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Derek Maylor, Chairperson

The awful fire at Grenfell Tower on June 14 demands that all social housing in the UK, and elsewhere, is looked at for safety of residents.

Helpless onlookers must be traumatised to a level I cannot comprehend and the under paid and under equipped emergency services yet again showed courage and bravery beyond the call of duty.

How in 2017 can a recently refurbished building turn in to an inferno so quickly? What possessed people to use flammable materials? What remains frightening, is where else have corners been cut to save money, to meet impossible budgets, to make a bigger profit? Councils must take the most suitable bid for housing works and not just the cheapest, resident’s safety is more important than a cheap tender. Everybody has a right to a decent, safe home to go to.

Grenfell Tower is the largest civilian loss of life from a single event in the UK since the Hillsborough disaster back in 1989 which I was at; consequently I welcome the Crown Prosecution Service charging decisions in relation to the Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath, particularly Bettison, the former officer with South Yorkshire Police and subsequently Chief Constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police.

The General Election did not go as well as we had hoped but it has certainly been noticed. Labour can carry on the work of opposition from a much stronger position than for many years and this should be used to enforce workplace safety, to demand that legislation is enforced and not cut. We must push workplace health up the agenda; we have an aging workface and that brings different health issues to manage. We do though, look forward to the next election which cannot come too soon.

As always, and in conclusion; we aim to provide the best advice and representation for our members and to:

*Ensure a safe working environment
*Promote occupational health
*Help members raise safety concerns
*Advance industry best practice
*Provide representation at national meetings
*Raise issues with other safety or government bodies

Our greatest assets are our Union Safety Representatives and we fully support them in their work.

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