Clause 10 - Appointment of health and safety lead by registered provider

Social Housing (Regulation) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 29th November 2022.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Matthew Pennycook Matthew Pennycook Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Clause 10 is not contentious, and we broadly welcome it, but I would appreciate some clarification from the Minister on a specific issue arising from it. At present, proposed new section 126B ensures that

“The functions of the health and safety lead” are to

“monitor the provider’s compliance with health and safety requirements” and to notify the provider’s responsible body of any material risk to or failures of compliance, and to advise on steps to ensure the provider addresses them.

As Ministers may be aware, the Local Government Association, among others, has inquired what—if any—channels of communication or reporting mechanisms will exist between the health and safety leads of registered providers and the regulator itself. The LGA also highlighted the obvious need for sufficient new burdens funding in the case of local authority landlords. Will the Minister provide answers today or in writing to the following questions? First, did the Government intend to establish any direct permanent relationship between the regulator and RP health and safety leads? Secondly, what is the rationale for not requiring health and safety leads to report any material risks or failures of compliance directly to the regulator, as well as the responsible body, as a matter of course? Thirdly, can the Minister guarantee that the Government will make sufficient new burdens funding available to local authorities to fully implement the provisions in the clause?

Photo of Dehenna Davison Dehenna Davison Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

I will follow up in writing with a bit more clarity and specific detail on the questions the shadow Minister has raised.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 10 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.