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Grenfell report finds system not fit for purpose

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Digest: The interim findings of a review of building regulations ordered in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster has found the current system is “not fit for purpose”.

Dame Judith Hackitt, who is leading the review and published initial findings today, said the problems identified are connected to the “culture” of the construction industry and the effectiveness of regulators.

She added that current regulations and guidance are “too complex and unclear” while the clarity of roles during the construction process and ongoing maintenance is poor.

Local Government Association chairman Lord Porter said the findings reinforced warnings over the “complexity and confusion” in the current system of ensuring buildings are safe.

He added: “The government needs to endorse the report’s findings without delay and work with councils and the industry to take the process of reform forward in the way Dame Judith has set out.

“This will obviously need to include rewriting the documents relating to the installation of cladding and insulation on external walls of buildings so they are easier to understand and comply with.”

Lord Porter said all types of landlord need “urgent clarity” on how materials on high-rise buildings that have failed safety tests should be replaced and added the LGA had also raised concerns over the safety of other buildings with cladding.

He added: “While councils will continue to get on with what they need to do and are ready to play a leading role in making sure a new system of building regulation works, significant funding concerns remain.

“The government needs to meet the unexpected exceptional costs for councils arising from conducting fire safety and major remedial work and for any essential fire and safety measures needed.”

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