KCSC has been forwarded the latest community update on the Grenfell environmental checks. In the update the Environmental Team outline the process for selecting a specialist to undertake Stage 2 and the independent oversight of the programme.
The Team suggest that if you would like more information about the environmental checks or have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch in the following ways:
- Attending the regular drop-in event held every Wednesday between 10am and 2pm at The Curve, 10 Bard Road, London W10 6TP
- Emailing the team on: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Calling the team on: 0303 444 0078
Grenfell Environmental Checks - Update on Stage 2 Procurement
Stage 1 of the two-stage environmental checks into potential land contamination around the Grenfell Tower site was carried out over the spring and summer of 2019 and a full report on the results was published in October. The first stage of environmental checks showed that there is no increased risk to health from the aftermath of the fire, and the levels of chemicals found in the soil are consistent with those generally found in London.
You can read the full Stage 1 report here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/grenfell-environmental-checks-stage-1-report.
Stage 2, which will involve carrying out further soil sampling leading to a detailed health risk assessment, will proceed as planned so we can provide further reassurance to you on any potential risk to public health.
Stage 2 procurement
The process to hire a specialist to undertake Stage 2 of the environmental checks is underway using the Homes England Multi-disciplinary Technical Services Framework. This enables several specialist companies who have the right experience to deliver Stage 2 to bid for the work, while ensuring we progress with Stage 2 as quickly as possible. We expect the procurement for the new specialist to be completed in the spring.
You can find out more about the Framework here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/technical-panels by scrolling down to the section on the multi-disciplinary panel 2019 – 2023.
The procurement process has taken into account feedback gathered during the Stage 1 community events, attendance at meetings and drop-in sessions, as well as from responses to our community updates and articles in North Ken News. You told us:
• Want to be kept informed on the process
• Want us to be open and transparent throughout
• Felt an approved list of suppliers (also known as a ‘framework’) would enable several appropriately qualified independent specialists to bid
We also asked if you would like to be involved in the procurement process. A number of residents put themselves forward and we met them in October and December to discuss how best to achieve this.
The involved residents:
• Have contributed ideas to the community engagement activities, for example suggesting a site walkover and an easy-to-understand version of the report, which are now included as requirements in the tender documents.
• Will review the specialists’ responses on community engagement and interview them on their approach.
• Have made sure the importance of community engagement is recognised and evaluated as a stand-alone element.
• Advised that observing the full evaluation process may place potential pressure on individuals given the need to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and we therefore agreed that this would not be progressed.
The Science Advisory Group (SAG), an independent group of scientific experts, reviewed AECOM’s Technical Note 18 – Stage 2 Design (see full Stage 1 report) and were content with the approach proposed. This has informed the tender documents.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has appointed a new chief scientific adviser, Professor Alan Penn. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) also has a new chief scientific adviser, Professor Gideon Henderson. They will provide the day-to-day scientific advice and oversight of Stage 2 of the environmental checks. They will liaise with the Chair of SAG, Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, and SAG members.
Dr Paul Nathanail of Land Quality Management Limited, the independent National Quality Mark Suitably Qualified Person (SQP), reviewed all the tender documents. The role of an independent SQP in checking the specialists’ work will continue during Stage 2.
If any of you are concerned about your health, please contact your GP and ask about the enhanced health check, which is available to you. This is designed to find any early signs of health problems or underlying health conditions. Further information and advice can be found here: https://www.grenfell.nhs.uk/physical-health/enhanced-health-check
The Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service can provide support to children and adults affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. You can find out more here: https://grenfellwellbeing.com/
You can find out more about the environmental checks by:
• Attending the regular drop-in event held every Wednesday between 10am and 2pm at The Curve, 10 Bard Road, London W10 6TP
• Emailing the team on: email@example.com
• Calling the team on: 0303 444 0078
• Asking us to meet with you or to attend a community meeting.
• Visiting: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/soil-and-environmental-checks
• Downloading the Nextdoor app or visit www.nextdoor.co.uk and search for Grenfell Community Updates – HM Government.