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Pat

Grenfell

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What can you say – absolute tragedy. Very difficult to watch the News and personal accounts God knows how people in the area, and particularly those personally affected, will ever cope.  Looks like a catalogue of errors.

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19059550_1438175949572565_89131756655944

The blame starts with the tory Government who fought tooth and nail against every attempt to better regulate high rises,too many tory landlords protecting their profits.

Boris buffoon shut down three fire stations during his tenure 

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You can't help but politicise this, everything about it is political. People living in social housing not fit for purpose, fears and concerns falling on successive political deaf ears, a building 'upgrade' done on the cheap, firefighters on poor pay with no increase since 2010 and unable to recover between shifts due to cuts and station closures.  Churches and charities having to provide support to victims and supplies to rescues crews.  I saw one of the firefighters tweeted that they were asked to write their names and number on their helmets just in case a tragedy befell them when they were in the building.

This needs to be a seminal moment; the country's moral and political outlook has to change.  Tax cuts for the wealthy and super rich corporations has to be way down our priority list.

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Nobody here is thinking about blame, although the TV crews are trying to talk it up.

The personal stories are horrendous.  The community has been amazing.  Admiration and respect to the emergency services, front line colleagues and community who worked through the night to support the people of Grenfell.   So much trauma and grief.  The community is out in force clothing people, feeding people and firefighters alike - and just helping people with their grief and shock.  Everyone needing housing were found accommodation last night.  Our local community is in crisis and the worst days are still ahead of us as the death toll rises.

We've had Khan, May, Corbyn on site saying nothing of particular use.  The politics can wait for now. 

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Very shocking and it is a nightmare for those people who have lost everything and especially those who have lost their lives. The neighbourhood will never be the same. Watching the poor people in despair on television. Some of them sayhing that they have been complaining and worrying about fire. The Prime Minister made a private visit.

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Someone came up and stood beside one of my colleagues and he thought he looked very familair... it was Sadiq Khan.   Corbyn and Khan talking to the crowds.  May had a closed visit - says it all.

The charities and churches are part of the first line major incident response agreed with the Council, other sites started opening as the designated sites became full.  Volunteers pretty traumatised by what they were hearing.  Organisations calling out for Arabic speaking counsellors.   Everyone working to put support in place.   The days, weeks and months are going to be tough.

The TMO will have a lot to answer for.  Poeple are talking about corporate manslaughter.

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Just saw a tweet from a QC saying for anyone needing legal advice to contact him. It's very touching to see the immense kindness people arriving to help from all parts, including Scotland. It is a terrible disaster, so many poor people needing a range of support and resources. It's not something that will be resolved any time soon.
You must be exhausted, harper. Hope you are holding up. x

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I am fine, Pat.  We are working on community engagement and support and not on 1st line response.  I have a good team but we share the communities frustrations that no one is co-ordinating things.  We know there are things going on behind the scenes to help people but I have real concerns about what might happen if the community starts to feel abandoned.  Grenfell families have been housed  in hotels or bed and breakfast last night and a each family has been allocated a key worker to support them but their are crowds of people displaced, looking for relatives, evacuated from surrounding buildings and restless.  The local centres are doing their best but people are becoming tired and overwhelmed. We have been asking what additional resources will be put in place to support volunteers and people over the weekend....  People are learning more about what is happening from the news than a co-ordinated information strategy on the ground.  The press are being a pain.  Stirring up emotion and then sticking a camera on people.

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See a lot of anger coming through now. Some of the reports are designed to whip up feelings. This morning on the news it was reported that a sprinkler system had been considered but that the residents hadn't expressed a desire for this.  Very silly way of presenting this.

I don't understand why they haven't put in a special team responsible for co-ordination. The logistics must be a nightmare.  I hope there will not be a feeling of abandonment. I think the community support from volunteers will continue.  Take care.

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This should be the start of any charge sheet

 

2009 - Lakanal House tower block catches fire killing 6 people. The local authority is prosecuted for lapses in fire safety. A review is promised by the Labour government after pressure from the Fire Protection Association (FPA).

2010 - Building Regulations Act is published, including provisions for fire safety. Conservatives win election, a review is promised by the new government after more pressure from the FPA and warnings that the BR act does not go far enough.

2013 - Boris Johnson overrules the ruling body of the London Fire Brigade and uses legal action to inflict £29m in cuts. Closing 10 fire stations, cutting firefighters by 552, losing 14 fire engines and cutting minimum staffing levels from 5 to 4. By the time he steps down as Mayor of London he inflicts a further £100m in cuts to £130m total and the loss of 7000 firefighters. Fire prevention measures carried out by the service drop by over 25%.

2013 - All Party Parliamentary Group on Fire Safety and Rescue produces a report strongly recommending installation of fire suppression systems and sprinklers in 4000 tower blocks throughout Britain. The Grenfell residents action group publishes a report warning that their landlord is putting their safety at risk by restricting the access ways to their car park. They are ignored by their landlord.

2013 - 2016 Conservative housing ministers sit on All Party report without action, promising they are "looking at it", including housing minister Gavin Barwell.

2016 - Conservatives vote against a Labour motion to make sure all landlords and housing associations ensure residences are fit for human occupation, including provisions for fire safety. The motion is denied by 312 votes to 219. 72 of the MP's voting against are landlords. The Grenfell residents action group publish a report warning people will die in a fire before the landlord takes notice of their poor fire safety provisions. They are ignored by their landlord.

2017 - Ex housing minister Gavin Barwell becomes Prime Minister Theresa May's chief of staff. He never actioned the report. Grenfell Tower is reduced to rubble with the deaths of at least 12 residents as a fire spreads through the building in 4 minutes. It has no fire suppression system or sprinklers. The stairwell is not adequate for a full building evacuation. The emergency lighting is missing from half of the floors. The fire service struggle to reach the building due to previous car park modifications causing access issues as warned by the resident action group.

 

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There is a major incident plan in place and it is being effectively implemented across the designated sites for first line response involving the Red Cross and emergency services to address the needs of the immediate victims.  Where they are failing is the comms strategy.  It's the 2nd response that is becoming overwhelmed.  Nothing in place to deal with community response and the press in there heightening grievances.  I know this community, I have worked here for over 30 years.  There are long standing grievances with the TMO and the council. 

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Not happy with Marr Show where it was being pushed that residents had substantial role in TMO.  Looks very much as though their opinions were being consistently ignored.   Yes, Tories very big on painting regulations including those relating to safety as needing ditched.   Read this morning that there had been a drive to remove sprinklers for plans for new schools.  Why on earth can this be a good idea.

Hope things calm down, harper.  It's the saddest situation and vast multi-dimensional resources and support needing to be providing in an organised and thoughtful way.

I don't know what the answer is but they could have swiftly pulled together a committee/task group made up of local organisations  national charities, community councils or equivalent backed by resources from the Government.  I have no idea how the commitment to housing people within three weeks in the local area can be achieved.  There seem to be empty houses/buildings in the area but how many social houses will be available?

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Heard him saying that. Very odd. Somebody gave it the heads up.  Hammond also couldn't remember if he'd voted against the Labour Bill  to make rented homes safer. Seems he did. How could anyone vote down such a bill? 

All appears to remain chaos for the people of Glenfell.

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There are three distinct groups.  The people housed in the tower block, the residents who were evacuated because of safety fears about falling debris and the building itself and the wider community. 

The major incident pla. has been working closely with the first two groups.  It is the third group who are marching and protesting.  Very understandable but the first priority in the first days were the Grenfell residents.  

The centres and the churches that opened are part of the Council's major incident plan.  They were not an independent response from the local voluntary sector.  That came later and in addition. 

There needs to be a full enquiry but for the moment, efforts need to be concentrated on helping the people who have lost their homes and loved ones and the traumatised witnesses and workers  who are trying to handle this crisis under a great deal of pressure.

the sooner we see the back of Victoria Deryshire, Sadiq Khan and the great and the good the better. 

Not sure there is a lot of local social housing but there are plenty of celebs, politicians and royality  in the area with loads of room. I'm with  Corbyn - requisition The houses   - starting with Kensington Palace! 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Pat said:

Heard him saying that. Very odd. Somebody gave it the heads up.  Hammond also couldn't remember if he'd voted against the Labour Bill  to make rented homes safer. Seems he did. How could anyone vote down such a bill? 

All appears to remain chaos for the people of Glenfell.

the agenda over the next few days is to move culpability from Tory Govt at Westminster to the local authorities 

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I didn't know there was a Major Incident Plan. i was wondering why there didn't seem to be one. Thank heavens for social media as you just do not get the truth from the News.  Wall to wall volunteers, and I am not criticising them, but the question everyone is coming up with is where are the council, where is the co-ordination? With the impression given that there was a spontaneous response, instead, by the community. 

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Every local authority has a Major Incident Plan that kicks in as soon as there is an incident, involving a multi agency response, health trusts, the Red Cross, specialist agencies and the local voluntary sector, churches, mosques etc.  I did Major Incident Planning with some of the Red Cross who had worked in Kosovo. Their skills are mightly impressive and they have been on the ground with the emergency services since day 1.

The agenda over the next few days is to carry on setting up community support, while the front line services continue to search for bodies in the tower.  People have been working flat out since last week to get people housed, fed, clothed, cash, replacement documents etc, under a barage of criticism, as well as trauma support for the front line workers.  No one in the fornt line support is talking about blame - there are huge questions that need to be answered but that will come later.  The local community estimates fatalities to be approximately 150.

I think away from the front line it has been chaotic but the organisations are dealing with chaotic circumstances.  The work that it will take to help people put their lives back together is a monumental task.  The community is very fragile and I just can't imagine the grief and anger as funerals start to take place.

There are protest marches and vigils taking place every day.

.... and it's Grenfell not Glenfell:)

 

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The council are certainly taking a hammering in the media. Shocking to hear that the cladding is supposed to be banned in the UK.
The funerals will be a whole new nightmare.  (Trying to fix the heading .)

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You had me at it... I wrote an email at work and said Glefell.... luckily a collegue spotted it before it went out.

Someone is going to have to answer for this but for most of us right now it is about support.

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I've figured out how to fix it but I'm pretty sure that I've been typing the wrong name a lot. There is a lot of financial support coming. Andy Murray didn't win his match but he's donating the prize money and a lot of entertainment artists creating a special single. They got that together quickly and includes a choir of local people:

You can buy on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/album/bridge-over-troubled-water-single/id1250455201?app=itunes

The full line-up is as follows: Angel, Anne-Marie, Bastille, Brian May - Queen, Carl Barât - The Libertines, Craig David, Deno, Donae'o, Dua Lipa, Ella Eyre, Ella Henderson, Emeli Sandé, Fleur East, Gareth Malone & The Choir for Grenfell, Geri Halliwell, Gregory Porter, James Arthur, James Blunt and Jessie J.

Also involved are Jessie Ware, John Newman, Jon McClure - Reverend and the Makers, Jorja Smith, Kelly Jones - Stereophonics, Labrinth, Leona Lewis, Liam Payne, London Community Gospel Choir, Louis Tomlinson, Louisa Johnson, Matt Goss, Matt Terry, Mr Eazi, Nathan Sykes, Nile Rodgers, Omar, Paloma Faith, Pixie Lott, Ray BLK, RAYE, Rita Ora, Robbie Williams, Shakka, Shane Filan, Stormzy, The Who (Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend), Tokio Myers, Tom Grennan, Tony Hadley, Tulisa and WSTRN.

In addition, Cowell has made a sizeable personal donation to the relief effort for the victims of the blaze, which started in west London in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

 

 

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Never been so proud of my adopted city, my friends, my colleagues, my community.  The grief is really hitting home. So much to rebuild. 

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I know its likely over hyped for effect.   I  have never been a fan of putting people up against a wall and shooting them (come the revolution) but these people may be pretty close to my exception 

 

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/outrage-as-luxury-flat-residents-complain-rehomed-grenfell-families-will-lower-house-prices-a3570331.html

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Kensington and Chelsea has a great tradition of noblesse oblige - providing the recipients know their place.  Sadly it is not hype and there is some hooha about whether the new residents will be able to use the commual posh swimming pool and gym facilties.  They are dismissing everyone as a facelss, feckless mob.  I  sat with a group of Arabic women yesterday, one of whom described the point where her friends stopped talking with her on the phone - after saying she had covered her babies in wet towels.   I'd happily take every single one of these commentators down to the disaster site and introduce them to some of the most heart broken, gentle and utterly devastated members of our community. They have no humanity.

I haven't read any press or media coverage on Grenfell.  Can't bear to see the pictures with the real thing so close and so many annoying reporters.

 

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I have a long standing affinity with the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea as I lived in Chelsea as a teenager and got married there (first time round). I lived at the wrong end of Sloan Square, at the World's End, not far off it at that time. The clash even then between rich and poor was pretty stark but considerably worse now.

I can't imagine what it must be like talking to these people first hand but have watched a lot of interviews on Channel 4 and the people are indeed, 'heartbroken and devasted' some are gentle, utterly overwhelmed and exhausted, not having slept for days. Others are furious and full of anger.  Many are very articulate.  They will not be able to dismiss them.

Looks like there is a massive job to undertake in checking the hundreds of high rise buildings for safety.  People living in similar flats to Grenfell must be worried sick.

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