In its third meeting of the year, the ICE Council discussed the progress the profession has made since the Grenfell tragedy, the updated anti-racism toolkit, how ICE’s policy insight and influencing works, and an evaluation of the Orr and Porter reviews.
It was fantastic to welcome the ICE Council members back into One Great George Street for our first in-person meeting in over 2 years.
While we have done an excellent job of running council meetings remotely during the pandemic, it was energising to meet face-to-face. I know many council members agree.
Grenfell – five years on
We started a packed agenda looking back at some of the ICE-led activities and the broader industry response in the five years since the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Led by Trustee Julie Bregulla, the discussion began with a look at some of the initiatives that ICE has helped to implement.
The council also looked at the work of the Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures (CROSS) initiative for which ICE is jointly responsible. The council was invited to discuss how ICE could continue to ensure that members are upholding standards and delivering safe infrastructure.
A range of ideas were put forward, and there was broad agreement that work in this area should be led by the Learning Society, in particular through the Engineering Fundamentals Community Advisory Board.
Vice President Anusha Shah took the council through the journey from creating the first iteration of the ICE Anti-Racism toolkit in 2021 to its latest update.
Produced in conjunction with the Association For Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE), the toolkit is designed to provide SMEs, who may not have access to the same resources as larger organisations, with tools to allow them to explore important issues around race in the workplace with their teams.
The council welcomed the efforts that the institution, working through the Fairness, Inclusion and Respect committee, have made in producing the updated toolkit and agreed that the toolkit is just a first step and not an end in itself.
How ICE’s policy insight and influencing works
The ICE’s director of policy and public affairs delivered an excellent presentation on how the institution works with policymakers and decision makers to support them in making the best strategic decisions on infrastructure.
In an uncertain political world, the work to offer insight to government and administrations on the key long-term infrastructure needs of society can be a difficult job.
It is a testament to the ICE’s reputation that we are securing meetings across the world in places such as Australia and New Zealand, with policymakers who want to listen to the ICE’s trusted and authoritative advice.
There are some really exciting initiatives happening in this space, not least the launch later this year of the next iteration of the Enabling Better Infrastructure programme.
The council agreed that we must build on these successes and communicate the ICE policy positions to members to equip them to have conversations with their networks.
Audit Committee evaluation of Orr and Porter Reviews
Trustees have asked David Porter, as chair of the Audit Committee to identify any lessons from the 2019 Orr Review into governance of the ICE, and his own report on the Nominations Committee processes, now that they have been tested over three years.
Both the Orr and Porter reviews were designed to ensure that the institution is being governed in a robust manner in line with Charity Commission best practice.
David Porter briefed the council on the work and asked for their input over the summer prior to reverting with his report later this year.