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Tory Budget allocates no money for Grenfell Tower fire survivors

Last year’s Budget granted £28m in government funds to help pay for mental-health and counselling services

NO MONEY was allocated in the Budget for Grenfell Tower fire survivors, despite a reported plea for extra funding of up to £60 million.

The Tory-controlled Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea had sought financial support for its Grenfell recovery strategy this summer to provide health support, housing and refurbishment of the authority’s Lancaster West Estate, of which the tower forms part.

Last year’s Budget granted £28 million in government funding to help pay for mental-health and counselling services and regeneration in the neighbourhood.

Justice4Grenfell spokeswoman Yvette Williams said its members were disappointed that there was no extra funding for the maintenance of the estate’s existing high-rise council blocks.

“That’s an issue here and probably up and down the country as well,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government said that the government is “in discussions” with the council over future funding of the site of the tower, but made no mention of funds for the estate.

Ms Williams said the organisation also wants to see extra funding for schools in communities that have gone through trauma — such as those close to Grenfell Tower or the Manchester Arena bombing — to make sure pupils complete their education.

Ms Williams said parents in her neighbourhood were particularly concerned about rising rates of exclusion.

“These kids are going to need extra support to maintain their educational standards and it has to be long-term support,” she said.

The Grenfell fire in June last year left 72 dead, hundreds homeless and many more requiring support for trauma.

At the ongoing inquiry into the blaze today one resident reported that he had heard the death of his son confirmed on the BBC while “desperately hoping” he was still alive.

Paulos Tekle said he did not understand how the broadcaster found out before the family were informed 11 days later.

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