a report on building regulations in light of last year’s Grenfell Tower tragedy, which has been conducted by a team led by Dame Judith Hackitt, and the beginning of the wider inquiry into Grenfell.
The Hackitt Report stopped short of recommending a full ban on inflammable cladding across all high rise buildings and Mr Huddleston used Prime Minister’s Questions to ask Theresa May whether she intended to go further than the report’s recommendations and pursue such a ban. The Prime Minister confirmed that the Government were minded to ban all combustible materials on high rise buildings, subject to the legally required consultation processes.
This followed Mr Huddleston’s question to the Housing Secretary James Brokenshire earlier in the week in which he pointed to the fact that many modern high rise buildings contain a mix of residential, office, retail and leisure offerings and asked that due attention be given to all high rise buildings and not just those that are purely residential. Acknowledging this point, the Housing Secretary said that the Hackitt Report had revealed the need for a “culture change” in attitudes to building regulations.
Mr Huddleston said, “I have been happy to take the opportunity to press both the Prime Minister and the Housing Secretary on ensuring that our response to the terrible tragedy in Grenfell last year is effective and ensures the safety of people across the country. I was encouraged by both answers, particularly the Prime Minister’s confirmation that the Government are minded to go further than the Hackitt Report recommendations and ban all combustible materials on high rise buildings.
It would be unacceptable if we did not learn important lessons from the horrific Grenfell tragedy and I have been reassured this week that the Government is committed to making sure that important changes are made and the safety of those living and working in high rise buildings is ensured.”