MSP WELCOMES REASSURING NEWS ON BUILDING AND FIRE SAFETY

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has praised the good progress that’s being made by a ministerial working group to review building and fire safety regulations in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Checks so far by local authorities, including Falkirk Council, have found that no council-owned school buildings above 18 metres in Scotland and no high-rise domestic buildings owned by councils or housing associations have the type of cladding reported to have been used on the London tower block.

Meanwhile, NHS Forth Valley, along with all other health boards in Scotland, has confirmed that none of its buildings use the aluminium composite material cladding.

Mr Matheson said: “The terrible fire at Grenfell Tower shocked people up and down the country, so the results of these checks should bring some much-needed reassurance to constituents who live or work in multi-storey buildings. Building regulations for high-rise domestic properties in Scotland mean the type of product used on Grenfell Tower should not be used in cladding systems here.

“I would like to thank Falkirk Council and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for the work they have done, and continue to do, to reassure local residents about the safety of their buildings.”

The ministerial working group, chaired by Communities Secretary Angela Constance with Housing Minister Kevin Stewart and Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing, held their second meeting this week.

Ms Constance said: “While we continue to be confident that we have stringent building and fire safety regulations that contribute to keeping people safe, it’s imperative that we undertake a thorough and critical review of our regulations.

“The initial priority focus was on high-rise domestic properties, then other priority areas including schools and hospitals. The next areas of focus will be any high-rise properties where people sleep overnight that have not already been covered and properties housing vulnerable people.”