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Inquiry into fire safety in high-rise buildings

 

The Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee undertook an inquiry into fire safety in high-rise buildings in Wales. The Committee split this work into two phases, focusing on the public and private sector.

 

Phase 1: public sector - the areas for consideration were:

  • What fire safety requirements/measures are currently in place in Welsh high rise blocks
  • Are there any obvious gaps or weaknesses in the current system of regulation in Wales of fire safety in high rise blocks?
  • Is guidance to residents of high rise blocks in Wales, in the event of a fire, appropriate?
  • How are residents in Wales being informed about recent developments and reassured about fire safety measures in their block? More broadly, to what extent are resident’s views about fire safety being listened to and addressed.

 

Phase 2: private sector - the areas for consideration were:

  • How has the private sector responded to concerns about fire safety in high rise residential blocks?
  • What is the extent of remedial work that needs to be done to meet fire safety standards in Wales, and what arrangements are in place to cover the costs?
  • How are leaseholders  /  residents in Wales being informed about recent developments and reassured about fire safety measures in their block? More broadly, to what extent are residents’ views about fire safety being listened to and addressed.
  • What, if any, additional practical or financial support is needed from the Welsh or UK Governments to help ensure high rise blocks are safe.

 

A tall building in a city  Description automatically generated

 

Evidence sessions

 

The Committee held a number of evidence sessions to inform the work of the Committee, which can be viewed in the table below. Additionally, the Committee consulted on this topic. The consultation responses can be viewed below.

 

Evidence session

Date, agenda, minutes

Transcript

Video

1.    Fire and Rescue Services

David Hancock, Group Manager, Head of Business Fire Safety, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Kevin Roberts, Senior Fire Safety Manager, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Christian Hadfield, GM - Operations Department, Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Owen Jayne, Group Manager, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

27 September 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

2.    Managing agents

Nigel Glen, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Residential Managing Agents

Jason Clarke, Head of Risk Management, Warwick Estates

Rachel Dobson, Head of Health and Safety, Mainstay Group Limited

Julie Griffiths, Property Manager for managed properties in Wales, Mainstay Group Limited

David Clark, Chairman, Mainstay Group Limited

27 September 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

3.    Federation of Private Residents Association

Cassandra Zanelli, honorary consultant to the Federation of Private Residents Association

27 September 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

4.    Local government representatives

Jim McKirdle, Housing Policy Officer, Welsh Local Government Association

Graham Bond, Acting Building Control Manager, Planning, Transport and Environment, Cardiff Council

Dave Holland, Head of Shared Regulatory Services, Shared Regulatory Services, Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan

27 September 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

5.    Minister for Housing and Regeneration

Rebecca Evans AM, Minister for Housing and Regeneration

Emma Williams, Deputy Director, Housing Policy Division, Education and Public Services Group, Welsh Government

Francois Samuel, Head of Building Regulations, Building Regulations, Planning Directorate, Welsh Government

Andy Fry OBE, Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor and Inspector for Wales, Fire Services Branch, Education and Public Services Group, Welsh Government

Huw Maguire, Senior Policy Manager, Housing Policy, Education and Public Services Group, Welsh Government

11 October 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

6.    Viridis Real Estate

Tom Jones, Senior Project Manager, Viridis Real Estate

25 October 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

 

Report

 

The Committee published its report: Fire safety in high-rise buildings (private sector) in November 2018.

 

The Welsh Government laid its response to the report in January 2019. The report and government response was debated in Plenary on 16 January 2019.

 

Whilst the Committee’s formal evidence taking has been completed, the Committee continues to follow up on issues arising from their work mainly though correspondence between the Committee and the Welsh Government, which can be viewed below.

 

Keeping in touch

 

If you'd like to know more about the work of the Equality, Local Government and Communities, please view its homepage, follow its Twitter account or contact the team that supports the Committee at SeneddCommunities@assembly.wales

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Assembly Business;

Status: For consideration

First published: 22/06/2017

Documents

Background papers

  • Correspondence  

 

 

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