Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
November 16, 2022

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PEEPS

Gove says government should “look again” at position on PEEPs

Michael Gove, the UK’s Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary, has suggested the Government should “look again” at the issue of personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for disabled people.

Michael Gove MP

The comment comes a few months after the Government decided to omit the requirement for PEEPs in a consultation response in May.

In its response, it stated that mandating PEEPs “at this time could… have a detrimental effect on those with certain protected characteristics”, while “compelling RPS [Responsible persons] to administer PEEPs at this point could prove counterproductive”.

Gove was reappointed as Secretary of State for DLUHC in October, after the latest cabinet reshuffle. He had previously been in the role earlier this year.

In a Commons debate on the Social Housing Bill last week, he said that his department would “look closely” at tenants’ concerns about PEEPs, following backlash to the announcement in May. Activists called for disabled-led organisations and allies to organise an urgent campaign of opposition to the government’s decision, which hit its crowdfunding target in October.

Gove commented: “We do need to look again at the position… I have to say that the previous position was taken in good faith, but we need to pay attention to the concerns expressed.”

The Local Government Association (LGA) recently published its own response to the alternative solution suggested to PEEPs by the Government – Emergency Evacuation Information Sharing (EEIS+).

Speaking to IFSEC Global about Gove’s comments, Elspeth Grant, Expert PEEPs Advisor at Triple A Solutions, commented: “The Government would be well advised to reconsider their proposals given the response to the EEIS+ consultation published by the LGA stating they consider that social landlords already have an existing duty to disabled people unable to evacuate.

“Interestingly, the LGA have stated that they shared with the Government the details of the advice given to the LGA by Leading and Junior Counsel’s opinion on this subject so it is difficult to understand how the Government intends to defend Judicial Review of their proposals on 6 & 7th December in the Royal Courts of Justice.”

 


FURTHER READING: Evacuation of disabled people – What are the existing legal liabilities responsible persons and fire safety professionals must consider?


In the same debate, Gove also reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring that developers would help pay to fix unsafe buildings, adding that the global economic conditions should not be used as an excuse to shirk their responsibilities.

 

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