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Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Phase 1 Report - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:02 pm on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Viscount Younger of Leckie Viscount Younger of Leckie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 4:02 pm, 31st October 2019

Yes, I can reassure the noble Baroness on that front and reiterate the point I made earlier about greater joined-up thinking across different agencies and bodies.

Learning from the inspectorate’s reports and the creation of national standards based on the best operational practice will help the LFB and the fire and rescue service as a whole to respond to the issues that the inquiry identified. We expect the NFCC to support services faced with challenging reports to drive improvement and make sure that cross-service learning is happening, which helps to answer the noble Baroness’s question.

The noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, and my noble friend Lord Bourne asked about collaboration and co-ordination, and communication within the emergency services. An assurance programme was conducted in 2017 on joint interoperability with more than 100 police, fire and ambulance services. Findings showed that new processes are embedding, and the Home Office is continuing to drive work to embed this programme locally.

The noble Lord, Lord Harris, and others raised the issue of problems with communication between firefighters. Each fire and rescue authority, including the London Fire Brigade, must evaluate local risks and determine its priorities, policies and standards for fire protection and response, including equipment. It does this through an integrated risk management plan. It is for the Mayor of London to set the budget for the London Fire Brigade so that it has the equipment needed to do its work. The Government will work with the fire and rescue services to ensure that lessons are learned from this terrible tragedy.