Grenfell Tower fire: independent panels, inquiries and reviews

In the wake of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in June, a number of independent panels, reviews and groups were established to investigate the event and ensure it never happens again. You’ll find the latest activities for these, and our involvement and responses, below.

Find out more about:

The independent review of building regulations and fire safety

The Government announced an independent review of building regulation and fire safety on 26 July 2017. It’s led by Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of EEF, the Manufacturers’ Organisation, and will look at current building regulations and fire safety with a particular focus on high-rise residential buildings. 

The review will: 

  • map the current regulatory system (ie, the regulations, guidance and processes) for new and existing buildings through planning, design, construction, maintenance, refurbishment and change management
  • consider the competencies, duties and balance of responsibilities of key individuals within the system in ensuring that fire safety standards are adhered to
  • assess the theoretical coherence of the current regulatory system and how it operates in practice 
  • compare this with other international regulatory systems for buildings and regulatory systems in other sectors with similar safety risks
  • make recommendations that ensure the regulatory system is fit for purpose with a particular focus on multi-occupancy, high-rise residential buildings.

The review will report jointly to Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid and Home Secretary, Amber Rudd.

What work has the review completed?

Following consultation with members, the Federation submitted a response to the review.

The review’s interim report was published on 18 December 2017. You can also read our response.

Keep up to date with the review’s findings on the Government’s website

Grenfell Tower public inquiry

The day after the Grenfell Tower fire, the Government announced its intention to set up an independent public inquiry. The inquiry is being chaired by Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

The terms of reference for the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire include:

  • the cause and spread of the fire
  • the design, construction and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower
  • the scope and adequacy of the relevant regulations relating to high-rise buildings
  • whether the relevant legislation and guidance were complied with in the case of Grenfell Tower
  • the actions of the local authority and other bodies before the tragedy
  • the response of the London Fire Brigade to the fire and the response of central and local government in the aftermath.

The Federation offered its full support, and that of the social housing sector, for this inquiry. 

Find out more about the public inquiry on its website

The independent panel of building and fire safety experts

The Government announced the appointment of a panel of building and fire safety experts on 27 June 2017. It is chaired by Sir Ken Knight and will provide independent advice to the Secretary of State on:

  • fire and building safety, and in particular how to ensure the public are safe in high-rise buildings
  • immediate actions needed to ensure the safety of existing high-rise buildings
  • any changes or clarifications required to existing regulations, and provide advice on possible changes, including making recommendations on the use of specific materials
  • whether the processes for checking building safety are fit for purpose, or need changes.

The panel has also recommended issuing further practical advice on action landlords can take to identify their wall materials including insulation, which will be published shortly.

Keep up to date with the panel’s progress on the DCLG website

The industry response group

The industry response group was established by the Government following our call for them to take a more strategic role following the Grenfell Tower fire. The group advises on immediate steps to ensure building safety, including:

  • provide advice on solutions that will ensure homes, offices and public buildings are safe
  • provide advice on better ways of building and the latest methods of construction, including technical, industry expertise 
  • help mobilise the UK industry for any major programmes of construction work, by acting as a focal point for government-industry communications
  • advise the Government on relevant sub-sectors of the construction industry, their expertise and capacity to deliver.

The National Housing Federation sits on this group along with representatives from the Construction Industry Council, Construction Products Association, Build UK, the Local Government Association and National Fire Chiefs Council.

The independent Grenfell recovery taskforce

The Government announced an independent Grenfell recovery taskforce that will support the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) to develop and implement a long-term recovery plan following the Grenfell Tower fire. It will:

  • look at whether RBKC is engaging with the local community on their long-term recovery plan
  • ensure that all immediate housing needs are promptly addressed
  • support the council to significantly improve housing management
  • make sure the council develops, in partnership with the local community, a plan for the Grenfell Tower site.

They released an initial report on 31 October 2017.

Keep up to date with the taskforce’s progress on the Government's website

National Housing Federation expert panel

Our expert panel helps us support members in a range of specialist work areas and to assist with the scope and shape of immediate and longer-term policy and best practice guidance.

Panel members represent a wide range of sector experts, from lawyers and funders to insurers, surveyors, fire engineers and cladding specialists. The panel meets at regular intervals and has committed to working in an open but measured way. For more information please contact housingsafety@housing.org.uk