Socialist Worker

'It’s a wall of indifference', Grenfell survivor slams council

Joe Delaney, a Grenfell Tower fire survivor, told Alistair Farrow about the incompetence and indifference of the council

Issue No. 2560

Joe (right) being interviewed in the aftermath of the blaze

Joe (right) being interviewed in the aftermath of the blaze


What faith should we have in any kind of relief effort that Kensington and Chelsea council claim to be organising?

Compare what it and central government say residents are entitled to.

The figures are different—this is a good example of the incompetence. They can’t even tally the information so it is identical everywhere.

They are running nothing, they are running absolutely nothing—apart from running scared.

My main concern is ensuring this stays in the public light and it’s not forgotten about, because that’s what the government would like.

We need to get people into hotels, if that’s what they want. We need to get people out of the area, if that’s what they want. We need to make sure people can stay in the area, if that’s what they want.

I’d like to see more openness from Kensington and Chelsea council and the tenant management organisation.

The terms of reference of the inquest haven’t been set up yet so there’s nothing really we can do in that direction at the moment. We don’t even know who’s going to chair it yet, or who’s on the panel.

We can start to worry about that once it takes shape.

Tenancies 

What sort of tenancies are we going to be given? A lot of the people had secure tenancies. We didn’t have these new rolling ones which are renewed every five years.

Are we all going to be put on those types of tenancies? How is that fair? We didn’t ask to be moved, but now we’re being moved and we’re being penalised.

I’m a lucky one?I’m in a hotel. I was banging on doors to get neighbours out.

I’ve had no support from the council?nothing at all. The only contact I’ve had was when someone rang me up to fill out a form. He said he didn’t know what it was to do with. I asked him to send me a picture.

You can see their agenda to move us out. But now it’s gone public there’s been outrage and I haven’t heard a thing from them since.

It’s not going to go away.

The council is now trying to muscle in but it should just hand over control to the local groups on the ground?they’ve all managed to bond together and deal with the situation effectively. It was a hell of a sharp learning curve for everyone involved.

The council people are paid to do this sort of thing and they did bugger all. If they had used just 1 percent of the capacity they use for hemming us in like pigs during the Notting Hill carnival then none of this would have happened.

It’s not even a wall of silence, it’s a wall of indifference. And it’s because they don’t care about us.


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