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Councils express concern about practicalities of implementing new fire safety legislation

The Local Government Association has said it welcomes the introduction of the Fire Safety Act and the Building Safety Bill and hopes they will be "an important step in the right direction", but has expressed concern about some of the practicalities of the implementation of new fire safety legislation for both resident safety and local authorities.

In a briefing ahead of a House of Commons debate this month, the LGA said: “The current building safety crisis – which goes beyond problems with cladding systems - is the consequence of decades of regulatory failure under Governments of different political compositions.

“The LGA has been calling for councils and fire services to be given effective powers and meaningful sanctions to ensure residents are safe – and feel safe – in their homes, including in social housing.”

It said the Building Safety Bill, “while welcome”, needed to be expanded in scope in order to safeguard those, especially the vulnerable, in buildings under 18m. “This should be delivered on a risk basis.”

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The LGA also warned that the imposition of the developer levy on social landlords might undermine the ability of councils to deliver social housing.

It also said that to ensure new legislation is successful in protecting lives, national government must ensure that local government is reimbursed for any additional costs arising out of the operational changes mandated by fire safety legislation.

The briefing can be viewed here.

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