Grenfell Tower Fire/Fire Safety

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:21 pm on 26th June 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cities), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury) 5:21 pm, 26th June 2017

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sympathies and those of the SNP to those who have been affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy and those who face worry as they wonder about their accommodation tonight. I am glad to see the proposal to give funds to local charities, which is very welcome, but I would like to ask a few more questions on the statement.

First, will there be funding from central Government for mitigating measures and alternative accommodation where local authorities face expensive remedial work? That work may take a significant time, and residents will need to be housed and perhaps compensated during that period. Will there also be additional funding for the fire service, which was clearly not able to carry out fire safety work on, for example, the blocks the Secretary of State mentioned in Camden?

Will the tenancy agreements for those moved into temporary and more permanent accommodation be equivalent to, or better than, the tenancy agreements they had in Grenfell Tower?

It was clear—the Minister’s response acknowledged this—that the official response was not good enough, although I make these points in the spirit of helpfulness and not in any way on a party political basis. In Scotland and in Glasgow, we have a well-developed resilience strategy involving all local authority bodies. Will the Secretary of State look at the way it is implemented at local government level? Will he also look at how building regulations in Scotland compare with building regulations in England?

Is it possible to have Scottish representatives on the advisory panel the Secretary of State mentioned, so that they can share some of that experience and that different approach? Lastly, the Scottish Government have already established a short-term ministerial working group on building in fire safety. Will there be a means for it to report to the inquiry?