Cameron House Hotel (Fatal Accident Inquiry)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 12th January 2023.

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Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

The fatal accident inquiry into the tragic fire at Cameron House hotel more than five years ago reported yesterday. I thank the sheriff and the Lord Advocate for their assistance in getting to this point. The report includes a range of recommendations that are designed to prevent such a fire from happening again.

Will the First Minister give a commitment today that all the recommendations will be implemented as a matter of the utmost urgency? Will she also consider whether the fire brigade requires further enforcement powers, given that, before the Cameron House fire and the more recent fire at the New County hotel in Perth, people appear to have been warned of fire risks but to have done nothing about them?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

In relation to the FAI report that was published yesterday, I, too, thank the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service for its work on this extremely important FAI and for publishing the report. I thank again the emergency services for their response on the night of the fire, and I give my condolences again to those who were bereaved in the incident.

Of course, we will thoroughly consider all the sheriff’s recommendations and I expect that, yes, we will accept all the recommendations. However, we must go through a process of considering them properly. We require to respond in due course, and we will do that.

In the light of the Cameron House fire and the more recent incident in Perth—my condolences go to the bereaved in that incident, too—it is right to look at enforcement provisions. Under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is appointed as the enforcing authority for fire and, as part of that, it produces all the relevant enforcement procedures, while applying the principles that are contained in the Scottish regulators’ strategic code of practice. As the enforcing authority, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service works with duty holders in relevant premises to achieve compliance in fire safety, through providing advice and support and taking enforcement action when necessary.

Those systems are set out very clearly, but, of course, as part of our consideration of the recommendations of the sheriff, we will ensure that all appropriate aspects of that are looked at in an appropriate way.