On Wednesday the government released a report on the recommendations from the enquiry on the Grenfell Tower fire and how they are to be implemented.
One of the original recommendations was to make it a full legal requirement for building managers etc. to implement Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans PEEPs. This has now been withdrawn and further consultation is to be made on non-legal requirements. The Conservative Disability Group have therefore written the following letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Dear The Rt Hon Priti Patel
RE: PERSONAL EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLANS
The Conservative Disability Group is concerned to here of reports that the Government will not be implementing the recommendation from the Grenfell Tower enquiry report, that Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs), be a legal requirement. The report stated, “the owner and manager of every high-rise residential building be required by law to prepare personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for all residents whose ability to self-evacuate may be compromised (such as persons with reduced mobility or cognition).”
The Government now believes the cost of adopting the PEEPs policy would not be “proportionate” and that it would not be “practical” or “safe” to implement. We would therefore ask, having seen the devastating impact on fire in high rise tower blocks, how can the Government put cost against people’s lives?
With the implementation of Fire Rated Lifts, how would this, not be practical?
If the implementation of PEEPS is not “proportionate” or “safe”, why do government undertake PEEPs for government employees in government buildings?
In taking the decision for not requiring PEEPs, has an Equality Impact Assessment been undertaken on the decision to disregard the impact on residents who have a disability living in high rise buildings?
Why has guidance from British Standards 9999, Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use, Code of Practice 2 been disregarded?
The Government’s National Disability strategy published in July 2021 states the aims of the Government will be to: Ensure the safety of disabled people in buildings, when there are emergencies
Removing the requirements for PEEPs being a legal requirement, how will the Government ensure that disabled people living in high rise buildings are safe in their own homes?
How can the Government continue to support the “Stay Put” policy, when Grenfell has shown it does not save lives?
As Conservatives and people who have the lived experience of disability, we implore the government to implement the recommendation of Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans; and the National Disability Strategy sets a goal to “ensure the safety of disabled people in buildings, for when there are emergencies”.
We hope the Government will reassess this decision and make residents who have a disability safe and secure in their own homes.
Chair – Conservative Disability Group