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Reports round up: Grenfell survivors to wait a year for homes

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Issue 2597
Still no justice for the victims of Grenfell
Still no justice for the victims of Grenfell (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Survivors and those displaced by the Grenfell Tower fire could be waiting over a year to get rehoused, according to the government.

Grenfell United, a group representing some survivors and families of the dead, wrote a letter to local government minister Sajid Javid in protest.

The group also asked London mayor Sadiq Khan to make an “urgent and personal intervention to get victims into homes”.

Theresa May had promised that people forced to move by the fire would be rehoused within three weeks.

The Tories’ shocking admission comes as the inquiry into the immediate causes of the fire gets underway. In another demonstration of his insensitivity, inquiry chair Sir Martin Moore-Bick told people to stay seated as a fire alarm sounded in the inquiry rooms.

Campaigners and survivors will have to look to each other for the solidarity they need to get justice. The Tories in local and central government, and their judges, have lost survivors’ trust.

Housing Residents fired the opening salvo in their campaign against Savills on Monday.

Around 80 percent of properties sold at a previous Savills auction were social housing.

The protest was called by Genesis and Notting Hill residents. The residents originally came together to resist the merger of the two housing associations.

The merger was seen as a prelude to the housing associations selling off what they could and hiking the rents for the rest of us.

Graham Hodgin

Estates not safe from developers

Council housing estate regeneration projects will go ahead despite Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge that residents would get a vote on proposals.

London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan had conceded ground to Corbyn and included the pledge in his Best Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration.

But a Freedom of Information request this month showed that “the requirement for ballots will not be retrospective”.

That means councils will not have to ballot residents over regeneration projects which have already been signed off.

“Ballots also won’t apply to schemes that already have full or outline planning permission,” reads the reply from the Mayor of London’s office.

Some 34 estates across London are exempt from the votes.

Daily Mail cleaners win the living wage

Cleaners at the Daily Mail newspaper’s offices in Kensington, west London, have won their demands for a living wage after threatening to strike.

The cleaners’ employers, outsourcing firm Mitie, has agreed to pay the London Living Wage of £10.20 from 1 April.

The pay rise is a 25 percent rise for the cleaners, all of whom are migrants.

Freedom Riders celebrate birthday

Over 60 people joined the South Yorkshire Freedom Riders rally outside Sheffield train station on Monday.

They were celebrating the 4th anniversary of their campaign to win back free train travel for the elderly.

Speakers pointed out that the campaign has won a number of victories and continues to attract many supporters. Banners read, “We’re not going away.”

Messages of support were sent to RMT union members who were striking to keep guards on the train.

George Arthur

GMB union ballots Devon paramedics

The GMB union is holding a consultative ballot of paramedics and other ambulance workers in Devon.

Workers have raised concerns around annual leave refusals, unfair and inconsistent rotas and pay.

South Western ambulance bosses have also refused to recognise the GMB as a union at the workplace.

The ballot closes on Friday 13 April.

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