Grenfell calls for urgent action, so why are we still dragging our feet?

Chloe mcculloch black

One year on from the Grenfell Tower fire, and the concerns over a potentially lengthy inquiry has only added to the considerable discontent over a lack of action

On 14 June and for several days afterwards 12 buildings close to Grenfell Tower will be illuminated in green to “shine a light” on the solidarity shown by the local community in the aftermath of the fire that claimed the lives of 72 people. All week the public inquiry into the blaze has been put on hold as the nation marks the first-year anniversary with a series of memorials and vigils.

And while it is a week for commemoration and reflection, it will no doubt redouble the local community’s “calm rage” and powerful demand for justice once the inquiry resumes. That sentiment was expressed by the Bishop of Kensington in his recent sermon: “Atonement has to be made […] The transition from desolation to joy can only come through justice. We trust and pray that justice will be done through the public inquiry and the police investigation.”

The thought of years of wrangling over the costs is dispiriting – it would be better to get cracking with reforming how construction works

We reported on the initial expert evidence heard at Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s inquiry last week, and it made for upsetting and shocking reading. The reports, which ran into thousands of pages, highlighted multiple failures in the tower’s refurbishment, but the key point that most in the media latched onto was that the cladding system was identified as being to blame for the fire spread.

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