Grenfell survivors attack ‘incompetent’ ministers

After two years of meetings with the government over safety reform, Grenfell United (GU) have been met with “little action”.

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Grenfell United, the towers survivors group has publicly called out the Prime Minister and “indifferent and incompetent” ministers over a lack of action over building safety and social housing reform.

As reported by the group, which represents around 95% of survivors and bereaved, 22 months’ worth of private meetings with the PM and housing ministers to try to influence policy has been met with “too little action.”

The group is said to currently be planning a campaign to rally people across the county behind its demands for safe homes and for tenants to be treated with respect.

Formed five days after the fire, the survivors saw some success when ministers banned combustible aluminium combustible material (ACM) cladding on new high rises and pledged to invest around £400m on social sector towers.

However, the group has reported that no money has been allocated for the private sector towers affected and so far, only 89 of the 226 high-rise residential buildings with ACM cladding have been made safe.

Edward Daffarn, 56, a founding member of the group, and Natasha Elcock, 42, its chairwoman, said they now had no confidence that the Prime Minister would keep her promise to bring lasting reform to social housing.

Mr Daffarn added: “It has taken us 22 months to understand that if we carry on in a dignified and kind way we may never get the change that we need.

“It feels like it’s always us having to seek meetings with them, we never get any feedback.

“The government action can best be summed as indifferent and incompetent. We organised a meeting with the government seven weeks ago to propose a new model of housing regulator but since then, we have had no contact from Kit Malthouse, the housing minister.”

According to GU, the government has yet to publish a “promised” white paper on social housing reform, with a decision still not made to help the local community decide on the future of the Grenfell site.

“We will continue to work with Grenfell United and others to ensure that social homes are safe, issues are resolved quickly and residents’ voices are heard,” a government spokesman added.

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