The working group on product recalls and safety was created by the government in October 2016 to build on recommendations by Lynn Faulds Wood in her independent review into product recall published in February 2016.
The report from the working group covers the six months from October to April and a full report is expected this autumn. It contains a number of recommendations, many of which are similar to those made in Lynn Faulds Wood’s review in February 2016.
These include setting up a central scientific and technical resource to advise the government and businesses and co-ordinate national recall programmes; improving the way data is gathered in relation to product-related fires and working with the British Standards Institute to create a Code of Practice for businesses and regulators.
Jill Paterson, of law firm Leigh Day who represents 40 victims of the Shepherd’s Bush tower block fire alleged to have been caused by a faulty tumble dryer, said:
“It is extremely disappointing that in the 17 months since Lynn Faulds Wood published her recommendations, little seems to have progressed. Unfortunately, this report is a bit of a damp squib. How much more posturing and research needs to happen before action is actually taken?
“It seems to me that some of Lynn’s recommendations have been re-stated, but have not practically progressed.
“Without the introduction of a national product safety agency and proper funding for adequate regulation, it is hard to see how the situation will improve for consumers.”
In announcing the report the government claimed that a number of the recommendations and further actions from Lynn Faulds Wood’s report have been taken forward. Consumer Minister Margot James MP, who established the group, said the group had made “impressive steps”.