The recent Queen’s Speech included an update on new building safety standards legislation, which aims to put in place new and modernised regulatory regimes for building safety and construction products, ensuring residents have a stronger voice in the system. PBM has collected industry comments on the recent announcement.
Helen Hewitt, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF):
“The new building safety standards legislation announced in today’s Queen’s Speech is a significant step forward by this Government and clearly builds upon Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review recommendations, which were welcomed by the BWF and its members at the time.
“However, in the context of ongoing political uncertainty, it’s crucial that the Government doesn’t lose sight of this important bill and delivers on its pledges relating to resident safety and improved accountability across the construction industry, from manufacture to specification, installation and on-going maintenance. Our hope is that this legislation will drive the vital change that the industry requires and will incorporate the need for independent third-party certification of life-saving fire safety measures to ensure high standards are adopted by all.
“The Government must implement the new laws as soon as possible, ideally with support from opposition parties to ensure broad agreement, so that all residents can feel safe in their homes and to prevent further delays that could cost lives.”
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB):
“The Queen’s announcement that the Government will bring forward new rigorous laws forcing compliance with building safety standards is an important and essential step in improving safety and confidence in our built environment. After the Grenfell fire tragedy it’s essential that we raise the bar in construction. However, the Government must go further still and publicly consult on a mandatory licensing scheme for all UK construction companies. This would serve to remove from the industry any firm that ignores health and safety procedure and risks safety in and around the built environment. Licensing would also remove rogue traders that bring the image of builders into disrepute, whether they are operating in the private domestic sector or in the supply chain on a large commercial site. We now await further details on this bill and whether it will have the teeth it needs to improve the construction sector.”