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GRENFELL MP Emma Dent Coad has accused her local council of a “hardening in attitude” towards survivors of the fire, and has warned that authorities are attempting to go back to “business as usual.”
Her comments came in response to anger from residents that the NHS Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service, which is funded by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) was allegedly ignoring a report about contaminated soil around Grenfell Tower.
The report, which was conducted by Professor Anna Stec of the University of Central Lancashire, said that the area surrounding the tower was contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals, and urged government authorities to act.
However, the service’s latest newsletter only gave readers advice about fasting during Ramadan, and failed to mention the report at all.
Ms Dent Coad said: “What I see is a hardening in attitude from all ‘authorities’ connected to Grenfell.
“They want to get back to ‘business as usual’ — I was told that by an RBKC director. They want to move on — we wish we could.”
Her comments come 22 months on from the fire, which killed 72 people. The Grenfell community held a silent march yesterday evening in memory of the victims, a protest which has become a monthly call for justice.
The council said it had committed £50 million to “support the recovery of those affected by the Grenfell tragedy over the next five years.”
Concerns for children’s safety have also been raised after School Standards Minister Nick Gibb admitted that fewer than one is six new schools was being built with sprinklers to tackle fires.
Firefighters have stressed the importance of sprinklers in the wake of the Grenfell disaster and the government’s own advice calls for their extensive use.
National Education Union joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said it was “perverse” that ministers were not enforcing the advice.
The government said sprinklers are installed when “considered necessary” by inspectors before classrooms are open to pupils.
Labour MP and former teacher Stephanie Peacock, who brought about the revelation after a Commons question, blamed the Conservative “obsession with austerity.”
Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack accused the government of “trying to build schools on the cheap” and of an “utter complacency” on fire safety.
Sprinklers are mandatory in new school buildings in Scotland and Wales, but this is not the case in England, though Labour has promised to change that if elected.
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