10,000 signatures reached
To: Robert Jenrick MP, Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary
Grenfell Never Again: Keep our buildings safe
Listen to and act on the demands of Grenfell campaigners and the Fire Brigades Union. Make our public buildings safe, invest in fire protection and reform our fire and building safety systems, to ensure that a fire like the Grenfell Tower tragedy never happens again.
Why is this important?
On 14 June 2017, the fire at Grenfell Tower claimed the lives of 72 people and devastated a close-knit community in the heart of London.
Two years on, the bereaved, survivors and residents are still waiting for justice.
And two years on, we are still waiting for the lessons from that day to be learned, and acted upon to safeguard all our communities.
We are calling on the government to take five key steps:
1) Remove flammable cladding from all tower blocks and public buildings. There are still 328 residential and public buildings using the same cladding as that on the Grenfell Tower, and 1,700 with other potentially combustible claddings, including hospitals, care homes and schools as well as high rises.
2) Retrofit sprinklers in high rises and schools, wherever a risk assessment deems them necessary. Coroners' reports have called for sprinkler systems to be fitted, but so far only 32 out of 837 council tower blocks over 30m tall have sprinklers.
3) Ensure tenants are given a real voice in the running and upkeep of their buildings. Grenfell tenants say their concerns about materials used in the refurbishment were ignored by Kensington and Chelsea council. Tenants’ right should be strengthened and democratically-elected groups given a direct say.
4) Reverse the cuts to the firefighter numbers and Fire Safety Officers. In 2016-17, the government spent £1,013m on fire services. But in 2019-20, it will only spend £858m. Every single fire authority has seen the amount it receives in central government funding cut in the last three years.
5) Create a new independent national body to oversee standards and best practices in fire service across the country. There is no national body to oversee fire and rescue service and fire policy. This means standards vary across authorities and lessons are not being learned. Minimum standards should be set for response times and crewing levels.
Working with the Daily Mirror, Grenfell campaigners and the Fire Brigades Union are calling on the Communities Secretary to commit the government to real action on all of the changes we need, to ensure that a fire like the Grenfell Tower tragedy never happens again.