Southwark Council’s Eleanor Kelly visits Ipswich to speak about lessons learnt from Grenfell and the London Bridge terror attack

Public leaders from across Suffolk meet with Eleanor Kelly. Picture:

Public leaders from across Suffolk meet with Eleanor Kelly. Picture: - Credit: Archant

A London council chief executive who oversaw the aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack and played a major role in the response to the Grenfell Tower fire has been in Suffolk to share vital lessons learnt from the tragedies.

Eleanor Kelly, the chief executive of Southwark Council, helped to support the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the aftermath of the fire and helped to coordinate support for those affected by it.

Ms Kelly met with the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders group during her visit to Ipswich. The group consists of leaders and chief executives from Suffolk’s eight councils as well as the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Chief Constable, the cabinet member for public protection as well as the chief fire officer and representatives from Suffolk’s Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Ms Kelly said: “Suffolk has been really proactive and is one of the first areas seeking to learn the lessons from the Grenfell Tower disaster.

“What happened in Kensington last year was something that will stay with the people affected, and the people who worked to help them, for the rest of their lives.

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“We must learn lessons from every emergency situation, and following the Grenfell tragedy, local government and its partners need to really challenge themselves about how well they understand and listen to local communities, as well as ensuring they have solid plans in place for any future emergency.”

The leaders met to discuss the importance of public sector organisations knowing their communities and how they will react if a major incident happens.

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As well as listening to what people need and focusing communications on victims in such situations.

Since the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has inspected more than 100 high-rise buildings across the county and has practised its response to such incidents in Ipswich and Lowestoft.

New sprinkler systems have been installed, or are soon to be installed, in high rise buildings both by Ipswich Borough Council and Waveney District Council to reassure residents.

Ms Kelly’s visit was organised through the Suffolk Local Resilience Forum, which has the responsibility of overseeing emergency planning arrangements in Suffolk.

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