Building Safety

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:58 pm on 29th June 2021.

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Photo of Clive Betts Clive Betts Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee 6:58 pm, 29th June 2021

Perhaps we could hope for the same result for the Select Committee vis-à-vis the Government when we come to their response to the building safety Bill.

We have had a wide-ranging debate, and this is clearly a very important issue. We should also think back to Dame Judith Hackitt’s report, in which she identified a legacy of building regulatory failures in this country, but also identified a fundamental problem of culture in the construction industry. That culture is about cutting costs, a race to the bottom and conflicts of interests, and that is fundamentally at the heart of many of these problems, which eventually will probably take longer to address.

When we debated the Fire Safety Bill, the Government said that it was the wrong Bill to be used for amendments to bring building safety matters to a conclusion. They said that the right Bill was the building safety Bill. I am pleased that the Minister has now said that the Bill is imminent. I hope that means it will be before the recess and is quicker than “soon” or “shortly”, which Ministers often say.

The first duty of a Government is to keep their citizens safe. The only way to keep people safe in their homes is to remove all safety defects, and I say to the Government that the only way to remove all safety defects is to adopt the comprehensive building safety fund, as recommended by the Select Committee.

Question deferred until tomorrow at Seven o’clock (Standing Order No. 54).