Socialist Worker

Grenfell Tower Tory now giving advice on 'protecting front-line services'

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2568

Two months on survivors are still waiting to be rehoused

Two months on survivors are still waiting to be rehoused (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Disgraced former leader of Kensington and Chelsea council Nicholas Paget-Brown has landed on his feet despite being responsible for the decisions that led up to the Grenfell Tower fire which killed at least 80 people.

He has set up a consultancy firm to advise companies that want to do business with councils.

The firm, NPB Consulting, offers "policy analysis, seminars, briefings and drafting assistance for organisations working with local authorities”.

Some of the seminars it offers include “financial planning in an age of austerity”, “setting an effective green agenda for councils”, “protecting front-line services” and “place-making”.

While Paget-Brown is feathering his nest survivors and people displaced by the Grenfell Tower fire still remain unhoused in overcrowded hotel rooms.

Gall

“I don’t know how the ex leader of a council being investigated for its role around the Grenfell fire has the gall to think his knowledge would help another council,” North Kensington housing activist Jan Sweeney told Socialist Worker. “I think the council has severely neglected its residents.”

According to Paget-Brown’s LinkedIn profile, he is the managing director of the new firm, which was set up in July, the month after the fire. And he remains a councillor, along with the recently resigned council cabinet member for housing Rock Feilding-Mellen.

Paget-Brown hasn’t wasted any time in making a new life for himself - his attitude of self preservation typifies the Tory council’s response, and the response of the establishment as a whole.

If this is how elected officials behave then it’s clear survivors and activists will have to fight tooth and nail for justice. The judge-led inquiry into the causes of the fire has already had its terms of reference constrained to the events directly relating to the fire.

The fight for justice increasingly looks like it will be waged by ordinary people against an establishment more interested in protecting its members than holding them to account.


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