Building and fire safety working group minutes: April 2019

Minutes of the meeting of the ministerial working group on building and fire safety that took place on 25 April 2019.

Attendees and apologies


  • Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning (acting Chair)
  • Minister for Community Safety
  • Stephen Garvin, Head of Building Standards
  • Wendy Wilkinson, Deputy Director Safer Communities Division
  • David Signorini, Head of Better Homes
  • Scott Bell, Head of Procurement Development and Construction Review Division
  • Tom Hardy, Safer Communities Division
  • Stephen Garland, Better Homes Division
  • Ross Haggart, SFRS Assistant Chief Officer
  • Stuart Stevens, SFRS Area Manager
  • Graeme Fraser, HM Fire Service Inspectorate
  • Connie Smith, Safer Communities Division
  • Alan Morrison, Health Finance
  • Tom Steele, Health Facilities Scotland
  • Bill Connolly, Health Facilities Scotland
  • Jess McPherson, Building Standards
  • Shona Harper, Building Standards
  • William Hamilton, Building Standards
  • Eilidh Macpherson, Building Standards


  • Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government (Chair)
  • Lesley Fraser, Director Housing & Social Justice
  • Stephen Gallagher, Director Local Government & Communities
  • Simon Routh-Jones, HM Fire Service Inspectorate

Items and actions

1. Welcome and action points from previous meeting

It was noted that the minutes of the previous Ministerial Working Group (MWG) meeting held on Thursday 6 December were agreed and published.

Update on previously agreed action points:

  1. SG officials to set out a detailed programme for the work of the Futures Board. COMPLETED - discussed further at item 6.
  2. SG officials to provide Ministers with a timeline and breakdown of what information will be published through the construction procurement handbook in its different stages. COMPLETED - discussed further at item 2.
  3. SG officials to keep Ministers updated as work progresses on the inventory of high-rise domestic buildings. COMPLETED - discussed further at item 3.
  4. SG officials to report progress at the next MWG with respect to the fire regime review. COMPLETED - discussed further at item 4.

 2. Construction procurement: update 

Officials from Construction Procurement attended the meeting to provide Ministers with an update on progress of work on public sector procurement in construction. The publication of the revised Construction Manual comprising a series of handbooks covering specific stages of the construction process is continuing and is to be complete by the end of summer 2019.  Other initiatives aimed at sharing best practice and developing strong relationships across the sector were also highlighted.

A pilot of the Construction Procurement Capability Assessment was launched in April. This will enable contracting authorities to assess their level of expertise to ensure consideration is given on the required resources to successfully deliver their construction project. 

Action point 1: Consideration to be given by construction procurement colleagues on how to disseminate information/best practice in addition to the issuing of Construction Procurement Notes.

3. Inventory of high-rise domestic buildings: update

Officials provided an update on the Inventory of High-rise Domestic Buildings. A pilot of a revised approach is to be undertaken and following its successful conclusion it is expected that the inventory will be completed by the end of summer 2019. The inventory is to be updated annually with the expectation that information coverage will increase over time. 

4. Fire regime review: update

Officials provided an update on the work being undertaken to take forward the recommendations of the fire regime review. A public consultation entitled ‘Strengthening Fire Safety for High Rise Domestic Buildings’ was launched and will run until 17 July with a report will be produced in early autumn 2019. A programme of engagement events is planned for people who live in, and those who are responsible for, high-rise buildings. These are expected to be held in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It was also suggested that MSPs with high-rise buildings in their constituency be advised of the consultation so they may make residents aware.

Action point 2: SG officials to prepare a letter regarding consultation for issue to MSPs with domestic high-rise buildings within their constituency.

Action point 3: Officials to ensure programme of engagement events also covers North and South Lanarkshire.

5. Overview of UK reviews

Officials provided an overview of progress by the UK Government on the implementation of recommendations from the Dame Judith Hackitt report and issues of particular interest to Scotland. An update on the implementation of the recommendations of the building standards reviews was also provided. 

It was noted that officials continue to liaise with those from both UK and Welsh Governments on relevant building and fire safety matters.

Action point 4: Letters to be drafted to provide an update on the work being undertaking in Scotland for the UK and Welsh Governments and Dame Judith Hackitt.

6. MWG programme of work: update

Futures Board

Officials advised that the first meeting of the Futures Board is scheduled to take place on the 14 May 2019. The purpose of this first meeting is to provide an overview with position papers being provided on workstreams to be reviewed. It is envisaged that the next meeting will take place soon afterwards providing a fuller work plan moving forward.

Action point 5: Copies of the Futures Board papers to be shared with Ministers in advance of the meeting.

Construction Quality Initiative 

Officials provided an update on the Construction Quality Initiative (CQI) that was initiated by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) and now being taken forward in partnership with the Scottish Government’s Building Standards Division. Across four sites the initiative seeks to measure and gather evidence of onsite interventions that can lead to increased quality of construction and then share the learning to effect culture and practice change.

White goods safety campaign

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) representatives provided an update on their white goods campaign, "If you’re asleep or not in – it’s just not on”. It has now commenced and the first broadcast of the TV advert took place on 22 March with print adverts published between the 22 March and 31 March. A full evaluation of the campaign is still to take place, but the initial analysis indicates broad reach.

NHS update

Work on the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital to replace ACM cladding on the adult hospital building is ongoing and is expected to be completed by July 2019. 

7. Any other business and date of future meetings

The MWG agreed the next meeting would be scheduled for the 10 October 2019.

Building and fire safety working group minutes: April 2019



Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
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