Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
February 28, 2018

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Whitehall outlines council’s responsibilities after Hackitt review

The Government has written to council bosses, outlining their fire safety responsibilities in the wake of Dame Judith Hackitt’s interim building regulations report.

In a letter to council chief executives, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s deputy director of building regulations, Offer Stern-Weiner recommends consultations by building control bodies and the fire service should take place “early” in the process of designing and commissioning new buildings.

This was one of the key recommendations in Dame Judith’s interim report, which was published in December.

The interim report also warned current regulations were “not fit for purpose”.


“There is a need for building control bodies to do more to assure that fire safety information for a building is provided by the person carrying out the building work to the responsible person for the building in occupation,” the letter states.

“Given the importance of such information for on-going maintenance and fire risk assessment, proof should be sought that it has been transferred.”


The letter adds that building developers need to ensure there is a “formal review and handover process” ahead of any part of a new high-rise residential building is occupied.

“Whilst responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations rests with the person carrying out the work, in light of Dame Judith’s recommendations, the Department is keen to support building control bodies in carrying out their statutory functions to consult with fire and rescue authorities and ensure a handover of fire safety information,” the letter adds.

“These are essential requirements for delivering safe building within the current regulatory framework.”


In January, a leading group of MPs has raised concerns about aspects of Dame Judith’s review.

The chair of the communities and local government committee, Clive Betts called on her to reconsider her view that the review should not examine the current regime for testing domestic electrical appliances.

Dame Judith’s final report is expected to be published in due course.

Read the full letter from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to council chief executives here.


Fire Safety in 2023 eBook

SHP's sister site, IFSEC Insider has released its annual Fire Safety Report for 2023, keeping you up to date with the biggest news and prosecution stories from around the industry.

Chapters include important updates such as the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and an overview of the new British Standard for the digital management of fire safety information.

Plus, explore the growing risks of lithium-ion battery fires and hear from experts in disability evacuation and social housing.

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6 years ago

removing flammable cladding is not the only way to improve fire safety of the building…it can also be done by simple orgnisational means, which should be considered by owners in the first place