Sadiq Khan: Londoners’ lives still ‘at risk’ after Grenfell

Londoners’ lives are “at risk” because of failures to reform building regulations in the wake of Grenfell Tower fire, Sadiq Khan has warned.

The Mayor blamed the Government and building companies for letting down the Grenfell community by not acting swiftly enough.

Mr Khan said he shared survivors’ concerns that a similar tragedy could happen again.

It is now more than three years since the Kensington blaze claimed the lives of 72 people.

Fire spread quickly through the tower’s cladding, leaving residents trapped in the block.

But almost 150 London buildings are still wrapped in the same flammable cladding, according to the latest Government data.

The Mayor’s warning comes almost a year after Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of the Grenfell Inquiry, published 46 recommendations for building reform and changes at the London Fire Brigade.

A second stage of the Inquiry, looking at building safety in more detail, is ongoing.

“I am concerned that without faster action, the Government and building owners are failing the Grenfell community and putting lives at risk,” Mr Khan said.

“I know the Grenfell community are fearful that a similar tragedy could happen again and I share their concerns.

“Since the fire, I have been calling for urgent changes to building safety regulations. The Government, housing and building industries must not wait to implement the wholesale reforms that are needed to fix a broken system.”

The London Fire Brigade – for which the Mayor is responsible – has completed four of the 29 recommendations from the Grenfell Inquiry.

Work has “significantly progressed” on the remaining recommendations, according to City Hall, and most are expected to be complete by next March.

London fire chief Andy Roe – who was responsible for issuing the ‘get out’ order to residents moments after he arrived at Grenfell – said he is “humbled” by the “courage and dignity” of survivors.

“This has been a challenging year for everyone and the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in some of our improvement activities taking longer to implement than planned,” he said.

“Everyone affected by the Grenfell Tower fire deserves to see progress being made on all recommendations as quickly as possible and minimising any delays is a priority to me.”

A Government spokesperson said ministers are implementing Grenfell Inquiry recommendations “in the most practical, proportionate and effective way” across the country.

“Our proposals go further than the Inquiry’s recommendations in many ways, such as inspection requirements on equipment, on information for residents and on external walls,” they said.

“We are now seeking the views of those most affected by the Inquiry before deciding on our final approach.”

Enfield Independent | News