Terms of reference: inspection of the London Fire Brigade response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry
On 4 August 2020, the Home Secretary commissioned HMICFRS to review the governance and progress of London Fire Brigade’s action plan to implement the recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry report.
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On 4 August 2020, the Home Secretary commissioned HMICFRS to undertake “a light touch review of the governance and progress of London Fire Brigade’s action plan to implement the recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry report. An early review, carried out by HMICFRS, would indicate whether London’s significant transformation programme is starting to have a positive effect and they have made sufficient progress on delivering against the recommendations.”
This document sets out the proposed terms of reference for this inspection activity.
The Phase 1 Grenfell Tower Inquiry report contained 46 recommendations. The scope of our inspection will include the 16 recommendations directed solely at the London Fire Brigade (LFB), and the 13 recommendations directed either at fire and rescue services or emergency services more generally, which includes the LFB.
In October 2019, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, led by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, published its Phase 1 report. Phase 1 of the inquiry established what took place at Grenfell Tower on the night of the fire. This included the cause and origin of the fire, its subsequent development, the loss of life incurred and the response of the LFB and other emergency services.
The Inquiry’s Phase 2 hearings began in January 2020. Phase 2 will examine the organisation and management of the LFB, especially in relation to the formulation of policy in the light of experience, the arrangements for training firefighters and control room staff, and the arrangements for sharing information about the problems associated with fighting fires in high-rise buildings. This is as well as the circumstances and causes of the disaster, which allowed the fire to spread in the way identified in Phase 1.
Our inspection will assess:
- To what extent the governance arrangements put in place by the commissioner of the LFB are effective at ensuring progress against the action plan for implementing the recommendations. This includes how the LFB is preparing for the changes required by recommendations that are not directed solely at the LFB or other emergency services.(The review will not consider governance arrangements put in place by the Mayor of London and Greater London Assembly.)
- What progress the LFB has made to address each of the in-scope recommendations in the action plan.
We will undertake the following activities:
- document review: including any new policies, procedures and training plans introduced to respond to any of the recommendations;
- data review: assessing any national or LFB data related to the progress of the action plan;
- interviews: with senior officers and staff, action owners and other interested parties (including representative bodies, bereaved and survivor’s families);
- staff survey: we will consider a staff survey for certain recommendations; and
- independent reporting line: a channel for fire and rescue service staff to confidentially pass information to HMICFRS.
We will conduct inspection activity within any restrictions imposed in response to COVID-19.
We will develop an engagement and communication plan in relation to interested parties. This will include groups representing survivors and bereaved families.
There is an ongoing investigation led by the Metropolitan Police Service. HMICFRS have liaised with the senior investigating officer and will share the inspection’s terms of reference.
HMICFRS will report the findings from our review to the Home Secretary by January 2021.