All Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group
Ronnie King OBE, O St.J, QFSM, F.I.FireE
Tel: +44 (0)1269 844548 Mobile: +44 (0)7836 266614 E-mail: email@example.com
The All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group is an informal cross-party interest group which has been in operation for over seventeen years; made up of 29 Members of Parliament and Peers. The Group is very active, well attended and successful, with 13 Peers and MPs having attended its last meeting on 13th September 2016 (reportedly more frequently attended than any other All-Party Parliamentary Group).
Whilst being properly balanced to reflect the parties of Government, it does take a position on some matters which may not always be consistent with Government current policy or direction. However it is keen to work with Government and not to be in conflict with it.
Sir David Amess MP is the Group’s Chairman, with Chris Davies MP and Mary Glindon MP its Co-Vice Chairs. Jim Fitzpatrick MP is the Group’s official Secretary and Peter Aldous MP its Treasurer.
The full list of members is as follows:
There are three former Fire Ministers who are members of the Group (Bob Neil MP, Jim Fitzpatrick MP and the Rt. Hon. George Howarth MP) and one former Minister having held responsibility for the Building Regulations (Lord McKenzie of Luton). In addition Teresa Pearce MP is the Shadow Minister with responsibility for Building Regulations and Margaret Ferrier MP is Shadow SNP Spokesperson for the Scotland Office. The July 2016 meeting of the Group was attended by the Shadow Secretary of State for Education Angela Rayner MP, to discuss the item on Schools Fire Safety (something of a ‘first’ to have a Shadow Secretary of State attend an APPFSRG meeting, but a timely one).
In addition to running Launch/Commemorative Events and Parliamentary seminars in the Houses of Parliament, the All-Party Group meets bi-monthly to consider fire safety & rescue issues to bring to Government’s attention, as well as receiving updates and news of research and important safety matters arising from live incidents.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group has formed a strong relationship with the Fire Sector Federation. This is proving to have been a constructive and positive step to have taken. Individual Fire Sector member organisations have also recently either held Events or given short presentations to the All-Party Group about their work, and the issues which are of concern; including:
Underwriters Ltd. – Hoverboards and counterfeit goods.
National Social Housing Group – Impact of fire on Social Housing
Devon & Somerset FRS (Arson Prevention Forum)
CFOA – High Risk Accommodation
Fire Safe Europe – Stop Fatal Smoke
LFB – Safety of Electrical/White Goods
Structural Timber Association – Recent steps taken.
BSA – A Turner input to Building Regs ADB
LFB – Electrical Fires in consumer units
NSG – Pilkington – Fire Resisting Glazing
The Building Alliance CIC – Masonry and concrete in construction
Angloco Ltd. – National Procurement issues
IOSH – Launch /event commemorating the 350th Anniversary of the Great Fire of London
FIA – Launch Event Research-true cost of AFD systems, 50th Anniversary FIA-100th Anniversary FETA
BAFSA Sprinkler Seminar
CFOA Recycling Waste Seminar
CFOA National Ops Group Seminar.
The All-Party Group has maintained its reputation for activity in Parliament in the past year by holding some 17 meetings, launch events, seminar participation, receptions, EDMs, Backbench business debates, Easter and Christmas Recess Debates, WPQs and Adjournment debates.
Many of these meetings were attended by public and private sector bodies and individuals with fire safety interests. Also the Group facilitated a number of Fire Sector Federation meetings and workstreams, as an indication of the importance it attaches to such work.
The Group has held four separate Ministerial meetings during 2015/16 involving DCLG, Education, Defra and Defence; with Home Office (Minister for Policing, Fire, Criminal Justice and Victims) planned. Some 25 Ministerial letters have been exchanged, maintaining the initiative for further action with the review of Building Regulations Approved Document B, and the influence over the policy on Schools and special schools, which has been the subject of considerable dialogue and correspondence, culminating in the alarming amendment of BB100, without the involvement of those from the Fire Sector, who were closely involved with the previous review in 2006/7. This has galvanised many in the fire sector against such change, with opinions being ‘voiced’ through the media and national press.
The next meeting will take place in the Houses of Parliament on 6th December 2016.