Jackie Pemberton: All lives matter – urgent action is needed to prevent another fire tragedy

A guest post from Jackie Pemberton

Like most around the country I have shed tears for those who have died in the Grenfell Tower fire. We feel anger and rage for why it happened and we feel  total respect for our Fire Service heroes and heroines along with more anger that those who survived were left in such utter chaos because of a lack of organisation by those who should have been at the front ensuring that the suffering was not added to.

What we don’t feel is that lessons should go unheeded and lives lost in vain.  The blame game is in full swing but what we need is action. Action to take control and make the changes that need changing, not now, not later, but immediately. ALL PARTIES and councils across London and elsewhere,  were warned about these very real dangers years ago, advice was given to install sprinklers and alarms in old high rise apartments, but those words of wisdom fell on deaf ears.

Why? I’m sure costs were cited as one reason but all of us know that so much money is wasted by our individual councils on various projects and unnecessary, needless things, whilst more important matters were put aside This is public money, everyone’s money, being spent, maybe it is time the public are asked what they feel this money should be spent on and we are all given a full account of where this money is actually going.  It was quite clear that around the country people have been shocked in finding out that monies are not spent wisely and questions are now being asked.

This should not be brushed under the carpet, all councils and governments should take a collective responsibility to ensure that changes are made and stop blaming each other, all have been remiss in airing their concerns or putting into practice what really needed to be done.  They can start by ensuring that Fire Risk Assessments are up to date and that these are put online for public scrutiny – at least the public can then make their own decisions on whether they feel safe enough to ‘stay put’, get out or protest to their local Councils,  at the lack of safety features where they live.

More transparency all around is needed.  Remember THEY WORK FOR YOU – if this is the case why is so much hidden?  The quicker actions are put into place to ensure that everything possible really is being done to ensure that this type of tragedy does not happen again, the less chance that we will have to be asking the same questions, yet again, in the future.

As a result of this fire and the Shepherds Bush fire, I have started to scrutinize what is happening in blocks in my own area, and feel that questions need to be asked over concerns around our own high rise apartments – it is not only cladding but panels that are questionable as to their safety and reports are taking far too long to be followed through on – perhaps we should all take the time to start raising concerns!

ALL LIVES MATTER, let’s see that they really do and that those who have lost their lives have not lost them in vain

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