The independent London newspaper

Lessons must be learned from Grenfell Tower ‘atrocity’

14 December, 2017

THE shadow of Grenfell Tower hangs over the nation. Homage will be paid to the victims at a memorial service to be held today (Thursday) at St Paul’s Cathedral.

And this week an eminent lawyer, Michael Mansfield QC, described the event in June as a “national atrocity”.

Already, however, attempts are being made in some wings of the media to politically blacken activists who accuse the inquiry of being too narrowly focused.

Whether the inquiry chairman judge, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, will re-assess its style and procedures in the light of criticisms, many made by the families of the bereaved, remains to be seen.

We trust the sheer weight of public feeling that is likely to grow as evidence unfolds before the inquiry – whatever form it takes – will lead to wholesale changes to the regulations governing fire safety measures of tower blocks.

Here in Camden the council leader, Georgia Gould, acted swiftly – and sensibly – to evacuate thousands of tenants on the Chalcots estate when cladding on tower blocks was found to be faulty.

At that moment, it could be argued the council had henceforth a “duty of care” towards those who were forced to leave their homes overnight and go into temporary accommodation.

Now, the tenants have returned to their flats. But one family faces a dilemma. The mother-of-four says she cannot return to her old block because she fears that it remains unsafe – she has suffered from mental health issues for several years and was given leave of absence as an NHS nurse.

An eviction order has been issued against the family by a court after two hearings.

We do not judge the pros-and-cons of the case but believe the council failed in its duty-of-care of not provid­ing the family with legal guidance – the name of a sound pro-bono human rights lawyer would have been enough – as well as a consultation with a psychiatrist.

The lessons of Grenfell, in all their myriad forms, have to be learned.

Pat, you’re a glass act!

SO many people help make our Christmas Hamper Appeal a success each year and we are indebted to them all.

But Pat Logue, the landlord at the Sheephaven Bay, deserves a special mention after collecting another £3,000 by hosting a quiz night.

It has become an annual event and Mr Logue must have raised more than £30,000 over all the years he has been helping.

As big financial interests move into Camden Town, often disconnected from the community, it’s independent small businesses like his which keep the caring spirit of Christmas alive.

Share this story

Post a comment