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Death by a thousand cuts?

Sailesh Mehta discusses the implications of further cuts to the fire brigade and how they affect the regulator’s ability to regulate

4 July 2017

On Wednesday 28 June 2017, the vote on the Queen’s Speech faced an unsuccessful amendment which sought greater finances for the fire brigade. During the debate, the opposition explicitly linked government cuts to the Grenfell Tower disaster.

In a letter to the Times newspaper on 27 June 2017, David Sibert, a national fire safety adviser to the Fire Brigades Union, suggested that the Grenfell Tower public inquiry should ask how developers routinely flouted fire safety regulations and why building control and the fire service were unable to identify and correct these failures. It is clear that the effect of cuts and austerity on fire safety will be on the agenda for years to come.

There are three strands to the work of all fire brigades:

• Prevention (home fire safety, research, advisory...

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