A message from the Council to our residents and businesses:
We know people are worried about possible air pollution and soil contamination. We aim to protect people’s health and safeguard them from harm. Recent media reports of an unpublished study by Professor Anna Stec suggest there may be toxic contaminants in soil near Grenfell Tower and across a wider area. This needs to be thoroughly investigated. We will take advice from both Public Health England and the Environment Agency to agree the nature and scope of any testing on this site, and elsewhere. Work on this is already under way. Crucially, we will also ensure community input into any testing. We will also take into account views expressed at the public meeting, to be held on 29 October 2018.
Health advice to the public remains unchanged:
Between 11am and 12noon on Tuesday 23 October, a fire drill will take place at the Grenfell Tower site. This is a routine process, designed to make sure those working on site remain safe. It is not in response to any issues with the Tower, which continues to be monitored and remains stable.
There will be no siren but you may see teams working inside the building evacuate and assemble within the site. The site management team apologise in advance should you experience any disruption.
No action is required from members of the local community.
Together with our partners, we have launched a series of community conversations, workshops, drop-in sessions as well as a website – strongercommunities.rbkc.gov.uk – to ask local residents, community organisations and businesses in North Kensington what matters most to you.
This is so we can work together to address local priorities and to shape what happens in the future in this part of the borough.
In July, the Council’s Leadership Team which is made up of nine councillors and takes most of the Council’s biggest financial, policy and service decisions, agreed the ‘Commitments to those affected by the Grenfell tragedy’
The commitments seek to continue to build on the existing conversations the Council and its partners have had with residents affected by the tragedy about how we support your longer term recovery.
Residents identify six key themes
Through the pre-engagement work we have identified six broad themes which you have told us are important to you:
We know you’ve already given us lots of ideas and we are working on them. However we’d love to hear more as we know thing are always changing.
We have arranged a number of community conversations across North Kensington so you can tell us what’s important to you for a longer term recovery.
We’re holding a series of drop-in sessions where you can find out more and tell us what you think. We will also be on hand for anyone who prefers to have their say via our website but needs help to do so.
Drop-in sessions for residents
These sessions will be on:
Local organisations, groups and residents’ associations will also be holding workshop sessions with their own members.
Taking your ideas forward
We’ll be collating feedback from all of the conversations and from our website.
On Saturday 17 November from 10.30am to 4.30pm we will be holding an Ideas Day at Kensington Leisure Centre, Silchester Road, W10 6EX where you will be able to take a look at the feedback, check that your views have been accurately captured and have a further chance to have your say.
We will then pull everything together into a plan setting out what you’ve told us and the steps we all need to take to improve the lives of the residents of North Kensington.
Please go to the website to give us your views now strongercommunities.rbkc.gov.uk
Kensington and Chelsea Council has contributed to a new Grenfell Young People’s fund which opened for applications this week.
The fund seeks to improve the lives of young people affected by the Grenfell tragedy and the young people themselves get to decide how the money will be used to help their community.
Organisations looking for funding to improve the lives of young people will now have to go before a panel, 80 per cent of which will be made up of young people from the local area.
Groups can now apply for grants of up to £45,000, paid out in installments of £15,000 per year over three years.
The Council donated £431,000 to the £1.27 million fund. The rest of the money comprises £574,000 donated by readers to the Evening Standard Grenfell Appeal, as well as £269,000 from Artists for Grenfell.
Priority will be given to organisations based in North Kensington with annual turnover less than £500,000. To be eligible, groups will seek to improve young lives in at least one of three areas:
1) Wellbeing mental health support, trauma therapy, sport, music and dance
2) Empowerment youth leadership, violence reduction, community cohesion
3) Work ready offering work experience, training, skills or qualifications
Applications for round one of funding should be made by noon on Wednesday 31 October 2018 to The London Community Foundation, the charity that manages the Dispossessed Fund, at: www.londoncf.org.uk/grants/grenfell-ypf
Please contact The Programmes Team at The London Community Foundation if you have any queries about the Fund at email@example.com or 020 7582 5117.
Here is Kensington and Chelsea Council’s statement in response to former Council employee Jenny McDonagh receiving a five and a half year sentence for fraud, money laundering and theft:
Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith, deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: “Any fraud in these circumstances is disgraceful. That the perpetrator was a Council employee paid to help those affected by this tragedy only heightens the appalling nature of this crime.
“These actions are disgraceful and fraud is an issue the Council takes very seriously. We will pursue all legal avenues to root out corruption and fraud wherever it occurs and by whomever it is perpetrated.”
“The Grenfell Night Support Service that has been provided from Notting Hill Methodist Church will not be moving on Monday 6 August as previously advertised.
“It will remain fully operational in its current location until further notice.
“Meanwhile, the Council and Central North West London (CNWL) NHS are working with the community to assess what they need in terms of overnight health and emotional support.
“The Council’s Community Engagement Team will be undertaking a community consultation exercise over the summer, the results of this will help guide and inform our work with the wider community to support recovery. More information on this will follow soon.”
Kensington and Chelsea Council has responded to yesterday’s (31.07.18) government announcement that fire doors from five different suppliers have been identified as failing to meet requisite fire performance standards.
We know that this will be concerning for our residents. The Council has been advised that the fire doors failed due to not being tested on both sides, as the regulations stipulate. All councils, landlords and anyone in charge of buildings anywhere in the country will be asked to take action if these doors have been used or installed.
A Kensington and Chelsea Council spokesperson said: “We are constantly reviewing the fire safety of our housing stock and checks will continue to see if any of the named doors have been fitted to homes and we will take urgent action where necessary.
“We have already checked the new homes for Grenfell Tower families. We can confirm that we have not fitted any of the named doors to the new permanent homes of Grenfell survivors.
“The Council is embarking on a programme to replace 4,000 fire doors across our estates, at a cost of £3.5m. We have been clear, we will only put in doors that have passed all safety checks and if we are confident they are tested to the very highest standards.
“We will also liaise with housing associations to ensure blocks are either not affected or to ensure that urgent changes are made. We will check temporary homes and general housing stock, but that will take time.
“Yesterday’s announcement is a helpful one and we urge all parties involved to work together to ensure products are as safe as they can possibly be.”
Kensington and Chelsea Council has welcomed the announcement that the government will take responsibility for the Grenfell Tower site from the Metropolitan Police. The Council has always maintained that it should have no part in any day-to-day operations.
The announcement comes after the Metropolitan Police confirmed it has completed the forensic investigation of Grenfell Tower, which means the Tower is no longer required as a crime scene.
The government will now make operational decisions on issues such as the site’s safety, security and access arrangements, until the future of the site has been determined by the community. A formal agreement will be finalised in the autumn.
As these arrangements are put in place, the site will continue to be managed by the independent Site Management team who have been in place since July 2017.
Led by Doug Patterson, Chief Executive of the London Borough of Bromley, the team is responsible for all aspects of the on-going day-to-day management, such as health and safety and security. This ensures the Council will continue to take no role in making decisions regarding the site.
The local policing team will continue to work closely with the Site Management team and patrol the surrounding area to protect the integrity of the site.
The Council has always been clear that in the long term, it is for the Grenfell community – the bereaved, survivors and residents – to decide on the future of the tower site. The community must have full control to shape the legacy of Grenfell following this tragedy. Earlier this year the Council signed up to a set of principles with the government committing to this and this remains our position.
You can find the government’s full statement here.
The site principles, signed up to by RBKC, can be found here.
A set of commitments to those affected by the Grenfell tragedy were discussed and agreed by Councillors last night (Wednesday 25 July).
“Our Commitments to those affected by the Grenfell tragedy” sets out our approach to working with survivors, the bereaved and the wider community towards long-term recovery.
The approach is informed by the many conversations with survivors, the bereaved and wider community we have had over the past year and has been developed together with NHS partners, West London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL).
Our overall aims are:
– To support survivors and those who were bereaved as a result of the tragedy to rebuild their lives
– To support with community-led recovery for the wider community, helping people to build a better future for themselves and families
– To help all those affected by the Grenfell tragedy to support themselves and each other, developing capacity and resilience for a better future
The Leadership Team – the Council’s decision making body – approved the commitments as a basis for further consultation and engagement. This will take place in the coming months so that we can hear more about what matters to survivors, the bereaved and the wider community.
The commitments are only the beginning of a wider conversation with the community and we have deliberately made them open-ended to ensure that they leave room for discussion, debate and challenge. They will be the foundation of a long-term recovery strategy, to be developed in partnership with residents and agreed by the Council in the autumn.
We will be contacting as many local community groups as possible to hear their ideas. There will be a number of drop-in sessions, workshops as well as dedicated consultation website for people to give us their views.
You can read more about the commitments on the Council’s website.