Grieving mother Jane Midgley and Dame Jackie Baillie MSP.
By Lucy Ashton
Dame Jackie Baillie has welcomed recommendations from a working group established following the Cameron House Fatal Accident Inquiry but expressed her disappointment that action has been so slow.
The conclusions from the expert group were published today and along with voluntary actions to be taken by the hotel and B&B industry, they also outline changes to building regulations.
This will hopefully ensure that facilities which are being made into hotel accommodation are fit for purpose.
Sprinkler systems will be recommended and greater awareness of voids and cavities will be addressed.
In addition, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service must formally record any verbal discussions of deficiencies which take place during an inspection and written communication of this will have to be passed to the duty-holder within 14 days.
Five-star Cameron House Hotel on Loch Lomondside, victims Simon Midgley and Richard Dyson and a night-time picture of the hotel on fire.
The Dumbarton constituency MSP praised the determination of Jane Midgley, mother of Simon Midgley who, along with his partner Richard Dyson, died in the blaze at the five-star hotel almost six years ago.
Ms Midgley fought long and hard for a Fatal Accident Inquiry to be held and is determined that changes, which would prevent future tragedies, will be made as a result.
During both the criminal trial and the Fatal Accident Inquiry, it was deemed that the incident at Cameron House Hotel could have been avoided after management failed to address a string of concerns identified by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
In June, Dame Jackie and Ms Midgley met with Minister for Victims and Community Safety, Siobhan Brown to discuss the recommendations arising from the Short Life Working Group.
It was agreed that a copy of the recommendations would be shared with Ms Midgley prior to publication. However the Minister’s office failed to do this with the link going live earlier today without any further communication with her.
Dame Jackie said: “Lessons have to be learned from the tragic fire at Cameron House. Both the court case and the Fatal Accident Inquiry have highlighted that this incident, tragically, was entirely avoidable. It is almost six years since the fire and progress has been far too slow to get to this point.
“While these recommendations are welcome I am concerned they do not go far enough to prevent an incident like this happening again.
“Jane has fought tooth and nail for action to be taken and she deserves the courtesy of being told the outcome of a group specifically set up to do that before this is made public.
“This followed poor communications throughout the process which has meant that Jane has felt let down. That is entirely regrettable.”
Jane Midgley said: “This has all taken too long and I feel very let down that the Scottish Government didn’t have the courtesy to do what they said they would and send me a copy of the publication in advance.
“Myself, the boys, their friends and family have already been let down by the Crown Office who had promised to be in regular contact with me but failed to keep me updated. The whole system has added to my grief.
“All I want is justice for Simon and Richard and to know that everything is being done to prevent something like this happening again. I think I deserve that after almost six years of fighting for answers and action.”
- A copy of the report is available here Short Life Working Group final report: Cameron House FAI Recommendations – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)