Sprinkler campaign MSP hopes to receive backing
A Highland MSP will find out by next week if the Scottish Government will back his call for sprinklers to be installed in all newbuild social housing.
On the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy yesterday, Labour’s David Stewart pressed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the proposal.
The Highlands and islands MSP, who is tabling plans for a member’s bill at Holyrood that would require sprinklers in all new social housing, asked the SNP leader if she would back the move.
Ms Sturgeon said “our hearts break” for the families of Grenfell victims, and that the importance of the issue had been “brought home to her” by yesterday’s blaze in a tower block in the Gorbals area of Glasgow.
She added: “As David Stewart is aware, the two review panels that were set up in the wake of Grenfell to advise the Scottish Government reported their recommendations yesterday. The ministerial working group has accepted the panels’ recommendations, which are wide ranging.
“I cannot go into them all right now, but one of the proposals is to expand the use of sprinkler systems to improve fire safety.”
A consultation on Mr Stewart’s proposal found 94% were in favour of the plans, and the first minister said her government would reveal its response next week.
She said: “I am aware of David Stewart’s member’s bill proposal and I thank him for bringing it forward.
“The Scottish Government is considering his final proposal and, as I believe he knows, we will inform parliament of our decision in that regard by the 21 June deadline that has been set.”
Fires broke out at two high-rise blocks on the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Eight people were rescued from a building in Glasgow.
Though not comparable to the tragedy, the incidents highlight the ongoing fire safety concerns of those dwelling in high-rise blocks.
More than 10 fire crews, police and other emergency services were sent to Commercial Court in the Gorbals area of Glasgow, where smoke could be seen coming from the 14th floor yesterday morning.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said the flames from a fire believed to have started in a kitchen were extinguished and eight people were taken to hospital.
Around 150 people were evacuated from Roma Corte in Lewisham in London, as around 58 firefighters arrived at the scene, along with police and ambulance staff, after they were called to the incident at around 4.15am.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) said a sprinkler system suppressed the fire, which was contained and then extinguished in a flat on the 13th floor. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A spokesman for Barratt Residential Asset Management, the firm that manages the building, said it was conducting an investigation, but that “full fire safety procedures in the building were followed successfully”.
Firefighters outside Commercial Court in Glasgow