Disabled leaseholder group starts fire safety legal action against Government

Wed,9 February 2022
News Housing

The Disabled leaseholders group Claddag has started judicial review proceedings against the Home Secretary for awarding a contract to produce guidance which includes the means of escape for Disabled people from fire to CS Todd & Associates Ltd.

In a statement it said: “Given Mr Todd consistently advocates against evacuation plans for Disabled people, and was the only expert of four to do so in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, we do not feel it is right for him to have this influence and authority over the safety of disabled people.”

Paralympian and disability rights campaigner, Baroness Grey-Thompson also raised grave concerns in the House of Lords last week. She spoke of the poor fire safety guidance and practice that ultimately led to 41% of Disabled residents of Grenfell Tower losing their lives in the 2017 fire. She highlighted the Government’s failure to implement the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry to place a legal duty on owners and agents to prepare Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for Disabled residents unable to self-evacuate, despite a consultation ending on 19 July 2021, and spoke of the Government awarding the contract to produce new fire safety guidance to a fire safety expert whose testimony was rejected by the chair of the Grenfell Inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, and who had made offensive comments on online fire safety forums about Disabled people.

Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy at DR UK said: “DR UK has also written to the Secretary of State seeking reassurance that the Government intends to implement the Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations on PEEPs. We have asked when the new regulations on PEEPs will be laid before Parliament, and we have asked for a review of the award of the contract in the light of Equality Act duties.”