24/10/2017 - Published by

Lord Kerslake is charing an independent review into Greater Manchester’s preparedness and response to the Manchester Arena attack.

Lord Kerslake is currently Chair of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London and was previously Head of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has committed to carrying out an open, honest and independent review that puts the families of the victims and all those injured and affected at the forefront.

He said: “It is now a few months since the horrific terror attack at the Manchester Arena that claimed the lives of 22 innocent people and deeply affected so many others. We are all still coming to terms with the enormity of what happened. But we all continue to take great comfort and hope from the response of the people of Greater Manchester, who have shown great strength and unity.

“This atrocious attack on our city was an unprecedented incident. The bravery and professionalism shown by the emergency services and many others that night was outstanding. The leaders of our public services had run planning exercises only weeks before the attack and, thanks to their actions, our city was ready to respond.

“But, as with any major incident, it is right to take an honest look at what happened so that the right lessons can be learned for the future and this review will help us be even better prepared in the future and allow us to share our learning with other parts of the country.

“It’s great to have someone of Lord Kerslake’s stature and considerable experience to carry out this important review.”

The review is underway and Baroness Beverley Hughes, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, will lead the review on behalf of the Mayor, supported by the National College of Policing and the Greater Manchester Resilience Forum.

The Peace Foundation met with Lord Kerslake’s representative, the Archdeacon of Manchester, the Revd Karen Lund at the Peace Centre in Warrington.  The Foundation was part of the initial response in the early hours following the attack and continues to play a major role in the recovery through the deployment of its Survivors Assistance Network (SAN) and education and cohesion projects across the northern communities.

Chief Executive, Nick Taylor said: “The response in Manchester was magnificent, but this has been one of the most testing and difficult incidents we have ever dealt with and we welcome the chance to review all that happened to see what we cna learn for the future.”

Anyone affected by the Manchester attack can receive support by contacting the Survivors Assistance Network.

Lord Kerslake trained as an accountant and worked at the Greater London Council, the Inner London Educational Authority and the London Borough of Hounslow in finance roles before becoming Chief Executive of the London Borough of Hounslow in 1990. In 1997 he became Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council.

From 2008 to 2010 he was Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, and in September 2010 he was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Department for Communities and Local Government. He was also Head of the Civil Service from January 2012 until September 2014.

Lord Kerslake said: “I want the families of those who have died, those who were injured, the emergency services, and the wider public to be confident that the review will be independent, transparent and rigorous. I am committed to working with all the relevant people and organisations to ensure this is the case.”