Thursday 22 June: Statement from Cllr Nicholas Paget-Brown

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech this morning (22 June), Councillor Nicholas-Paget-Brown, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council stated:

The Grenfell Tower fire has been a catastrophe.  We are so sorry for all the victims, their families, friends and the other residents.

Council workers have been on duty around the clock since 1.30am on the day of the fire, helping local residents and the families of the victims.  I have nothing but praise for their truly heroic efforts.

However, although individual Council officers have worked so hard and delivered so much, it is clear that there has been a failing in our collective response.  We could have done a better job at co-ordinating what happened on the ground and we weren’t able to re-home people as fast as we would have liked.  We are truly sorry for that.  This is a tragedy of enormous proportions, and it has overwhelmed our normal capacity.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from the community, the Emergency Services, hospital staff, charities, the Government and other local authorities in London, as well as our own staff.

We have now secured temporary accommodation for 250 households pending permanent rehousing.  No one has been housed outside of London.  Work is underway to assess the housing needs of all Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk families to identify suitable accommodation.  All the identified properties are in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, or a neighbouring borough, and none will be in towers.

“We have assigned a social worker to every affected household that wants one, both those from Grenfell Tower and other families who live near the tower and have been affected. They will act as the key point of contact to ensure that residents get the support they need.

We have a community assistance centre at the Westway that has been in operation since Wednesday 14 June providing a hub for our relief efforts.  We have also opened a further centre specifically for the friends and family of the victims and the missing.

People rightly have many questions about this tragedy, and they will be answered. Lessons will be learned from the Grenfell Tower fire and the Government has launched a full public inquiry. We will cooperate in full with this and all other investigations.”