A council leader and a former London borough chief executive are among the members on the Grenfell recovery taskforce sent in to Kensington & Chelsea RBC.
Sajid Javid has announced details of the independent taskforce which will develop and implement a long-term recovery plan following the Grenfell Tower fire.
The taskforce, which was announced earlier this month in response to calls for formal intervention in the west London borough, will provide assurance to the communities secretary that the local authority has the capacity and capability to deliver that plan.
The taskforce members are:
- Aftab Chughtai, chair of the West Midlands Police independent advisory group;
- Javed Khan, chief executive of Barnardo’s who was Harrow LBC’s director of community and cultural services in 2007, and director of education before that;
- Baroness Scott (Con), leader of Wiltshire Council;
- Chris Wood, partner at Altair housing consultancy, and former Newham LBC chief executive
The taskforce members have been chosen due to their experience in local government, housing, and the voluntary sector as well as a track record of effectively engaging local communities in key projects, the Department for Communities & Local Government said.
However, the taskforce’s remit and composition “might need to develop” based on what its members report back to government.
In the taskforce’s terms of reference, it said interim chief executive Barry Quirk ”retains all the responsibilities of a chief executive and head of paid service including those of resource allocation”, while the council “is still responsible for delivering all the services expected of a local authority”.
Among the priorities for the taskforce are to ensure “the right leadership and governance arrangements are in place across the council”, DCLG said.
It added the taskforce will ensure the borough has arrangements in place to engage with the local community on the long-term recovery plans, and address immediate housing needs.
The taskforce, which will be based in Kensington & Chelsea’s offices and supported by a secretariat in DCLG, has also been asked to help the council improve its housing management “including addressing weaknesses” in the Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation.
A plan for the Grenfell Tower site will also be developed.
The taskforce’s members will meet to agree further priorities in the next few weeks with a view to filing its initial report by the end of October 2017, DCLG said.
It added there is to be a “managed transition” from the Gold Command Grenfell response team to the council over the next few months.
The taskforce will be in place for as long as the communities secretary considers necessary.