Ealing Council Steps in Over Grenfell Relief Operation

Authority takes over amidst anger over Kensington & Chelsea's response


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Ealing Council is reportedly leading a team that will be taking over the relief efforts for Grenfell Tower survivors after the initial response from Kensington & Chelsea was deemed ‘simply not good enough’.

They are to head up a newly established Grenfell Fire Response team which includes staff of other authorities across West London including Hounslow.

According to Buzzfeed News they have taken over running the relief efforts at the Westway Sports and Fitness Centre and aiming to have contacted all affected families by the end of Monday 19 June and assessed their needs.

According to the response team 201 households have received emergency accommodation to date of which 113 are homeless. The people who have been rehoused but are not homeless are believed to be from flats around Grenfell Tower which they cannot move back to currently because emergency services are still on the scene.

Buzzfeed say that volunteers and humanitarian charity workers were told by officials from Ealing late on Saturday night that they were assuming total control of the operation.

They quoted Rupinder Harding a manager at Ealing council who said, “"Now we've got a lot of Ealing people coming, and we've got representatives from government offices.

"I've suggested yesterday what I'd like to see, and I'd like to get this to feel like a rest centre, to feel welcoming, to feel inclusive, to give the opportunity to the community to be somewhere where they can talk to community groups and to be heard, and to have their outcomes met."

Grenfell Tower

Philip Lee-Morris, local authority liaison officer response from Ealing Council was quoted as saying, "There is so much tension, so much frustration in the community that we're hoping this can be the one place that people can truly come together, exchange their feelings, relate to people concerned what they have been through and we're hoping to provide that resting, calm environment."

There had been a number of complaints from people affected by the fire about the lack of support from Kensington & Chelsea Council and their Town Hall was closed on Saturday evening following a protest there.

Council Leader, Julian Bell tweeted that he was very proud of the officers taking part.



18 June 2017

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