One year on from Grenfell

Monday 18th June 2018 | Jake

The 14th of June 2018 marked the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, a blaze that killed 71 people and almost ruined a great many more. In the year following the tragedy, the strength, community and perseverance of those affected has been a source of pride, inspiration and deep respect for people around the world. It has also been in complete contrast to the government’s response.

After publicly dodging the survivors in the immediate aftermath, Theresa May has failed to instil any faith in the survivors (and much of the public) that she can deliver justice for those lives lost, and those they leave behind. Complacency, bureaucracy and avarice have led to agonising waits for new residences for the survivors, and left many in fear that their homes are at risk too.

The government has thus far failed to ban the use of combustible materials on tall buildings, despite 75% of buildings failing tests on their cladding systems in Manchester, where combustible material is legal, in comparison to 0 percent of tall buildings in Scotland, where a clean ban on combustible materials is in place.

Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review into building regulations and fire safety didn’t recommend a clean ban on combustible materials, drawing sharp criticism. The government now says it is considering a ban on combustible material used in cladding. But as long as the allure of profit/saving drives government and the firms hired to build homes, survivors and the public can expect more complacency, a lot more bureaucracy and plenty avarice.