I still can't believe how much the authorities failed those people both before and after.
Watching. Outrageous the way those poor people were treated
Have you been listening to the BBC podcast from the inquiry? Very interesting but so anger inducing. Not an easy listen at all but I almost feel like I have a moral responsibility to listen to it and understand the details of the enquiry out of respect for those who were so badly let down.
This will go down in history as a state-sponsered mass murder. Shame on us as a society that valued the aesthetic appeal of that block over the lives of the people inside it.
Rest in peace to the 73 victims.
What was really disgraceful was the lack of any support for residents in the immediate aftermath. And as for Theresa may..
I watched something that said they knew the dangers from 1999. A man died in a fire in Irvine, Scotland and the Scottish government banned the cladding. The U.K. government declined to do so, even after a fire in London in 2009 where 3 children died.
All those warnings, and nobody fucking listened. All those people who shouldn’t be dead.
The whole thing is completely heartbreaking :-( those poor people. Just awful.
Should never have happened but the very least we can do is whatever we can to ensure either never happens again.
The lack of coordination re the missing and relief operation was so terribly badly handled.
What a floppy haired twat
This! What a complete and utter tosser. I don't do violence but wouldn't have blamed anyone for booting him.
I watched it for about 5 mins... couldn't watch anymore, I don't know how anyone can. It's just so heartbreakingly dreadful to even watch, let alone go through, no wonder those poor residents have PTSD.
I agree wittow I can't watch anything like this is too scary for me. Like my worst nightmare
Half of those people live in temporary accommodation. I don't even understand how this could happen. It's shameful.
On tonights BBC1 documentary Eddie Daffarn talked about how,, when he expressed concern about the boilers being put in in the entrance of the individual flats near the electrical fuse boxes.........he still remembers what he was told.
"Well if i was getting it for nothing i wouldnt be complaining"
He and other tenants also talked about the power surges including toasters blowing up and a tenant talked about losing two lamps in this way.
In a previous Guardian article ive linked in to the other threads another tenant thought she could smell gas on the night but then went into her kitchen and couldnt smell it any more.
The NHS Mental Health Services estimates £11000 ppl have been psychologically affected by the fire
And the fact that even after the leader of the council etc having to stand down because of their piss poor reaction, they appoint an arrogant floppy haired twat to rehouse people. He couldn't even behave himself when the cameras were on him, he had to speak down to the survivors. Fucking disgraceful.
HelenaDove Wed 13-Jun-18 20:50:45
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HelenaDove Wed 13-Jun-18 20:51:48
The bill would also make housing associations subject to FOI. The problems caused by the current lack of any right of access to include:
54 out of 61 housing associations refused to supply their fire risk assessments to Inside Housing magazine in 2017. 
a tenant was refused information about the cause of a fire on their premises. 
a housing association refused to say whether potentially toxic lead pipes were used in the property’s water supply. 
another housing association refused to reveal the electricity bill which led a tenant to be charged £1,200 to cover the cost of 6 communal light bulbs. 
Other bodies that would be brought under the FOI Act by the bill include electoral registration officers, returning officers and Local Safeguarding Children Boards.
The bill would give the Information Commissioner new powers to obtain information from contractors when investigating complaints and make them subject to the offence applying to public authorities which deliberately destroy requested information to prevent its disclosure. It would also close a loophole which blocks such prosecutions unless they are brought within 6 months of the offence occurring.
HelenaDove Thu 14-Jun-18 01:53:09
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HelenaDove Thu 14-Jun-18 01:54:27
Wed 13 Jun 2018 17.44 BST
Last modified on Wed 13 Jun 2018 22.00 BST
A memorial wall for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire near Ladbroke Grove, west London.
A memorial wall for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire near Ladbroke Grove, west London. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
A year ago we witnessed Britain’s deadliest fire in living memory. The morning after, we learned that warnings about fire safety from residents had been ignored. Later we heard about the safety failures at national and local level, and companies hawking unsafe building materials unchecked.
After Grenfell, many argued that the atrocity should signal a turning point in housing policy. We have yet to see this turning point. We hear that cladding like that used at Grenfell will not be banned. Indeed, it took 11 months for Theresa May to commit £400m to remove existing cladding from tower blocks. Even this modest and long overdue announcement was revealed as a sham: the £400m was to be pinched from affordable housing budgets. It is scandalous that a year on from this tragedy, politicians are whittling down public housing budgets and failing to take action to keep residents safe.
This political disregard for social tenants is rooted in state disinvestment from public housing, and unaccountable private interests taking over the building and management of social housing. Our estates are being run down and demolished while public assets are sold off. Meanwhile 80% of new homes built in London are affordable only to the richest 8% of the city.
The mayor of London is to enforce ballots on some estates facing “regeneration”. This is a start – but we need political will at all levels to ensure that development benefits tenants first, and that what gets built locally meets local needs.
Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
A tragedy like Grenfell must never happen again. We need public investment in safe, decent public housing that is affordable for everyone. We want a housing system where tenants are listened to. And we need housing policy driven by public interest, not by the market.
Katya Nasim Radical Housing Network
Dr Faiza Shaheen Director of CLASS
Doug Thorpe StopHDV Campaign
Emma Dent Coad Labour MP for Kensington
Sian Berry Green party London assembly member
Piers and Tanya Thompson Save Our Silchester
Richard Chute Chair, Earls Court Tenants’ Association
Joe Beswick Head of Housing and Land, New Economics Foundation
Eileen Short Chair, Defend Council Housing
Pilgrim Tucker Community Organiser
Dawn Foster Journalist
Cllr Jonathan Bartley Co-leader, Green party
Jean Lambert Green party MEP for London
Susan Pashkoff Chair, East London Unite Community
Martin Goodsell Secretary, East London Unite Community
Rachael Hookaway GMB Young London
Professor Danny Dorling Author of All that is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster, University of Oxford
Anna Minton Author of Big Capital: Who is London for?, Reader in Architecture, University of East London
Dr David Madden Author of In Defense of Housing: The Politics of Crisis, London School of Economics
Samir Jeraj Author of The Rent Trap
Dr Sally Zlotowitz Clinical and community psychologist, Housing and Mental Health Network
Sabtir Singh Chief executive, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
Sahaya Guthrie Stop the Elephant Development
Danielle Gregory and Hannan Majid Ledbury Action Group
Pauline Wamunyu Save Reginald House and Tidemill
Jacqueline Utley Achilles Stop and Listen Campaign
Lucy Butler Deptford People Project
Heather Gilmore No Social Cleansing in Lewisham
Luciana Duailibe Chair, Co-oPepys Community Arts Project
Bill Perry Lambeth Housing Activists
Potent Whisper Our Brixton
Amina Gichinga London Renters Union
Anne Cooper Save Cressingham Campaign
Andy Thornes Crossfields Residents Association Secretary
Anuj Vats Citiscape Residents Association
Aysen Dennis Fight 4 Aylesbury
Simon Hannah and Ruth Cashman Joint branch secretaries, Lambeth Unison
Sonia Mckenzie Chair of the Fred Wigg and John Walsh Towers Tenants and Residents Association
Terry Harper Millbank Residents Association
Uzoamaka Okafor Chair, Myatts Field North Residents Association and PFI Monitoring Board
Dr Vickie Cooper Open University
Dr Debbie Humphry Kingston University
Dr Stuart Hodkinson University of Leeds
Dr Nicholas Falk Urbed Trust
Michael Edwards Hon professor, UCL (Bartlett School of Planning)
Ben Beach Concrete Action
John Hamilton Lewisham People Before Profit
Heather Kennedy Digs (Hackney Renters)
Sophie Morley Architecture Sans Frontières UK
Tom Wilkinson Architectural Review
Hannah Sheerin President, Cambridge University Architecture Society
Liza Fior MUF architecture/art
Douglas Murphy Writer, RCA/CSM
Elizabeth Wilbraham Workers Inquiry: Architecture (Architectural Workers Union)
Charlotte Grace Novara Media
Andrea Luka Zimmerman and David Roberts Film directors of The Estate We’re In
Paul Sng Film director of Dispossession"
Sorry should have added the tweet: ““Unless they [the rich] improve the dwellings of the poor, they are guilty, before God, of wholesale murder." 164yrs since Charles Dickens wrote those words&1yr since #Grenfell. So much has changed for the poor since Victorian times, yet so much remains the same #GreenForGrenfell”
Felloutofbed On last nights BBC2 documentary Before Grenfell A Hidden History...............towards the end it was stated that back in 2016 we had come full circle. In 2016 the gap between the poorest and the richest there was the same as in 1850.
Helena I haven’t watched yet, got it recorded but will definitely catch up over the weekend. It’s almost unbelievable that we’ve gone back to Victorian times. Shame on us as a nation and shame on our leaders.
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HelenaDove Fri 15-Jun-18 02:21:21
Two emergency chiefs who supported Grenfell survivors in the days following the disaster have spoken out for the first time about the chaos of the relief operation following the fire and the failures to learn lessons from it.
Rupinder Hardy and Philip Lee-Morris, managers at Ealing council at the time of the fire, were drafted in as part of the Pan-London Emergency Response in the days after the disaster, when it became clear that the response from Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC) was inadequate. They have not been called to give evidence at the public inquiry into the disaster.
Grenfell bereaved mark fire's anniversary with emotional vigil
Lee-Morris said: “Learning opportunities are being disregarded for fear of further reputational damage to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.”
Hardy, Lee-Morris and their team were drafted in three days after the fire. Both were part of a 200-strong team from Ealing and took over responsibility for the Westway sports and fitness centre, which had been turned into an emergency rest centre for residents displaced by the fire.
When Hardy and Lee-Morris arrived at the rest centre just before 7am on Saturday 17 June last year, about 27 people were sleeping there.
“It was chaotic,” said Hardy. “There appeared to be lack of overall leadership. Standard response procedures should have been implemented, but we couldn’t see any sign of that. So over the course of the weekend we established an operation which started to meet the urgent needs of those affected, from access to donations and services such as housing to NHS support, legal advice and financial aid.
“What was needed was strong, compassionate and empathetic decision-making that had survivors at its core,” Hardy continued. “The volunteers were doing everything to support the survivors and the community. Together we wanted to turn this from an area of conflict and mistrust into a rest centre survivors would want to come to and where we could meet people’s needs.
“Things like getting outdoor tables and chairs set up for the iftar meal so Muslim residents could break their fast together during Ramadan, helped to build trust.”
The decision to change the management from one borough to another is without precedent in this kind of crisis. In the space of 12 hours the Ealing council team drew up a detailed internal document entitled Grenfell Assistance Centre, Standard Operating Procedure, a document that under normal circumstances would have taken months to put together.
Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
It had to be done so hastily because there was no existing emergency plan in place to deal with the immediate aftermath of a disaster on such a scale. The document was the blueprint used by other local authorities who subsequently took control of the centre on a rotational basis after Ealing left.
Hardy was later seconded to RBKC for several months to work with Grenfell survivors and residents. She said she had sent her report on lessons learned from managing the immediate aftermath of the disaster and providing meaningful support to survivors many times to officials at RBKC but had received no response.
Loubna Aghzafi, a key community volunteer who supported survivors, said: “After so many broken promises, a year on I don’t believe the various entities have learned from their mistakes.”
The survivors’ distress and grief was compounded by what they saw initially at Westway: lots of police tape around the rest centre making it look like a crime scene, along with police riot vans parked outside. Hardy and Lee-Morris asked the police to move both to make the centre look less threatening and more welcoming.
Lee-Morris overheard one official saying to a survivor trying to enter the rest centre, still wearing the burned clothes in which he had escaped from the fire: “What proof do you have that you’re a resident?”
He intervened saying: “Isn’t a charred T-shirt enough evidence?”
Aghzafi had collected donations and was helping to sort them in the street with hundreds of volunteers. “On day one when the tower was still burning, I took some donations and ended up at the Westway,” she said. “I attended one of the RBKC briefings that night and asked officials if they had anyone who spoke the languages that many people in the tower and the community spoke. When people are traumatised, they want to speak in their first language.
“The main reason I stuck around was because I could see how the bereaved, survivors and overall community were being treated. It was as if RBKC and central government had gone into complete shock and didn’t know how to handle this. As a result, the community and the volunteers dictated the initial emergency response. There was zero communication, zero empathy, no process and no procedures to deal with such a tragedy.
“I remember vividly begging one of the politicians to help bereaved families get news from hospitals about the missing and avoid them having to run around town with no news being shared. The bereaved and survivors were not cocooned – that should have been the role of the state.”
Hardy and Lee-Morris said they did not see any previous situation reports recorded during the first three days. They began recording everything in twice-daily situation reports dealing with everything from low-key visits by singers Adele and Marcus Mumford to ordering sofas so survivors could relax inside the rest centre, and getting rubbish cleared. Officials from five different government departments arrived at the rest centre along with senior members of the royal family and local government officials.
There were rumours of a “rage” march and briefings seen by the Guardian at the time warned of anger among survivors on 21 June as tensions in the community mounted.
One family insisted on being rehoused together. The case was flagged as “politically/reputational sensitive” while another had been told to return to their home near Grenfell Tower despite witnessing the whole fire and some bodies falling from the tower. Some staff from RBKC were noted as “still abrupt with victims and volunteers”.
Lee-Morris said: “Residents were not treated as if they were the most important people but as a temporary irritation.”
He said that some hotels refused to take in survivors even when they still had vacancies. “One hotel manager said to me: ‘How many more of these people are we going to have in here?’”
Hardy said: “I hope that something like this will never happen again. But if it does I would certainly volunteer my time again. I couldn’t do anything to take away the pain, loss and suffering of the tower fire tragedy from people, but I did what I could to offer comfort and to help when people needed us most. We couldn’t reach everyone, but we did our utmost to help those that came to Westway.”
Aghzafi echoed her sentiments. Despite her reservations about the response of RBKC and central government she praised the response of the community and ordinary people.
“I saw the best and the worst of humanity. There was an outpouring of love for this community, a community who had to fight for so much before the fire and after it. I think history will remember most the community response, the ordinary people from all over London and other parts of the country who ran to the area to offer support.
I went to the silent protest at Grenfell last night to mark the first anniversary. It was massive, very moving. But I couldn't understand why progress was so slow going. Until we reached where the firefighters had formed a guard of honour at the side of the road, and every single person was stopping to shake every single fire fighter's hand. God. I can't decribe what that felt like to see.
I don't think those people will see justice any time soon.
It's a national fucking disgrace.
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