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 Post subject: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:44 pm 
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Grenfell Tower fire that happened a month ago. Maybe I missed it.

LBC talk about it everyday with updates and interviews but today was particularly heartbreaking.

http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/j ... fell-fire/

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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:34 pm 
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I'm sure most of us are well aware of the dreadful Grenfell Tower and the subsequent problems of helping the victims get back on their feet. There has been so much in the press that it's difficult to know what is fact and what is hearsay. However, when you do hear personal stories of what the survivors have gone through and how they are having to cope, it is heart-rending.

I believe that Sadiq Khan is trying to help but unfortunately nothing happens immediately and so many people have been left literally stranded.


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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:34 am 
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My feeling was that so many awful things had been happening around that time, it would be more doom and gloom on here, and not really franco related. But I'm sure all of us were upset by it.

I thought I had done crying over news stories, but for some reason that horrendous incident took it to a new level. Especially when there were whispers of "poverty stricken foreigners, so not so important". Oh boy, I was fuming.

The disgraceful aftermarth just rubbed salt into the wound too. Yet, it still goes on. How many others are still living in fear they live in a combustible box because some greedy git wanted to cut corners on building regs?

Just too awful.

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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:40 am 
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Well said, Bayleaf, my feelings exactly.

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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:09 am 
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On the radio last night they said a similar debate was now going on in Australia regarding tower blocks.

It is just sad that so many lost their lives for this global wake-up call.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:03 am 
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It's cheaper and more profitable to build upwards and this is not confined to cheaper housing. You only have to look at the number of recent tower block fires in Dubai to see that it's not just cheaper housing that is at risk.
Cost cutting has cost many lives and as Bayleaf says, the way the survivors have been treated is dreadful. It also brings home the fact that in any sort of incident of this magnitude, there is no plan laid out to help them other than shove them into some hotel for a couple of days. These people have lost so much and are not getting the help and care they really need.

Browneyes' link was truly horrendous ... I have only just been able to bring myself to listen to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:59 am 
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I was in no way criticising. I was just surprised no one had said anything given the magnitude of the tragedy.

What really gets me is that the authorities, especially K & C Council have done absolutely nothing to help. Within a couple of days several local authorities offered K & C Council help in any way whatsoever and it was refused. Central Government also did nothing.
K & C Council offered accommodation that had already been condemned and was ready for demolition. A disabled person was offered a flat on the 4th floor with no lift........that is the extent of help it has offered.
Even Emma Dent-Coad, MP for K & C said how disgusted she was with the council, that she truly believed they see the survivors as lesser than them.
http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/j ... -lesser-t/
(Apologies if you don't like LBC !!!)

The millionaire residents living in the posh tower threatened to move out if the survivors moved into the empty flats in the block !!!!

Every tiny bit of support and aid has come from volunteers and is continuing to come from the public and not local or central government.
Local youth workers have set up a 'Kids on the Green' for the children who had nowhere to go during the day. They begged the council for funds to buy footballs, crafting materials etc. and were turned down.
They had to turn to radio and ask the public for help, which unsurprisingly came within minutes.

I have no words to describe how I feel.

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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:30 pm 
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browneyes wrote:
The millionaire residents living in the posh tower threatened to move out if the survivors moved into the empty flats in the block !!!!

They should have been told "Fine, move out if you wish" - they must have had an alternative if they could issue such a threat. The poor Tower victims has nothing.

I always wonder what happens to all the money people give because unless it is managed carefully, it disappears into the pockets of people it was never intended for.


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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:41 pm 
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Blaze wrote:
I always wonder what happens to all the money people give because unless it is managed carefully, it disappears into the pockets of people it was never intended for.


Ditto - and it does sound like it is not reaching the right people at the moment.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:15 pm 
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browneyes wrote:
Central Government also did nothing.

I am not sure that that is entirely fair. Whilst very much still needs to be done the Government has announced, and already started giving financial assistance to those affected, and is also contributing to the local charities, who seem glad of the help: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-disaster-latest-government-response-5-million-theresa-may-families-5500-each-a7796456.html
And http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/government-makes-1m-available-grenfell-tower-charities/policy-and-politics/article/1437775 As the latter article says, "The new money is in addition to a £5m discretionary fund for residents of Grenfell Tower that was announced by the government last week. A further £48,000 from the government will help to provide organisational support for an assistance centre near the tower – located at the Westway Centre – and will be administered by Locality ... David Warner, chief executive of London Funders, said: "We are delighted that the DCLG has responded with vital funds to provide immediate support to community groups in Kensington and Chelsea who are supporting those directly affected by the Grenfell fire. "London Funders, along with a consortium of trusts and foundations, is making sure the money gets to those groups that can best use it as quickly as possible. We have now put in place the processes to make that happen."


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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:20 pm 
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While I agree that the government have tried to do things - albeit perhaps 2 days later than needed - I think the local disconnect between the authorities and the victims means that they (the victims) have not seen the full benefit or perhaps any of it of the government's largesse.

The fundamental problem however is clear. With a background of a housing crisis - especially for the disadvantaged - how do you suddenly find housing for 200 + odd families displaced by the disaster. Those who sold off council properties (which I do not necessarily disagree with) but refused to replace the housing stock for those of limited means have a lot to answer for.

As for the super rich who want to move out of their luxury penthouses because of their soon to be neighbours - let 'em go. Compulsorily purchase their flats at the value of those being offered to the victims (on a Metre square basis) and house some more of the victims.

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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:33 pm 
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thelastoneout wrote:
As for the super rich who want to move out of their luxury penthouses because of their soon to be neighbours - let 'em go. Compulsorily purchase their flats at the value of those being offered to the victims (on a Metre square basis) and house some more of the victims.

And you'll find that the European Convention on Human Rights does not just apply to the poor.


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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:33 pm 
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But whose human rights have precedence? Those with or those without. I know the historical precedence and I know that English law is based on precedence. That does not make it right.

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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:11 pm 
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But that is not English Common Law. It is international human rights law. And the rights of humans are as set out in the Convention, which is blind as to how rich or poor you are. What would be wrong is to make law on the hoof to deprive anyone of their property just to right a perceived wrong to someone else. That is exactly what the Convention is there to prevent.


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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:21 am 
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I bow to your undoubted superior knowledge of the law. However it seems to me to be wrong, indeed immoral, that properties can be abandoned (I speak not just of those being threatened post Grenfell but more generally of the hundreds of thousands abandoned across the UK) when there are so many homeless people and people living in substandard accommodation.

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 Post subject: Re: Grenfell Tower Fire
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:02 pm 
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It may be immoral and is no doubt awful (I did my first sposored walk for Shelter in 1970, and have been a monthly financial donor for the last 20 plus years). However, comments like those of the leader of the opposition that we should take over unoccupied houses do nothing to help this and would lead to illegality. For a start off, how many are there? And what counts as "abandoned" or "unoccupied?" I see very many abandoned houses in the french countryside, I'm told they are symptoms of rural depopulation, but also of the French inheritance laws. I haven't read in the French press that these should be requisitioned and given to the homeless, or to refugees. They really are falling into ruin but in the UK this is a much rarer phenomenon. There may be houses that are rarely occupied, but that is rather different.

If someone wants to own property that is neither illegal nor, in my opinion, immoral. What would be immoral (and I would suggest, unlawful) is a decision of the state to take over houses for those less fortunate without any policy in place, and in the absence of lawful authority. Such action requires careful thought and consideration, and surely should be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny. Perhaps the answer is to have better emergency planning and provision, but I suspect that any nation, even an advanced western one, would find themselves in difficulty over an event such as this.


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