Grenfell Tower- surely enough coverage?

I have now had my fill of Grenfell Tower news. Yes, it was a trajedy on a large scale but there has been worse.
Now we are being bombarded again by more pseudo sympathy from politicians & media about the amount of families who have still to be rehomed.
Let’s have a bit of a reality check, shall we?
Grenfell Tower was classed as social housing. Social housing provides stable, affordable homes for those at the sharp end of the housing crisis. In England, social housing accounts for 17% of all households. If you can’t afford somewhere to live then any housing is better than none.
A quick look online has unearthed a few interesting figures -
210 families lost a place to live because of the fire & needed to be found somewhere else.
According to the Guardian (11/12/17) “staff have been given a budget of £235m to replace the homes lost in the tower. They are currently in the process of buying 300 new homes”. That is £1.2 million per family! Wow, I could buy a really nice house for that. Then with their share of the £28 million in charity donations - They could afford to furnish their new mansions very nicely.
I know money cannot compensate for the loss of a loved one (though it obviously helps) most of these families were just made homeless, like more than 20,000 families per year who also lose their homes in fires.
I’m all for helping thise less fortunate but let’s not be so selective - help every victim of fire the same way!
Some of the victims are still in temporary accommodation. Why? Because they insist on living in the tiny borough of Kensington & Chelsea rather than travel a few extra kms.
They should be grateful for ANY shelter!

Light blue touch paper & retire.


Morning Mark…

You’ve certainly provided food for thought… :wink::thinking:

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I’m with you on Grenfell. Yes a tragedy that could have been prevented and should be investigated. But it highlighted sub-letting, and brought out minority grievances and has now got political. Whilst I understand that many may wish to remain in Kensington, social housing is a luxury, not a right … there are cheaper areas to live and build.

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I want to add something in as well. A friend of mine back in the UK, through no real fault of her own, (ie drugs, anti-social behaviour etc), is homeless and is in temporary accommodation. She has been there for 6 years and counting as there is so little social housing in the borough, (Hounslow), and nothing suitable for her needs without someone higher up the waiting list getting it first, and she is in the second highest category. When Grenfell happened, those 210 famiies were shunted to the top of the list and everyone else put further back. Grenfell was another good example for those not directly affected to latch on to and display their compassionate credentials.

But who cares for the other homeless who have been negatively affected by the tragedy and won’t be given a new property and thousands in charitable donations?


Grenfell was a tragedy that was quickly latched onto for peoples own agendas. However I would take issue with the statement that money helps in a bereavement

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More of a poke at compensation lawyers who even have a “menu” for claims -

I have some sympathy for those people who lost close family members in the fire. I wouldn’t be willing to be rehomed somewhere away from the place where a loved-one died in such questionable circumstances, and few would disagree with that, I reckon.

There’s a suspicion, whether well-founded or not, that moving the families away is sweeping the crumbs of this affair under the carpet.

It is imperative that a thorough enquiry is carried out to establish the cause of the fire even if it takes years, there are thousands of similar tower blocks throughout the UK and lessons must be learnt, it would be criminal if another fire of this scale happened again and it would also be an insult to the families of those who lost their lives in Grenfell.


Would you really want to be constantly reminded of how a loved one died?
210 families lost their accommodation. Less than half lost a family member. So there are a lot of families who are not being rehomed away from a place where a loved one died.
I wonder how many of the families chose to remain homeless until they were found accommodation in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea ?
The borough covers an area of 4.68 square miles & has 12 tube stations & loads of buses so hardly difficult to travel to or from. These people are not expected to move to Manchester!
It is the one of the most densly populated districts in the UK. If they really need a roof over their heads then being asked to move a few miles is not unreasonable, surely?
Like a plane crash, a thorough investigation by professionals is vital in order to learn how to prevent a recurrence. Commercial aircraft do not carry parachutes but they are not required to do so even though lives could be saved. It is not against the law.
I cannot help feeling that the inquiry will also become a witch hunt.

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I don’t think the families will need any reminders of their loss, Mark, it will be an indelible mark in their consciousness as long as they live. Maybe a solution could be to build social housing of an appropriate kind on the Grenfell footprint, so that bereaved families would feel close to those they lost. Better that than a maudlin “Garden of Remembrance”.

There has been and will possibly long remain a suspicion that poor families don’t have a place in that part of London, except to serve the needs of their well-heeled betters. I lived in London in the 1950s before gentrification became pervasive, and I don’t like it, especially as it forces workers like my daughter into penury if they want to live reasonably close to their place of work.

That feeling is widespread amongst working class people in London, and isn’t going to abate. Grenfell is emblematic of that issue, and won’t be dismissed by “Let them eat cake!” proclamations IMO.

One point you don’t raise is that those families were effectively killed by something more than bad luck that strikes me as being homicidal, not just died in a house fire because they’d let the deep fat fryer catch alight. It makes a difference. Especially as they were housed by the local authority that was supposed to be providing them with shelter.


Whilst I agree in principle Jane it is not as simple as a Council making a decision. Having worked in a field where I needed to deal with Councils on building matters, whilst Building Control may have agreed the use of that cladding (and I am surmising it was their decision but could be maligning them), another department may have been vehemently against it. So yes, there is a decision taken but it possibly won’t have been unanimous and nor would the head of the Council necessarily have known the decision was taken other than to accept that all relevant departments had carried out the correct research and had made the right decision and may have signed it off. My feeling is that Building Control department may be negligent but not the Council as a whole. It is a very difficult area. There was a programme some time ago that made the point that we can never learn from past mistakes for major disasters because there is always a blame culture and therefore people will cover things up.

Not having a go at you Jane but it was a good post for getting this point across.

Whatever else this dreadful incident was - it most certainly was not murder (or homicide Jane - following your edit!!). That requires proof of a pre meditated act / intent.

I’m really… really uncomfortable with this discussion…:frowning: Maybe a step too far for me…

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I was using “council” in a broad sense to mean public authorities at all levels who have a responsibility for housing people, and use public funds for that purpose. So from government, national building control policy and onwards. And whatever the outcome of the enquiry it seems that they have not discharged this responsibility properly.

And yes murder is an inflammatory word, and may not be accurate in a legal sense. But being in London this week and seeing it for the first time it is truly shocking.

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I think it will be quite some time before any real details are known.

I think manslaughter may be a more appropriate term

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I think Dave’s response to Jane’s post was very measured & polite. I will try to respond the same way.

Murder - the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.

Whilst Jane is entitled to her view I do feel that to state that those who died were effectively murdered is in very poor taste. The enquiry has only just started & preliminary investigations have so far found no illegal actions by anyone. To suggest such does nothing to help anyone’s case.

Every time a plane crashes with extensive loss of life due to a technical or design fault there are no cries of murder because no one deliberately set out to cause them. Sometimes a series of minor issues which in themselves remain such can sometimes combine in an unforseen way to cause a major issue.
Air France flight 447 crashed in to the sea with the loss of 228 lives. The cause was that the information sent from speed sensors was disrupted because of ice. This had a knock on effect which, due to various reasons, the crew were not able to understand. Later, the type of sensor was changed but Airbus were never accused of fitting substandard sensors, There was certainly no premeditated intention to kill these people & the same is true of those who specified the work on Grenfell.


Kensington and Chelsea is not a little borough…I lived there for many years.

have some of you got a little tired of hearing about the tragedy ah well at least it did not
affect you directly.
A close friend of mine lost her young brother in the Locaby disaster. He was on his way to America with his new bride. We talk about our memories of her brother often and about the great life he was going to enjoy as a good musician, as a husband, a family man.
We discuss the odd circumstances which took place regarding the suddenly available tickets for the flight. Her brother will always be living in her mind as an unsolved murder of someone she adored.
Perhaps if the media are no longer interested …then justice will not be found.

Social housing a luxury? No . Council housing , public housing is part of a civilized society.


Your post is dated May 21st, the day that the official enquiry into the disaster started. Why wouldn’t it be a news item?

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