Sunday, June 18, 2017

Grenfell Tower Tragedy - One Possible Difficult Lesson

The reasons for tragedy and disaster hitting so many families  struck by this dreadful fire last week are hard to understand. This Hammersmith tower block with several others is clearly visible from the M4 when traveling to London from say Heathrow Airport.  May those who have died RIP and those who have suffered receive  some answers as soon as possible.

Are the other Hammersmith  tower blocks built and  particularly  re-cladded, in similar fashion? Then around the country there are literally hundreds more of similar tower blocks - have they been built and/or re-cladded in the same way?

If I resided in such a block the need for an inspection and status report for myself and co- residents would be acute. If the methods of construction and cladding of such towers are found to be similar to those at Grenfell then those occupiers are owed safe alternative accommodation whilst their homes are made safe.

If thousands of people are found to be potentially affected in similar fashion top priority must be given to their safeguarding which in reality could involve finding hundreds of thousands of alternative homes for them to live in albeit on a temporary basis.

In my view nearly all immigration to the UK during the time of ensuring that existing tenants are rehoused and  repairs effected to their tower blocks, should be limited to those who have safe accommodation to occupy or sufficient personal funds to secure such accommodation. Allowing mass immigration to continue almost unrestricted for example from the EU,  whilst the existing council housing stock is made safe would risk another cataclysmic disaster.

I recall in 1980 there was a dreadful hostel fire in Kilburn during which many occupants died. One of the many sadnesses of that tragedy was that the hostel owners had taken in more residents than they should during the evening of the fire in view of the extremely cold winter weather. 

In the event a lesson from that tragedy surely is that being too kind can   be disastrous for all concerned?  Immigrants who would rely on council accommodation should sadly, have to defer their entry into the UK until existing council accommodation is safeguarded and existing residents safely accommodated meanwhile.

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