Building and fire safety working group minutes: September 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety that took place on 27 September 2018.

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
  • Tom Hardy, Safer Communities Division
  • Stephen Garland, Head of Housing Sustainability Unit
  • Stuart Stevens, SFRS Area Manager
  • Brian McKenzie, HM Fire Service Inspectorate
  • Tom Steele, Health Facilities Scotland
  • Alan Morrison, Health Finance
  • Chris Booth,  Safer Communities Division
  • Jessica McPherson, Building and Fire Safety Coordination Team
  • Shona Harper, Building and Fire Safety Coordination Team
  • William Hamilton, Building and Fire Safety Coordination Team


  • Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government (Chair)
  • Lesley Fraser, Director Housing & Social Justice
  • Christine McLaughlin, Director Health Finance
  • Stephen Gallagher, Interim Director for Local Government & Communities
  • David Signorini, Head of Better Homes
  • Simon Routh-Jones, HM Fire Service Inspectorate
  • David McGown, SFRS Assistant Chief Officer
  • Bill Connolly, 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 Wednesday 13 June were agreed and published.

Update on previously agreed action points:

  1. High-rise Building Inventory - SG officials to prepare a full options paper for Ministerial consideration/discussion at the next scheduled MWG meeting in September. COMPLETED discussed further at item 3.
  2. SG officials to provide an interim update of the Fire Regime Review at the next MWG meeting in September. COMPLETED discussed further at item 2.
  3. External Wall Insulation (EWI) - SG officials to continue to pursue further information returns from property factors. ONGOING

2. Fire Regime Review interim paper

Officials updated the MWG on progress that has been made in undertaking the Fire Regime Review in Scotland and the proposals for the completion of the work.  The draft report sought the views of the MWG on proposed recommendations to be developed further for the final report to be presented at the next MWG in December.

Initial review found there to be no gaps on Scottish regulations, although did highlight areas that could be improved with six recommendations.  

Action point 1: SG officials to present the final paper to the next MWG meeting.

3. Inventory of high-rise domestic buildings

Officials provided an update to the MWG on the progress of work to complete the inventory and the challenges encountered regarding the data collection exercise itself.  Senior officials are to hold further discussions shortly with contractors to discuss options for swift completion.  These discussions will help inform final report for MWG. 

Action point 2: SG Officials to update Ministers following discussions with contractors on securing completion of the inventory.

3. Review of building safety reports and actions

Officials provided an information paper and update to the MWG following a review of recommendations from a range of reports into building and fire safety.  This was to provide assurance to the MWG that appropriate action was taking place across the Scottish Government.

A significant amount of work addressing issues covered has taken place under the work programme of the MWG which is nearing completion.  Other actions fall within usual business across relevant policy areas. A policy forum is being established to ensure cross-policy working across the Scottish Government continues and that all recommendations are actioned.

Action point 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 policy forum.

Action point 4: Policy leads to be invited attend the next MWG in December to provide updates on progress of the work in their areas.

4. Co-ordination team update

Building standards consultation

Consultation closed on 26 September, with a strong response rate of over 200 submissions. Stakeholder events were well attended by a wide selection of industry including academia and local authorities.  Analysis of the consultation is due to be completed by end of November following which officials will prepare a plan and timescales for implementing improvements.

Action point 5: Programme of improvement to building standards to be presented to the MWG at next meeting. 

Smoke and fire alarms

It is expected that legislation will be laid in Parliament in December.  SG officials are working with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on an awareness raising campaign to highlight changes to current requirements this will introduce.

Commitment to take forward legislation on sprinklers

An options paper is to be submitted to the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning in due course.  This will take account of ongoing work on building standards and the conclusions of the consultation.

NHS update

Work on the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital to replace ACM cladding on main building is underway.  Children’s hospital cladding replacement progressing well.

Fire doors

SG officials continue to have regular liaison with UK counterparts.  Investigations, led by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government are continuing.  A wider discussion on product testing is to take place at a senior official level within the next few weeks with the UK Government.

5. AOB & date of future meetings

The MWG agreed the next meeting would be scheduled for the 6 December 2018.




Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
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