Fire Safety Bill Published

The Home Office 19th March introducing a new bill to improve fire safety in buildings in England and Wales.

The proposed Fire Safety Bill builds on action already taken to ensure that people feel safe in their homes, and a tragedy like the Grenfell Tower fire never happens again.

The bill will amend the Fire Safety Order 2005 to clarify that the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for:

  • the structure and external walls of the building, including cladding, balconies and windows
  • entrance doors to individual flats that open into common parts

This clarification will empower fire and rescue services to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they are not compliant.

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New Scottish legislation to improve housing rights for disabled people.


New regulation proposals have been launched by the      Scottish government aiming to improve accessibility for those living with a disability in the communal areas around their home.

Under the newly announced proposals, people living with disabilities would be given the right to remove barriers to  access by creating ramps, widening paths and installing handrails in common areas.

These changes are hoped to improve equality for those living with disabilities, though all potential works would only be sanctioned provided they have support of a majority of  neighbours. More

 

Whirlpool told to recall unsafe tumble dryers.

Whirlpool told to recall unsafe tumble dryers.


The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) welcomes news that the government has given Whirlpool notice that it intends to require the company to recall up to 500,000 of its tumble  dryers over fire safety risks.

NFCC has been calling for changes to improve product recalls and manufacturing standards, including the need for a single Government backed register for UK product recalls, for a  number of years.

The dryers affected are the vented and condensing tumble dryers branded Hotpoint, Creda, Indesit, Swan or Proline, that were made between April 2004 and October 2015. More

 

New Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care (ASC)

Kate Terroni is joining us in May as the new Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care. Kate takes over from Debbie Westhead who has been interim Chief Inspector since Andrea Sutcliffe’s departure in December last year.

Kate, a registered social worker, is currently Director of Social Care at Oxfordshire County Council. Kate is also co-chair of the ADASS workforce network and was previously Deputy Director of Commissioning at Oxfordshire County Council.

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Funding for winter resilience. Health and Social Care

Scottish Health boards receive additional £10m.
This will be allocated to NHS boards to help cope with added pressures over the winter months.

Provided earlier then before, the funding, which comes on top of the £9 million already allocated to support unscheduled care all year round, will allow health boards to put robust plans in place quickly.
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Electronic Signatures are Valid

Electronic signatures are valid say Government’s legal experts. – Law Commission

Electronic signatures can be used to sign formal legal contracts under  English law, the Law Commission has confirmed.
The Government’s independent legal experts have published early conclusions which aim to sweep away the current uncertainty in the law, allowing businesses to speed up  transactions by going fully digital.

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New fatal accidents inquiry law comes into force in Scotland

Changes to the law governing fatal accident inquiries (FAIs) in Scotland will bring the legal framework for the process “into the 21st century”, the Scottish Government has said.16 Jun 2017

An FAI is a judicial process which investigates and determines the circumstances of some deaths occurring in Scotland. Currently, an FAI must take place when someone dies in custody in prison or in a police station, or a death is caused by an accident at work. They can be held in other circumstances if it is thought to be in the public interest. FAIs take place before a sheriff, who is required to produce a determination setting out time, place and cause of death, and any precautions or defects in the system which could have prevented the death.

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