We speak to the authors of two exceptional must-read publications. “Show Me The Bodies: How We Let Grenfell Happen” is an essential and timely piece of investigative journalism and “How to Write Simple and Effective Subcontract Agreements in Just 500 Words” is a go-to guide in subcontracting literature.
Show me the bodies: How we let Grenfell happen Author Peter Apps, explained that when covering the Grenfell Tower Inquiry – spending every day logging in to the YouTube stream or trudging through the rush hour crowds in Paddington – it was hard to remember that it wasn’t the centre of everyone else’s universe as well.
Peter said: “I used to feel genuine surprise when people didn’t know the name ‘Arconic’ or still asked basic questions about what went wrong on the night. “Of course, what I was forgetting is that the rest of the world had quite a lot of other things going on at the time.
“Three weeks into the inquiry’s second phase – for example – it paused due to the new virus sweeping through the country. “On the day the shocking evidence about the companies involved was revealed for the first time most news websites were understandably more interested in the sitting president of the United States publicly calling its election results fraudulent. “And when the first government ministers arrived – an event I felt sure would grab media attention – people were (again understandably) more worried that Vladimir Putin had just invaded Ukraine.
“The result was that what happened was a generationally unique inquiry which shone a light into the darkest corners of the construction, politics, social housing and firefighting played out to a tiny audience – mostly of people who were directly impacted anyway. “I felt this was wrong, that there were lessons in this evidence that needed to be heard and understood if we were to move
forward and deliver the change that was promised after the terrible events of June 2017.
“This is why I embarked on writing Show Me The Bodies – the intention was to give people an accessible, clear and human summary of what led us to the position where a fire which was globally unique in its consequences could be allowed to happen in one of the richest cities in human histrory”.
Peter concluded by saying: “My hope is that it’s a book which anyone from the director of a facade company to a sixth form student could pick up, read easily and take something important from.
“Wherever it comes from, everyone in the profession must educate themselves about Grenfell. There is an old and wise saying about what happens to those who fail to learn from history”.
Show Me The Bodies can be purchased from Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/Show-Me-Bodies-Grenfell-Happen/dp/0861546156
How to write simple and effective subcontracts in just 500 words Author Sarah JV Fox, told SpecFinish that after decades in the construction sector, she has yet to read or review a subcontract that is fair, balanced and designed to help the specialists who are sharing their expertise to benefit the main contractor on a project
Sarah said: “Main contractors seem to take pleasure in three contract sins: dumping risks, dumping reams of paper and dumping extraneous terms on their subcontractors. In fact, the very worst
contracts I read were subcontracts – Frankenstein creations mixing standard forms, amendments from the client and extra nasty contractor changes too. “Not only were the legal terms complex, but trust, cooperation, balance and fairness were missing… despite government reports consistently showing that these are the very things that will avoid disputes, create good relationships and set the project up for success.
“My main aim in writing this book is to challenge the narrative that complex onesided subcontracts are the only option. I am leading a one-woman revolution to give the construction sector contracts that everyone can (and will) read, understand and then use. “But I didn’t want to publish yet another subcontract without explaining my reasoning. The book starts by explaining why you should write a simple subcontract: it starts a conversation between the parties on how they will work together.
“The book is your guide to my 11 essentials for a subcontract. Each of those chapters sets out sample text and what happens if you say nothing to give subcontractors more confidence to negotiate. By following the logic set out in each of the chapters and adapting the sample text, subcontractors can write their own crystal-clear and robust subcontract. You can write your own in just a couple of hours and the book includes tips on how to use it successfully. “The book also challenges the notions that every subcontract needs to: annex the main contract in full, include indemnities
instead of delay damages and have unlimited subcontractor liability. It doesn’t cover everything to do with subcontracts, so there are extra resources on my website.
The book is only available on Amazon in paperback and kindle. Visit: https://tinyurl.com/59s42k8u