People caught up in the devastating attack on the Manchester Arena in May will be at the heart of the independent review of the incident, set up by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham in July.
Lord Bob Kerslake will lead the panel looking at how prepared the city was and how it responded to the atrocity.
Four further experts have now been appointed to the panel, which is expected to publish its initial findings in January 2018, with a final report and any recommendations expected a few months later in April.
In commissioning the review, the Mayor said:
“I set out my intention to put those affected by the attack at the forefront of the review when I appointed Lord Kerslake to lead it and I wholeheartedly believe he has all the right experience and knowledge to ensure it is done.
“There were thousands who were affected in some way by this terrible, terrible event. I see that a key part of the role of the chair is to make sure that their voices are heard as part of this review. They will have insights and ideas that won’t necessarily be available to the emergency services.”
Lord Kerslake said:
“I am determined to put people at the heart of this independent review which has been commissioned by the Mayor and aims to establish exactly what happened on the night and the days that followed. There is a separate group which is focusing on how the city’s recovery was and continues to be managed, but we will look in detail at how prepared the city was for a terrorist attack and how it responded in those initial moments. It is important that anyone who has any information which will help us to understand the full and factual picture comes forward to help.”
The panel is expected to open a six week window at the beginning of October when anyone affected by the attack, including the families of the 22 people who lost their lives and those who were injured, will be able to provide information from their point of view. Emergency services staff will also be able to provide an opinion if they wish.
Lord Kerslake added:
“I am determined to make sure everyone who wishes to contribute information, evidence or comment generally on their experience of that night or the days after is able to. There will be a number of key lines of enquiry established to help us get to the facts of what happened before we’re able to properly understand how prepared we were and whether we could have done better. If the latter is true it’s important we’re able to make recommendations about lessons that need to be learned for the future.”
The full list of panel members is:
• Lord Kerslake: chair with health sector and local and central government experience
• Margareta Wahlstrom: expertise in international disaster risk reduction and the United Nations Making Cities Resilient Campaign
• Ven Karen Lund: advocate for local communities with a particular interest in mental health
• Alan Goodwin: expertise in humanitarian assistance in emergencies and policing
• Hugh Deeming: academic with special interest in community resilience
The aims of the panel, as agreed by the Mayor acting in his capacity as Police and Crime Commissioner, include providing an independent review of how prepared Greater Manchester was for the attack.
The panel is specifically tasked with identifying the elements of the preparation and response that worked well, as well as quickly identifying where improvements can be made. This will help responders be better prepared in the future and protect the lives of Greater Manchester’s residents and visitors in the months and years to come. The review will be part of an ongoing process and any recommendations that are made will be followed up so that any lessons identified are not lost.
The final report in April will advise on areas of particular effectiveness and any that might inform future good practice, as well as on what steps might be taken on areas that could be strengthened or improved.