DD1321 7/7 Anniversary Memorial

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD1321
Date signed: 
23 March 2015
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

This year, 2015, is the 10th Anniversary of the London Bombings which took place on 7 July 2005. To commemorate this, it is proposed to stage an appropriate and respectful series of memorials on 7 July 2015, in a tribute of remembrance and honour to the people killed and injured and their families, and to the first responders and other members of the public who were intimately involved in the event and /or the aftermath.

This decision requests approval of expenditure to cover consultation activity taking place in this financial year.

Decision

That the Executive Director approves:
•    Expenditure of up to £10,000 to cover consultation activity for the 7/7 Anniversary project;
•    Entry into a contract for Communication and Consultation services in relation to dealings with the families involved in the event, and a related exemption from the requirement of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code to seek three or more quotations or call off the services from a framework.
•    Entry into a contract with St Paul’s Cathedral, and a related exemption from the requirement of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code to seek three or more quotations or call off the services from a framework.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1.    The 7 July 2005 London bombings (often referred to as 7/7) were a series of coordinated suicide attacks in central London, which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour.

1.2.    On the morning of Thursday 7 July 2005, four British Islamist men detonated four bombs—three in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. As well as the four bombers, 52 civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks, the United Kingdom's worst terrorist incident since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing as well as the country's first ever suicide attack.

    Memorials
1.3.    Since the bombings, the United Kingdom and other nations have honoured the victims in several ways. Most of these memorials have included moments of silence, candlelit vigils, and the laying of flowers at the attack sites. Foreign leaders have also remembered the dead by ordering their flags to be flown at half-mast, signing books of condolences at embassies of the UK, and issuing messages of support and condolences to the British people.

1.4.    The government ordered the Union Flag to be flown at half-mast on 8 July 2005. The following day, the Bishop of London led prayers for the victims during a service paying tribute to the role of women during the Second World War. A vigil, called by the Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Muslim Association of Britain, was held from 5 pm, at Friends Meeting House on Euston Road.

1.5.    A two-minute silence was held on 14 July 2005 throughout Europe. Thousands attended a vigil at 6 pm on Trafalgar Square. After an initial silence there was a series of speakers for two hours. A memorial service was held at St Paul's Cathedral on 1 November 2005. To mark the first anniversary of the attack, a two-minute silence was observed at midday across the country. 

1.6.    A permanent memorial was unveiled in 2009 by Prince Charles in Hyde Park to mark the fourth anniversary of the bombings. 

1.7.    During the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, a minute's silence was held to remember those killed in the attacks.

1.8.    The present proposal concerns the plans to commemorate the 10th Anniversary memorials.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1.    The objective of the project is to stage an appropriate and respectful series of memorials on 7 July 2015, the 10th anniversary, in a tribute of remembrance and honour to the people killed and injured and their families, and to the first responders and other members of the public who were intimately involved in the event and the aftermath.

2.2.    Memorial events such as this one have national and indeed international significance.  The prime consideration will remain the needs and expectations of the families directly affected. 

2.3.    Many people will wish to retain privacy and control over what they choose to do, visiting Hyde Park, the scenes of the bombings and places of worship, for example, as well or instead of any official events.

2.4.    The expected outcomes are as follows:

•    To create a clear and open channel of communication with the families to ensure all their wishes and objectives are at the forefront of the plans
•    To stage a multi-faith service at St Paul’s Cathedral
•    To provide refreshments for families and survivors at The Guildhall
•    To provide quiet and private areas at Aldgate, Edgware Road, Russell Square and Tavistock Square for private reflection
•    To stage a private and quiet service at The Hyde Park Memorial

2.5.    As noted above, part of the day will involve a multi-faith service at St Paul’s Cathedral and refreshments for families and survivors at The Guildhall.  St Paul’s Cathedral is unique in its appropriateness and ability to accommodate the desired number of attendees; The Guildhall similarly is unique in being able to provide the desired available space to hold refreshments in the close vicinity to St Paul’s.     

2.6.    In order to deliver the above objectives and outcomes, we need to engage fully and sensitively with the impacted families and survivors.  To do this, it is proposed to appoint Gerald Oppenheim as a Family Liaison Consultant, without putting this service out to tender.  This is a unique role, with Gerald Oppenheim having specific skills to fulfil it due to his previous role as Chair of the Bombings Relief Trust and the existing relationships he has with the families and survivors. His role will be to ensure the families and survivors have a channel of communication to the GLA regarding their wishes and concerns regarding the day and the service.  

Equality comments

3.1.    The families and survivors of the 7/7 bombings, as well as all of those impacted, came from all walks of life, including religious belief.  The event likewise, is inclusive in terms of equalities, with due consideration given to potential impacts, such as disability access at venues; multi-faith service; types of food provided.  

Other considerations

4.1.    By providing a commemoration event for the 7/7 London bombings, it is an opportunity to reach out to a broad audience, with Londoners from all boroughs and communities having the opportunity to engage; even if this engagement is through the media that will report on the commemoration activities.  

4.2.    There is a risk of heightened security issues at this event, which could result in increased cost, due to the implementation of additional security measures.  Close engagement and intelligence will be sought from the MPS and counter-terrorism unit.   

4.3.    There is a risk that the budget for this event is insufficient as the size and scale of the event was not fully defined at the point at which the budget was set.  There is an expectation that the GLA will meet all and any reasonable costs associated with delivering this important event.

Financial comments

5.1.The total estimated cost for the 7/7 Anniversary project is £60,000, with expenditure of £10,000 funded from the Corporate Management Team Directorate in 2014/15 and the remaining £50,000 from the External Relations Unit in 2015/16 (as detailed in MD1431).

5.2.The expenditure breakdown is as follows:

Item

Total

£

Family liaison Consultant

10,000

Venue hire and associated costs

35,000

Transport

2,500

Security

5,000

Barriers

4,000

Accreditation

500

Marketing

2,000

Contingency

1,000

 

 

TOTAL Expenditure

60,000

 

 

CMT 2014/15 Budget

10,000

External Relations Unit 2015/16  Budget (approved via MD1431)

50,000

GLA Total budget

60,000

 

5.3.    In the event that the consultation exercise identifies that additional expenditure is required, further approval will be sought via the Authority’s decision making process.

5.4.    All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

5.5.    The External Relations Unit within the External Affairs directorate will be responsible for the management of these events and projects and ensure compliance with the Authority’s Financial Regulations, the GLA Contracts and Funding Code and Expenses and Benefits Framework.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

7.1.    The project will be managed by the Events for London Team, with External Relations Assistant Director as the senior responsible officer. 

7.2.    A working group will be established consisting of Events, Marketing, Press, Corporate Management and Government Relations.  They will meet fortnightly – and more frequently as the project nears – to report on actions and progress.  The Family Liaison Consultant will also join the working group.

7.3.    The events project manager will work with the venues and contractors and report on actions and progress.  The project manager will also manage the Family Liaison Consultant.

Activity

Timeline

Delivery Start Date

February 2015

Agree contracts with Gerald Oppenheim

February 2015

Event planning

February 2015

Event

7 July 2015

Final evaluation start and finish

July-August 2015

Delivery End Date

July 2015

Project Closure

August 2015