The Government has set up an independent public Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire. The Inquiry is designed to uncover the truth, so the communities affected by the fire can finally have some answers. In an unprecedented move, the government has opened the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference to public consultation. This means that we can all have our say as individuals, as communities and organisations about how this Inquiry needs to be. It is important to send as many submissions as possible before the deadline on Friday 4th August 2017, so please spread the word.
More information can be found on the Inquiry website www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk
The Terms of Reference details the full scope of how the public inquiry will be run, what evidence is to be considered, how the inquiry is recorded, who can testify and much more. Anyone can make a submission to the Terms of Reference addressing any of these matters. Submissions to the Terms of Reference is different from the testimonies and evidence that will be given later as part of the Inquiry itself.
It is incredibly important that the Inquiry Chair, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, gets as many submissions as possible from all members of the community telling him what they want to see in the Inquiry and how they think it should be run. This submission does not have to be legalistic or technical, it needs to reflect, in your own words and relating to your own experience, how the Grenfell Fire affected you and what you need to see as a result of the Inquiry and for truth and accountability to be served.
You can make your submission by:
Sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ringing 020 7947 78374
Writing to Grenfell Tower Inquiry, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL
If you want any help writing your submission or have any additional questions, you can contact Migrants Organise by telephone at 020 8964 4815 or by email at email@example.com
Here is a list of some of the points you can reflect on in your submission, but please note that this is just a suggestion and this list is not exhaustive:
- You can ask the Inquiry to look at the Context, Background and History of everything about the Grenfell Tower, for example:
- Design and construction of Grenfell Tower and any subsequent refurbishments
- Procedures for the maintenance, inspection and repair for Grenfell Tower
- Procedures for resident reports of building concerns and the response to those concerns
- How decisions have been made and by whom
- How were residents consulted, represented and included in the decision-making process
- The effectiveness of these representative structures and the ability of the community to decide on the issues that matter to them
- The impact of social and economic inequalities in the borough and in relation to the events leading to the Grenfell Tower fire
- The Inquiry is likely to look at the cause and spread of the fire – but you can make your own suggestion as to what they should look at, for example
- Features of the building, if any, that contributed to the spread of the fire
- You can ask the Inquiry to look into immediate response of emergency services, for example:
- Lack of equipment or appropriate training that hindered emergency response to the fire
- Clarity, accuracy and consistency of the advice provided by state bodies, including emergency operators
- Closure of fire stations and the impact on fire safety and emergency response
- Advice given to the residents by the emergency service
- You can ask the Inquiry to look into the crisis and disaster response to explore:
- Services and support in relation to housing, financial support, counselling, immigration and etc.
- Co-ordination amongst the various statutory bodies and the organisations on the ground
- General communication with those affected and general public. For example, how was information shared about victims and the wounded
- You can make your own suggestions about the Inquiry Procedures, for example:
- Where should the Inquiry be held, how it should be recorded, e.g. video on the website etc.
- The timeframe and milestones you want to see in the Inquiry’s progress
- Contents and deadline of interim report – should there be one – what should be in it
- Which individuals/organisations should serve on the independent panel of assessors to consult with the Inquiry Chair
- To ensure that all affected families and local organisations to serve as ‘Core Participants’ and to be able to directly or through their legal representatives ask questions from witnesses.
Once again, your submission can go beyond this list of suggested topics. It is important to remember that any member of the public can make a submission during this consultation on the Terms of Reference. Please let the Inquiry know what you think is needed for the Inquiry to get to the truth.
Do not let the formality of the process prevent you from submitting; your submission can be as personal as you want it to be, especially if you have been affected directly by the fire.
If you are directly affected and need help with your submission please call Migrants Organise on 020 8964 4815 and we will help.
Migrants Organise is based just ten minutes away from the Grenfell Tower and has been part of the North Kensington community since 1993 and many of members, staff and community leaders have been directly affected by this tragedy. You can read more about our experiences in the blog by our Campaigns and Advocacy Officer, Akram Salhab in the In the Shadow of the Grenfell Tower post.