Clause 4 - Duty to facilitate building safety: higher-risk buildings

Part of Building Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 16th September 2021.

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Photo of Shaun Bailey Shaun Bailey Conservative, West Bromwich West 3:00 pm, 16th September 2021

Absolutely, and the hon. Lady made a really interesting point that allows us to think about how that would operate. We talk quite abstractly about things, and the clause in particular sounds very nice, but when we consider the detail of its operational function, we realise that a lot of people caught by the provision will have someone above them in the ownership chain. How can we ensure that those obligations are met?

Broadly speaking, I agree with the clause. It is absolutely right to ensure proactive engagement between the regulator and the relevant persons. As my right hon. Friend the Minister touched on in his contribution, the regulator should not be there just to slam down when things go wrong; it should be proactive in ensuring that things are done correctly in the first place. I will listen very intently to his response to the hon. Lady’s interesting points. From an operational perspective, it is important to remember that there will be people between those relevant persons, and that the regulator, as it carries out its engagement practices under the clause, will encourage best practice from those people as well.