BRE’s Bonfield to advise on immediate actions post-Grenfell

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a new independent expert panel to advise on measures to be put in place following the Grenfell Tower fire.

It will recommend any immediate action required to address safety concerns in public and private buildings with its first meeting taking place later this week.

The advisory panel comprises a range of building and fire safety experts, including Dr Peter Bonfield, chief executive of the Building Research Establishment, Amanda Clack, EY partner and president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and Roy Wilsher, chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council. It will be chaired by Sir Ken Knight, former government chief fire and rescue adviser.

It will also “draw in wider technical expertise as necessary to inform their advice to the Communities Secretary”, a statement from the Department for Communities and Local Government said.

A separate independent public inquiry is to investigate what caused the fire and who was responsible.

Javid said: “It’s absolutely right that there will be an independent public inquiry to get to the truth about what happened and who was responsible for the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

“However, I want to know if there are measures we can put in place now to keep people safe and I want them done immediately. I want the public to be confident everything possible is being done.

“That is why I am announcing a new expert advisory panel to advise government on any immediate action that is required to ensure all buildings are safe.”

Bonfield said: “It is important that the best expertise from across our industry, the research communities, the professions and the public sector is drawn out to support the government and society at this critical time of need.

“I look forward to working with Sir Ken and drawing in expertise which will help address the challenges faced. I know that the will to positively contribute from professional bodies and others is strong and we will deploy this to support our work.”