Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Grenfell Tower Fire: Flammable cladding ban, 'stay put' and more

"I want you to do right by our family," says Claudia Davies, bereaved ex-partner of Steve Power, one of the 72 people killed as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire. 
Davies directly addresses her remarks to the Grenfell Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick after she and Power's daughter Sherry gave powerful testimony at the inquiry's victim commemoration sessions.
Toyin Agbetu of the Grenfell MediaWatch Update says Davies and other Grenfell residents are helping to steer "the inquiry in the right direction" with their powerful testimonies.

Agbetu, in The Power of Testimony, the latest of the Grenfell MediaWatch's useful round-ups, notes with shock and indignation that, as of 24 May 2018, 130 of the 210 households affected by the fire still remain in temporary or emergency accommodation. 

Hackitt review
Agbetu also highlights the conspicuous absence of government cabinet ministers and of MPs at the inquiry - focusing on their "empty chairs". 
The government has said though that the use of the cladding on the Grenfell Tower was illegal.
Of the 156-page Hackitt review of building regulations, Agbetu says it contains "some good recommendations...but these could take a year to put in place". 
And, of course, Hackitt did not call for an explicit ban on flammable cladding.

The government though announced it is to consult on a possible ban on flammable cladding. "This should've happened months ago," says Agbetu, who points out that the government's own Equality and Human Rights Commission called for such a ban.
The government says it will also restrict the use of cheaper desktop studies to see if building materials are fireproof. 
In Wales, plans are afoot to ban all flammable cladding. Sprinklers are already mandatory on all new buildings too. "Wales has far less resources than England," says Agebtu. "But much more political will." 

Agbetu notes that finally Barratt Homes will pay for the fire safety cladding upgrade on private residential tower blocks in Croydon. 
Flat owners had protested against being asked to pay £30,000 each.

Stay put
The London Fire Brigade has reversed its 'stay put' fire policy and now tells residents in London's 100 or so residential tower blocks to 'get out' if there is a fire. 
The 'stay put' advice is believed to have led Grenfell residents being trapped.

© London Intelligence, May 2018


No comments: