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Grenfell enquiry

(91 Posts)
Rosina Tue 22-May-18 11:54:35

I watched a little of the news item on the Grenfell enquiry last evening; a truly harrowing item with a father weeping for his baby who was stillborn. Words fail to describe these situations; however I then learned that there will be two full weeks of individual testimonies from those bereaved. I fell to thinking about this later and wondering if it is appropriate and right as part of an enquiry which is to establish, if possible, what happened and why . These enquiries tend to be breathtakingly expensive; I am not sure how outpourings of dreadful grief are going to help establish what went wrong. Does anyone else feel the same? If the enquiry were shorter there might be more public money available for those who have suffered so much and also to start repairing the housing stock that needs new cladding.

Luckygirl Tue 22-May-18 11:56:33

But it is important that people feel they have had their say - maybe it does not contribute to the substance of the findings and recommendations, but the opportunity to speak out and be heard has a value that is not to be underestimated and is beyond price.

maryeliza54 Tue 22-May-18 12:19:37

There’s another thread on this which I started and I’ve been surprised how few people seem interested in posting

maryeliza54 Tue 22-May-18 12:30:00

Sorry meant to add I posted about how good the giving of this testimony is. The judge himself has said, very movingly, that it is are an ‘integral part of the evidence’ Justice has no price tag - if you want to think of money instead being spent on improving cladding , you might ask why tens of millions was spent on security for a recent event for a rich privileged family with dozens of houses between them who could have funded it themselves or maybe the esteemed Bishop could have gone around with a collecting plate labelled ‘Love means cladding’. If K&C and the government had behaved properly there wouldn’t be a need for this enquiry and 72 people wouldn’t be dead. These poor families - of course they must have a voice - it’s the least they are entitled to and there’s more than enough money to pay for this AND replace cladding

Anniebach Tue 22-May-18 12:34:31

Nothing to do with the wedding , petty

gillybob Tue 22-May-18 12:40:15

if you want to think of money instead being spent on improving cladding , you might ask why tens of millions was spent on security for a recent event for a rich privileged family with dozens of houses between them who could have funded it themselves

Couldn’t agree with you more maryeliza54 and absolutely obscene amount of money that they should have funded themselves if they insisted on having such a lavish affair. Were we sheep supposed to feel that our lives have been somehow enriched by their lavish wedding?

gillybob Tue 22-May-18 12:51:04

I agree that there is little connection between Grenfell and the recent wedding Annie and I should have been more selective of what I copied over but my point being that the money spent on security for H&Ms lavish wedding had to be found from the public purse . This could have paid for thousands of more worthwhile causes . Why did the tax payer have to foot the massive bill ? Were we all supposed to feel happy for a day /week/month just because some obscenely rich people got married ? Was it supposed to make all our troubles go away ? Do they think we are really that stupid?

eazybee Tue 22-May-18 12:59:00

I agree with Rosina, ' I am not sure how outpourings of dreadful grief are going to help establish what went wrong.'
The purpose of the enquiry is to investigate and establish the causes of the fire and apportion blame. Two weeks of testimonies will lessen their impact.
Gillybob and Maryeliza, your personal vindictiveness against the Royal Family is childish, is becoming deeply unpleasant, and is completely irrelevant here.

Anniebach Tue 22-May-18 13:01:03

The residents of Grenfel are lucky they are not being forced to pay part of the costs of removing the tower, we in Aberfan were forced to pay thousands towards the removal of tips which killed 116 of our children

Bridgeit Tue 22-May-18 14:03:03

Was it eventually paid back Annie.? Not that it should have been taken in the first place.

Anniebach Tue 22-May-18 14:07:22

Yes when Blair formed a government and we had the Welsh Assembly, it didn’t take away what was done .

Allygran1 Tue 22-May-18 14:07:53

The Aberfan Disaster Fund
The Aberfan Disaster touched the hearts and consciences of not only Britain but the World. The loss of so many young lives, together with the underlying suspicion that this was the price of years of cheap coal, led to a widespread anxiety to do something to help. The Mayor of Merthyr immediately launched a Disaster Fund to aid the village and bereaved. Donations flooded in out of sympathy, grief and guilt. By the time the Fund closed in January 1967, nearly 90,000 contributions had been received, totalling £1,606,929. The Fund's final sum was approximately £1,750,000. In 1997 pounds this represented approximately £17.5 million.
From its outset the Fund faced difficulties. Its legal status was unclear and there were fears that any money it gave out immediately could influence future compensation claims against the NCB. Yet the provisional committee, largely consisting of members of Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council and other local dignateries, decided to pay out some money forthwith to those affected. As the Fund grew, so too did the worries of the village and donors over how the money would be used. The minimal representation the village had on the provisional committee added to the concern and disquiet. Media exaggerations of the split that existed between the committee and the village fuelled the flames. Some donors wanted the entire fund to go to the bereaved, others felt that it should benefit the wider community, a few that it should be used to remove the remaining tips.
The disputes did not cease after the Fund was put on a firm legal footing under the auspices of a permanent committee with clear local representation. The Fund's Trust Deed specifies that the money was:
1) For the relief of all persons who have suffered as a result of the said disaster and are thereby in need and
(2) subject as aforesaid for any charitable purpose for the benefit of persons who were inhabitants of Aberfan and its immediate neighbourhood (hereinafter called 'the area of benefit') on the 21st day of October 1966 or now are or hereafter become inhabitants of the area of benefit and in particular (but without prejudice to the generality of the last foregoing trust) for any charitable purpose for the benefit of children who were on the 21st day of October 1966 or who now are or hereafter may become resident in the area of benefit.
This wide remit allowed the Fund to finance a number of different schemes to aid the regeneration, both physical and emotional, of Aberfan. Beyond donating money to the bereaved, the Fund paid for a memorial, house repairs, holidays for villagers and a community hall. The well publicised and widespread fears that the money would just stagnate in investment accounts (as had happened with many other disaster funds) were proved unfounded. Controversy did reappear over the salary of the Fund's secretary/treasurer and the situating of his offices in Merthyr rather than Aberfan, but the biggest scandal was still to come. After the NCB and Treasury refused to accept full financial responsibility, the Fund ended up having to contribute £150,000 for the removal of the remaining tips overlooking the village. Despite the outrage of donors, villagers and the local MP, it was not until 1997 that this money was repaid to the Fund.

lemongrove Tue 22-May-18 14:17:22

To answer the OP, yes I think it’s right, and part of the inquiry to listen to the testimony of those people who lived in Grenfell Tower and who managed to escape the fire.
It’s not the grief ( outpourings) that is important to the inquiry, but the timings, what happened, when it happened etc.
We don’t know yet what the outcome of the inquiry will be, but it could well be no fault of either the Government or of Kensington Council, although the council should have taken action about sacks of refuse left in stairwells ( this may not have impacted on the actual fire though).
The cladding and insulation was the culprit, or at least, supplied by the culprit, was it sub standard ( and that fact hidden by the supplier to the Council) and did anybody suspect that?It will all come out, and then the mammoth job of taking off cladding on all tower blocks in the UK will have to really get going.

maryeliza54 Tue 22-May-18 14:26:22

“When we die, we live on in the memories of those who
knew and loved us. It is fitting, therefore, that the
opening hearings of the inquiry, at which evidence will
be taken, should be dedicated to the memory of those who
died. They will be remembered through the words and
pictures chosen by the people who knew them best and
loved them most: their families and friends. They will
share with us their memories of those whom they have
During the coming days there will be much sorrow.
Sorrow at the memory of lives cut short and sorrow at
the contemplation of promise unfulfilled. Sorrow at the
loss of close relations and sorrow at the absence of
friends and neighbours. But that sorrow will, I hope,
be tempered by memories of past happiness, of times
spent together, and of former joys. And above all by
thanks giving for those who, by their lives, enriched
the lives of those with whom they lived and among whom they moved.
Although what we shall hear and see over the coming
days may be described as memorials, they are in truth much more than that; they are an integral part of the evidence before the inquiry. They will remind us of its fundamental purpose and the reason why it is so
important that the truth be laid bare. Only by
achieving that goal can we ensure justice for the living
and a lasting tribute to the dead”

Words from the Judge of the enquiry yesterday - heartbreakingly, gut wrenchingly beautiful

the people who knew them best and loved the most

Who could put a price on this?

Allygran1 Tue 22-May-18 14:34:02

What I cannot understand is why the instructions given by the Fire Service, was "stay-put". Some people were still speaking to their family and friends five hours after the start of the fire. This must have been the wrong instruction in those circumstances.

It is difficult to double guess the instruction, there would have been fear of too many people on the staircase, increasing smoke etc. But surely it would have been easier in the first hour to to evacuate the upper floors, knowing that the fire equipment could never reach those floors.

It's easy sat in my chair to say that, I am sure it was much more complex than I could ever imagine. It just does not make sense to me that people were still alive after five hours and others were leaving throughout that five hours. This will most likely be covered in the enquiry report.

Whatever the errors made in ignoring building regs, or the regs not be clear about the type of cladding to be used. These are most likely criminal incompetencies. For me the worrying and separate issue is, that once the fire had started those people were told to 'stay-put'.

maryeliza54 Tue 22-May-18 14:43:16

Ally from what I’ve read, had the cladding and its installation been fit for purpose, then staying put woukd have been the best advice. I’m sure all this will be covered in the enquiry.

Anniebach Tue 22-May-18 14:43:19

It was questioned last night, at,I think 1.30am, people were walking out of the building , was this before the instructions to stay-put

maryeliza54 Tue 22-May-18 14:48:00

This is interesting

Anniebach Tue 22-May-18 14:50:25

Bit confusing

gillybob Tue 22-May-18 14:51:01

“Personal vindictiveness “ ? “Childish “ ? Really ? What on earth are you talking about Eazybee? Just because I disagree with those who worship at their feet ? I have as much right to my opinion as you have and stick by my dislike of the absolute hypocrisy of the ever increasing RF .

maryeliza54 Tue 22-May-18 14:56:42

Well said. gillybob Funny isn’t it that outpourings of grief are unacceptable when 72 people died but outpourings of sycophantic rubbish are just fine.

nigglynellie Tue 22-May-18 15:03:36

I don't think people worship at their feet!! Yes they are popular and there is nothing wrong with that, and for all you republicans do be careful what you wish for, elected presidents can equal Donald Trump or worse, remember A. Hitler, equally adored if not more so, we have the news film to prove it.

maryeliza54 Tue 22-May-18 15:08:13

Sigh - why can posters not understand that the Queen is head of state and the PM head of government. POTUS combines both and is a rubbish idea imo. Plenty of countries have the two roles separate and it works well and best of all do not therefore worship at the feet of royalty. It willl never happen here because we are not grown up enough

Jalima1108 Tue 22-May-18 15:16:02

The purpose of the enquiry is to investigate and establish the causes of the fire and apportion blame.

That is true - but, besides establishing the cause we need to find out what else went wrong - whether or not exits were blocked, why people were unable to escape , why fire drills are not routinely carried out in buildings such as these etc and to improve safety regulations for the future.

Grandad1943 Tue 22-May-18 15:22:49

The Grenfell tower disaster inquiry will undoubtedly bring forward the true impact on all that were involved in that terrible night along with the negligence that created the circumstances which allowed the tragedy to come about. However, many involved with industrial safety have their strong doubts that anyone will ever be brought to justice in regard to this disaster.

Should anyone study the Health & Safety at Work Act brought into being in 1974 they will see that risk assessment was placed at the very foundation of that legislation. In the years following the introduction of the act until today workplace accidents have been reduced by 84%, with that figure having been achieved on the back of a continuously growing working population in the UK.

However, since the mid 1990s the emphasis on industrial safety has shifted with the budget and the size of the Health & Safety commission and Health and Safety Executive being reduced and therefore both bodies ability to oversee and inspect has also been reduced correspondingly.

Along with the foregoing large corporate companies began in that period to complain in regard to the amount of "red tape" they were subject to which was picked up by both main political parties in subsequent elections. To the credit of the Health & Safety Executive despite a dramatically reduced budget on site workplace safety has continued to improve. However, the legislation and inspection of such things as changes to procedures and materials have not kept pace with development and in that uncontrolled hazards have emerged.

It is true to state that new individual materials used throughout many industries are still subject to rigorous testing and risk assessment, but risk assessment in regard to the interaction between materials under stress conditions is now often no longer carried out or required under legislation.

The Tabloid press introduced the adage "elf & safety" in a derogatory campaign against red tape in the run up to the 2014 General Election. Under that pressure David Cameron declared it was his ambition to see all Health & Safety legislation removed or dramatically reduced during a speech he made in that campaign. Thankfully, that has not come about, but neither has current legislation has been updated.

In the above, we are now able to see the foundations of the Grenfell tragedy and witness what the true meaning of politicians stating they will "cut red tape" really means.

As stated many working in industrial safety believe that it is highly likely that no one will be brought to justice in regard to Grenfell Tower. In that we also hope we are wrong.