Building and fire safety working group minutes: December 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the ministerial working group on building and fire safety that took place on 6 December 2018.

Attendees and apologies


  • Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government (Chair)
  • Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning
  • Minister for Community Safety
  • Stephen Gallagher, Director for Local Government & Communities
  • Stephen Garvin, Head of Building Standards
  • Wendy Wilkinson, Deputy Director Safer Communities Division
  • Tom Hardy, Safer Communities Division
  • Connie Smith, Safer Communities Division
  • David Signorini, Head of Better Homes
  • Stephen Garland, Head of Housing Sustainability Unit
  • David McGown, SFRS Assistant Chief Officer
  • Stuart Stevens, SFRS Area Manager
  • Graeme Fraser, HM Fire Service Inspectorate
  • Jonathan Moore, Head of Construction Procurement
  • Alan Morrison, Health Finance
  • John Connelly, Health Facilities Scotland
  • Bill Connelly, Health Facilities Scotland
  • Jessica McPherson, Building Standards
  • Shona Harper, Building Standards
  • William Hamilton, Building Standards
  • Eilidh MacPherson, Building Standards
  • Emma Innocent, Communications


  • Lesley Fraser, Director Housing & Social Justice
  • Christine McLaughlin, Director Health Finance
  • Simon Routh-Jones, HM Fire Service Inspectorate
  • Tom Steele, Health Facilities Scotland

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 27 September were agreed and published.

Update on previously agreed action points:

  1. SG officials to present the final paper [on the Fire Regime Review] to the next MWG meeting. COMPLETED discussed further at item 5.
  2. SG officials to update Ministers following discussions with contractors on securing completion of the [high-rise domestic buildings] inventory.  COMPLETED officials met with Mr Stewart and have provided further briefing since the last meeting.  Discussed further at item 4.
  3. SG officials to provide a comprehensive update on progress against the recommendations of the reports into building and fire safety and other work of the policy forum.  COMPLETED discussed further at item 2 (in respect of building standards) and item 3 (in respect of construction procurement).
  4. Policy leads to be invited to attend the next MWG in December to provide updates on the progress of the work in their areas.  COMPLETED Stephen Garvin and Jonathan Moore to provide updates in item 2 and item 3.
  5. Programme of improvement to building standards to be presented to the MWG at next meeting. COMPLETED discussed further at item 2.

2. Building Standards: Programme of improvement to building standards

Officials provided an overview analysis of the consultation paper and proposed next steps within building standards. Overall 222 responses were received to the building standards compliance and fire safety consultation. The responses were primarily in agreement with the recommendations. Officials will now commence implementation of each of the agreed recommendations.

It was agreed that a Futures Board would be established to oversee and direct a programme of work that will implement the recommendations from the two building standard reviews.  The overarching aim will be to improve key aspects of the building standards system including compliance and enforcement, verification for complex fire solutions and workforce development

Action point 1: Officials to set out a detailed programme for the work of the Futures Board.

3. Construction procurement

Officials from Construction Procurement attended the meeting to provide Ministers with an update on progress of work on public sector procurement in construction, including progress with implementing the Construction Procurement Review and publication of the Construction Procurement Handbook.

Other supporting initiatives were highlighted, the first of which aims to improve understanding and develop better foundations for future development between Scottish Government and construction sector.  The second aims to develop and disseminate best practice guidance on building quality management, through the Construction Quality Initiative Project.

Action point 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

4. Inventory of high-rise domestic buildings

Officials updated the MWG on the progress of work to complete the inventory report and sought agreement of the MWG to an ongoing electronic inventory, to be hosted by the Scottish Government and updated annually with information from stakeholders. 

Action point 3: SG officials to keep Ministers updated as work progresses.

5. Fire regime review

Following the last meeting of the MWG where SG officials set out the background and methodology for the review, officials presented the final report.  The final report was approved by the MWG.  The report sets out six recommendations which will be implemented by the end of 2019.

Action point 4: SG officials to report progress at the next MWG meeting.

6. Co-ordination team update

It was noted that the work programme of the MWG has been completed with the final recommendations of the three reviews agreed at this meeting.  The MWG group agreed that as work moves to implementation phase regular progress reporting to Ministers was required.

White goods safety campaign

Representatives from SFRS provided the MWG with an update on progress of its white goods campaign.  Work has been progressing well with funding identified for a high profile campaign which will go live in January 2019 through various media channels and remain ongoing.

NHS update

Work on the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital to replace ACM cladding on the adult hospital  building is ongoing although the Children’s hospital cladding replacement is now complete.

UK Government liaison

Regular contact with the UK Government continues and matters of importance will continue to be brought to Ministers’ attention.

7. AOB and date of future meetings

As work programmes are now moving to the implementation stage, it was agreed that it is appropriate to reduce the frequency of meetings.  The MWG will move to bi-annual meetings but with flexibility to convene quickly if required.  Portfolio Ministers should continue to receive regular written updates.

The MWG agreed the next meeting would be scheduled for the 25 April 2019.




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The Scottish Government
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Regent Road
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