Cameron House Hotel Short Life Working Group: terms of reference
- Local Government and Housing Directorate
Terms of reference and remit for the short life working group.
The Cameron House Hotel Short Life Working Group (The Group) has been created to examine the report and recommendations following on from the Scottish Court and Tribunal Service (SCTS) Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI). The recommendations of the report are set out in annex A. The membership of the Group is set out in Annex B.
On Monday 18th December 2017 the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) were called to a building fire at Cameron House Hotel. Two people, Simon Midgley and Richard Dyson, lost their lives in the fire due to exposure to smoke and fire gases.
A joint fire investigation took place with SFRS and Police Scotland that SFRS have informed the Scottish Government was particularly complex. The investigation report on the incident was submitted to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service’s Health and Safety Investigation Unit on 31 October 2019. In January 2021 Cameron House Resort (Loch Lomond) Ltd was fined after admitting breaches of fire safety rules. An employee, a night porter at the premises also pled guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Following this, an independent Crown Office review concluded that an FAI should be held into the deaths of Richard Dyson and Simon Midgley. The FAI determination reported on 11 January 2023. The report confirmed how the fire started, spread and how Mr Dyson and Mr Midgley lost their lives.
Purpose of the Group
The Group provides an opportunity for relevant parties to meet together to consider the report and its recommendations in the round rather than as individual items. This includes, as relevant, the identification and examination of the short and longer term approaches to manage the risks set out in the FAI Report.
The Group will meet to consider the issues involved and to provide a report for Ministers and other stakeholders on how the response to each recommendation will be taken forward by the organisation(s) to which it is directed.
The Group has been set up under the oversight of Scottish Ministers and will report to Ministers through the Building and Fire Safety Ministerial Working Group and through copies of meeting notes and additional briefing as required.
The Group meetings will be chaired by Senior Civil Servants. Scottish Government officials will administer the Group, set up meetings, prepare the agenda, coordinate meeting papers and prepare meeting notes. Members may provide meeting papers or be asked to provide meeting papers. Members can also comment on meeting notes in advance of finalisation.
All meeting papers may be subject to Freedom of Information requests and therefore proactive publication of meeting notes will be undertaken.
Membership of the Group may be expanded subject to agreement of the current Group members and Scottish Ministers to ensure the Group is able to engage in the nature and detail of discussion required to deliver on its objectives.
The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) addressed the recommendations of the FAI report to specific organisations. Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 were addressed to the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) and UK Hospitality (UKH). Recommendations 4 and 5 were addressed to the Scottish Government. Recommendation 6 was addressed to SFRS. Involvement in the SLWG does not absolve any organisation of responsibility for progress on their relevant recommendations.
The terms of reference recognise that tourism and hospitality industry organisations (the STA and UKH) have no enforcement power to mandate actions from others, but will seek the best outcomes by addressing the delivery of each recommendation through the levers and influence available to their organisation.
Group remit and responsibilities
- to discuss the report of the Cameron House Hotel, Fatal Accident Inquiry, in particular:
- to consider the findings as set out in the report
- to provide an overall framework and approach to addressing each recommendation
- to be clear on the roles and responsibilities for the parties addressing each recommendation
- to work collaboratively to identify strategies and approaches to addressing the recommendations
- to provide a forum for hotel and hospitality industry to advise on the changes to industry good practice and guidance in the short and long terms
- to consider introducing, for future conversions of historic buildings to be used as hotel accommodation, a requirement to have active fire suppression systems installed
- to constitute an expert working group to more fully explore the special risks which existing hotels and similar premises may pose through the presence of hidden cavities or voids, varying standards of workmanships, age, and the variance from current standards and to consider revising the guidance provided by the Scottish Government and others
- to provide a forum for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to advise how they are addressing the recommendation regarding the time-period between a fire safety audit inspection and the issue of a written outcome report
- to support joint working between government, local authorities, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and industry representatives in response to the FAI report
- to discuss potential improvements to industry practice and guidance, building regulations and guidance
- to report to Scottish Ministers on progress without undue delay
- to provide a framework to respond to the recommendations of the FAI report that manages risk in the short and longer term and provides tangible improvement over the current situations
The Group shall consist of representatives from Scottish Government, local government, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and industry and other organisations.
The forum shall be co-chaired by the Scottish Government’s Head of Building Standards Division, Stephen Garvin and by the Head of Safer Communities Division, Mo Rooney.
Meetings are expected to take place on a frequent basis over a short period.
Meetings will normally be hosted virtually by the Scottish Government.
Annex A: FAI recommendations
- Owners or operators of hotels or similar sleeping accommodation in Scotland should, where appropriate for their operation, have in place up to date and robust procedures, informed by an assessment of risks, to ensure that ash from open fires in hotels is removed and disposed of in a safe manner, thereby avoiding the risk of fires being started by the careless disposal of ash
- Owners or operators of hotels or similar sleeping accommodation in Scotland should ensure that clear and robust arrangements are in place for promptly ensuring all persons are accounted for in the event of evacuation of such accommodation in the event of a fire, such arrangements, where possible, to address foreseeable contingencies such as difficulties in accessing guest lists, or inclement weather
- Owners or operators of hotels or similar sleeping accommodation in Scotland should ensure that robust arrangements are in place to ensure that all staff (including in particular, night-shift staff) have experience of evacuation drills which may, for example, involve night-time staff being asked to attend a day-time evacuation drill and/or mock drills taking place during “night shift” hours
- The Scottish Government should consider introducing for future conversions of historic buildings to be used as hotel accommodation a requirement to have active fire suppression systems installed
- The Scottish Government should constitute an expert working group to more fully explore the special risks which existing hotels and similar premises may pose through the presence of hidden cavities or voids, varying standards of workmanships, age, and the variance from current standards and to consider revising the guidance provided by the Scottish Government and others
- Scottish Fire and Rescue Service should reduce the time-period between a fire safety audit inspection and the issue of a written outcome report
Annex B: membership
- The Scottish Government
- The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
- Historic Environment Scotland
- National Trust for Scotland
- UK Hospitality
- The Scottish Tourism Alliance
- Historic Houses
- Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
- Local Authority Building Standards Scotland
- The Scottish Bed and Breakfast Association
- Hostelling Scotland
- The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers
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