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“The debate about whether this is going to happen at all can finally be put to bed”

by Jennie Ward

In her latest update on the HSE’s Building Safety eBulletin, Dame Judith Hackitt looks back on the journey to the “major milestone” of the Building Safety Bill receiving Royal Assent, calling it a “’wake up and smell the coffee’ moment” for those who aren’t prepared and don’t think change is coming, as there’s “no denying it anymore!”

“This week marks a really major milestone for Building Safety as the Bill receives Royal Assent.

“I often think back to the early days of my review when people told me:

‘We’ve been down this road before’

‘We’ve been saying for years that change was needed but nothing has happened’

‘We need systemic change not just minor reforms’

“For the last 4 years since my report was published, I have been determined to continue to push for implementation and not to simply walk away when the report was finished.

“Now we have crossed the threshold. The much-needed changes are going to happen because they are enshrined in law. It is also truly heartening to see that the concerns which at times have threatened to derail the process regarding ‘who pays’ have been largely addressed.

“I commend all of those who have put in a huge effort to get this Bill over the line – it is going to make a difference to so many people’s lives, helping them to feel safe and secure in their homes and knowing that others care about their plight and will listen to their concerns.

“Of course, there is still a huge amount of work to do to get ready for full implementation, but this is the point at which all of the debate about whether this is going to happen at all can finally be put to bed. The focus now is on how we make it happen, as quickly and effectively as possible.

“Those who have taken the initiative and are driving change already can feel confident that they are doing the right things. Industry has taken a huge step in recognising the need to address the sins of the past.

“But there are still a significant number of players out there for whom this week’s event is a final ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ moment. The clock is now ticking and the pace is accelerating. Change is going to happen this time – there’s no denying it anymore!”


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