Socialist Worker

Leaked report shows how council ‘savings’ led to Grenfell Tower fire disaster

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2600

Part of the silent walk for Grenfell in London last Saturday

Part of the silent walk for Grenfell in London last Saturday (Pic: Socialist Worker)

A shocking report into the immediate causes of the Grenfell Tower fire was leaked on Monday.

It points the finger for the rapid spread of the fire squarely at the flammable cladding around the tower.

Former Grenfell Tower resident Antonio Roncolato was devastated by the news.

“At the end of the day it’s all down to money,” he told Socialist Worker. “‘How can we do it cheaper?’ they asked. But what about our safety?”

Shortcuts were taken at every stage of the refurbishment project to keep costs down.

Kensington and Chelsea council dropped its preferred bidder for the refurbishment, Leadbitter, because it quoted £11.27 million for the work.

The council got the Rydon maintenance firm to do the job for £10 million instead.

The 200-page report from BRE Global was contracted by the Met police. It said cladding panels were installed incorrectly—sometimes upside down.

There were gaps of up to 50mm between the surface of the building and the panels. The maximum is supposed to be 25mm to prevent the gap acting like a chimney.

Windows were not installed correctly and some flats were not equipped with automatic fire door closers.

Activists have called for a protest outside parliament on 14 May to coincide with a debate.

Antonio said, “It’s really upsetting. We’re talking about people’s lives. There will be more things to come out I’m sure.”

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