We would strongly support any moves to consolidate
existing fire safety legislation.
17. In making this recommendation there was a reference
to a letter the Committee had seen from George Howarth saying
that he was very keen on bringing in a Fire Safety Bill to bring
together the 69 separate pieces of legislation that currently
cover fire safety. George Howarth has now moved from the Home
Office, but the Home Secretary remains committed to the rationalisation
and simplification of fire safety legislation, and I fully endorse
that objective. Up to now it has not been possible to secure Parliamentary
time for a Bill. However, the Home Secretary expects shortly to
establish a new Fire Safety Advisory Board which will resolve
outstanding issues and develop detailed proposals for legislative
change. The Board will also give priority to examining whether,
in advance of primary legislation, it would be possible to make
use of planned legislation this Session on regulatory reform to
secure some of the desired improvements.
18. I hope that this serves to reassure you that
the Committee's concerns with regard to the potential risk of
fire spread in buildings via external cladding systems have, or
are being, addressed.