HL Deb 22 June 1994 vol 556 cc19-20WA
Lord Brougham and Vaux

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the review of fire safety legislation and enforcement they announced on 17th January has produced its report; whether it will be published; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Strathclyde)

The review team submitted their report to my right honourable friends the Secretaries of State for the Home Department, the Environment and Employment and the President of the Board of Trade on 24th May. We are publishing the report today and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The review team have carried out a thorough evaluation of the present system and identified a number of potential improvements. Since January, the review team has undertaken widespread consultation with all interested parties. They have found there is an overlap in present legislation and that enforcement arrangements may impose burdens on businesses and create avoidable uncertainty. Enforcement responsibilities are sometimes blurred. This makes the task of enforcing the legislation and co-ordinating the activities of the various enforcers more difficult.

The report puts forward a number of proposals which the review team believe would reduce burdens on business and introduce greater clarity into the system without undermining safety standards. These recommendations are now under consideration by Ministers. No decisions have yet been taken and we are committed to full consultation before any proposals for changing the existing arrangements are made. We would welcome the views of interested parties. We shall be consulting those organisations with a known interest in this matter for their views by 31st October 1994. The review team have risen well to the challenge, and we expect that greater clarity and simpler arrangements will improve standards of fire safety.