Labour MSP to Sturgeon: Back sprinklers in social housing

On the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell disaster, David Stewart MSP has written to Nicola Sturgeon to ask her to support his bill to make sprinklers mandatory in all new social housing.

His bill received 94 per cent support in a public consultation, and has already received sufficient cross-party support to make it to the floor. The Scottish government has previously pledged to “learn any possible lessons” from the Grenfell disaster given the prevalence of high rise buildings in Scotland, particularly in Glasgow.

In his letter to the first minister, Stewart said that fires were most devastating to those at the bottom of the socio-economic distribution, and pointed out that given the Scottish Government had already committed to delivering 50,000 affordable homes in this parliament, ensuring sprinklers were installed would protect ‘the most vulnerable individuals in society.’

In a statement, the MSP said:

“I am delighted at the level of support there has been for my proposal, both from the public and across the parliamentary chamber.

“Fire sprinklers are tried and tested technology that have been proven to save lives and protect firefighters.

"Some Scottish councils are already installing sprinklers into their social housing and I want this approach to be extended across the country as standard.

“The scandal of Grenfell Tower was that protection was not there for those most in need. 12 months on, it is time tangible action is taken to ensure that such a tragedy could never occur in Scotland.

“This is why I am urging the First Minister and the Scottish Government to support my proposal.”

There will be vigils across Scotland and the rest of the UK today, in memory of those who lost their lives in the disaster a year ago.

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