§ Lord Howie of Troon
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the 1st Report of the House of Commons Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Select Committee published on 14 December 1999 regarding the potential risk of fire spread in buildings via external cladding systems. [HL635]
§ Lord Falconer of Thoroton
The Government gave a detailed response to the 1st Report of the House of Commons Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Select Committee which was published in the committee's 2nd Special Report dated 29 March 2000 [HL389].86WA
In respect of the recommendation in paragraph 19 of the Select Committee's report, the review of the guidance document, BR 135, is under way. Due to the expansion of the scope of that document it is now envisaged that the revised guide should be available around the end of this year.
In respect of the recommendation in paragraph 20 BRE Fire Note 9 was offered to the British Standards Institute (BSI) in March 1999 in order for them to consider converting the test method to a full British standard. The draft standard was published for public consultation on 10 April this year and the consultation period has now closed. The BSI committee is due to meet to discuss the comments received on 25 October.
In respect of the recommendation in paragraph 22 officials wrote on 12 April 2000 to the Local Government Association, the Association of London Government and the Housing Corporation asking them to draw the attention of local authorities and registered social landlords to the fourth recommendation of the Select Committee and to the subsequent government response.
In respect of the recommendation in paragraph 24 the Government remain committed to the reform of fire safety legislation and intend to undertake a public consultation next year on detailed proposals with a view to implementation by means of an order under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001. The aim of the reform would be to simplify, rationalise and consolidate existing legislation, which is currently spread across over 100 different statutes. It would provide for a risk based approach to fire safety allowing more efficient, effective enforcement by the fire service.