Building safety - what do you think?
The Draft Building Safety Bill was published on 20 July. The government aims to “deliver the biggest changes to building safety for nearly 40 years and make residents safer in their homes.” But what do you think? Will the proposals work in practice or are there areas that the Government has overlooked or misunderstood? If you have a strong view on this, now's the chance to have your say.
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee plans to hold a series of oral evidence sessions this Autumn with experts, residents, housebuilders, managing agents and freeholders, inspectors and local authority building control. During these sessions the Committee will scrutinise the key policy objectives, provisions and likely impact of the draft Bill.
The Committee also wants to hear your views and has published a Call for Evidence that’s open until next Monday (14 September). Before the draft Bill was published, the Government held a public consultation on the proposals. Written evidence is now being invited specifically on aspects of the proposed legislation which are thought to go beyond the scope of that consultation.
Questions being raised include:
- How well does the draft Bill meet the Government’s own policy intentions?
- Does the draft Bill establish an appropriate scope for the new regulatory system?
- Will the Bill provide for a robust – and realistic – system of accountability for those responsible for building safety?
- Are the sanctions on those who do not meet their responsibilities strong enough?
- Will the Bill provide strong mechanisms to ensure residents are listened to when they have concerns about their building’s safety?
- Is the Government right to propose a new Building Safety Charge?
- Does the bill introduce sufficient protections to ensure that leaseholders do not face excessive charges and that their funds are properly managed?
- Does the Bill improve the product testing regime in a way that will command the full confidence of the sector?
- Is it right that the new Building Safety Regulator be established under the Health and Safety Executive, and how should it be funded?
- Does the Bill present an opportunity to address other building safety issues, such as requirements for sprinkler systems?
If you have a view on these issues you don’t need to respond to every question. And if you have a comment about specific clauses of the Bill, then identify which they are.
A note of caution here though for people who’ve never responded to a Call for Evidence before. Your response will normally be published on the internet. It stays public forever. That means that other people will be able to find and read it. Your name (or your organisation’s name) will be published with your evidence but you can ask for your evidence to be anonymous.
The Committee doesn’t have to accept your evidence or publish what you send but it will be read and may be used to inform the inquiry. You’ll get an e-mail you to let you know what’s happening to your comments, for example the Committee might use your name and your evidence in a report.
You can submit your response here before Monday 14 September.
Author : Maryanne Bowring