Portcullis
Chloe Smith
Member of Parliament for Norwich North
 
Jul
13

Grenfell Tower Update

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 13 July 2017 15:46

The Government has been working with local government officials and organisations including Transport for London, Citizens Advice, the Red Cross, and the NHS, to provide support to the victims. I have been assured that nobody will be forced to move somewhere they do not want to go.

 

A new £5 million Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund has also been made immediately available to help those who had to flee their homes. Every household whose home has been destroyed will receive a guaranteed £5,500 minimum down payment from the fund. This money could be used to cover loss of possessions, funerals and emergency supplies. I understand that the fund will be kept under review and will increase if necessary.

 

I completely understand the shock, concern, anger and frustration that exists as a result of this. The Prime Minister has ordered a full, judge-led public inquiry, which will investigate what happened and who was responsible for the disaster, to give people the answers they deserve. The voices of survivors must be heard and I welcome the Government’s commitment to pay for legal representation for those affected. An independent expert advisory panel has also been appointed to advise the Government on any immediate action that should be taken on fire safety. This may include changes to law but in my view it is far too early to be able to jump with any certainty to introducing new law within days in Parliament, so that's why I'm relaying what the Prime Minister and the government have done, and am including lots of other relevant points, rather than giving your concise email a simple answer. 

 

While it remains too early to say exactly what caused this tragedy, public safety is the number one priority. The Department for Communities and Local Government has contacted all social landlords to identify the tall residential buildings in England, which have potentially similar cladding to Grenfell Tower. Following the fire, I wrote to Norwich City Council’s Chief Executive, Laura McGillivray, about the use of cladding on any of Norwich’s existing tower blocks in my constituency.  I thought you would want to see the reply from the City Council which sets out the measures they’ve taken to ensure the safety of their tenants.

 

A full copy of the letter Rt Hon Sajid MP, Secretary of State for Communities, can be seen below: