Persimmon 'accused over failure to install fire barriers'

Reports that housebuilder Persimmon "has been accused of shoddily building homes" that left its customers exposed to an "intolerable" fire risk feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports that an independent review of the company published on Tuesday found Persimmon had a "systemic nationwide failure" to install fire-stopping cavity barriers. The paper says the review was commissioned by the company "following a deluge of customer complaints" and said the failure to meet minimum building standards was "a manifestation of poor culture" at the firm.

The Guardian’s financial editor says that, following the publication of the report, the government should now look at reviewing the whole housebuilding sector. He writes: "An audit of quality standards in the housebuilding industry would be useful in its own right. It would also fit well with the new interventionist mood in Westminster."

The Financial Times (subscription) reports that "the number of homeless people in England has risen to 280,000 — with one in every 200 people currently without a home, according to housing charity Shelter". The paper says the figure "is the highest since Shelter began keeping records in 2016 and marks a rise of 23,000 over the past three years, the charity said".

A leader column in The Times says that "Britain’s network of buses is faltering, leaving many people isolated and unable to get to work," adding that a "radical government would consider making bus travel free". The piece says: "This is an opportunity for the government to be bold and help those deprived northern areas that voted Conservative for the first time. It should raise spending on buses and force the mainly private companies to provide many more services and routes."

The Times’ banking editor Katherine Griffiths calls for the government to create an "infrastructure bank". She writes that the creation of a "Boris Bank" would be "a way for the government to demonstrate it is making good on its promises to neglected parts of the country, helping to shore up its support and further undermine Labour".

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