THINK apologise to our regular readers for our rather lengthy absence from the blog. It has been a difficult time for us, with it almost being a year since the Grenfell Tower disaster, plus the disappointing local election results and dealing with trauma and our anxiety for our community.
Last week, the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry heard tributes and statements from some relatives of the victims. We thought it was only appropriate and right that we took a longer break to also extend our silence in tribute. We send our love, respect and solidarity to all survivors and bereaved and all others in and around the community affected.
Recently, a few have been sending us emails querying as to why THINKers haven’t attended the Inquiry and as to why we haven’t posted details of it.
We guess that some just aren’t aware that we are still in trauma and grief, that many of us live within a five minute walk of Grenfell Tower and that some of us have lost friends. Maybe if some were, they might try to understand that being at the Inquiry for some of us, can be too personally distressing. Some of us do plan to attend hearings at some point, but when we feel ready to.
Anyway, we also believe it is important that a blog like ours, that comes from nearby (but not actually in the Tower or walkways), is very careful not to post anything that could interfere with the Inquiry or anyone taking part in the Inquiry .
We have already in previous posts, expressed some opinions on a few of those who we believe have questions to answer, and that it is vital that ourselves and others who are not survivors or relatives of victims, allow those who are speak more on this. A lot of people have a lot to say about Grenfell, but a few of the outside comments we sometimes hear, particularly on social media (from some who have no connections to our community) are far from helpful and some are very offensive to many here.
We have heard that RBKC leader, Elizabeth “Dizzy Lizzy” Campbell has attended some of the hearings and we very much hope she not only listens to every word, but takes on board in terms of council policy, the various points and concerns that many affected will make at the hearings.
Of course, we cannot second guess just how long this inquiry take, but we warn both RBKC and the Government that many here who are traumatised will take years to heal. We still have serious concerns over poor council responses to safety of social housing (such as tower blocks – mentioned in our “Dixon House” post, and fire exits – our “Hesketh Place” post) and we ask the Government to take action over potentially dangerous cladding.
THINK cannot emphasise enough the importance of provision of safe and decent social housing both in this borough and in many other parts of both London and the UK.
This is not the time for the policians to try and act as if they care, it is time for them to take real steps to protect the safety and wellbeing of residents in social housing and show that they really do care. We also strongly believe that attitudes need to badly change over the importance of the provision of social housing in higher value areas like ours.
What happened at Grenfell Tower was avoidable and a disaster like this must never, ever be allowed to happen again.
THINK will leave the last words to our good friend, Grenfell Action Group member, campaigner, and survivor Edward Daffarn. We strongly recommend that anyone who takes an interest in the matter and proceedings watches this video of him being interviewed by Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, If you have not seen it yet, please set aside half an hour of your time to watch this: