London Councils has issued the following briefing:
The Grenfell Fire Response Team has been set up to support residents affected by the fire. This includes London-wide local and regional government, central government, British Red Cross, Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade.
The Grenfell Fire Response Team is being led by John Barradell, OBE, Chief Executive of Corporation of London, and a Gold Command Centre has been set up to manage the response.
We are working hard to put in place support and services for those affected by the fire. This leaflet has been distributed in the area around Grenfell Tower to signpost information about the support available.
The purpose of this update is to provide you with our latest information on the response. You will now receive regular updates in this way. Please feel free to pass this on to other people who may find it useful.
We have offered emergency hotel accommodation in the local area to everyone who needs it. To date 140 hotel placements have been made for people living in Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk. There are also 109 additional households now in hotels from the wider affected area.
Work is now taking place to assess the housing needs of all Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk families to identify longer-term accommodation in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and neighbouring boroughs. So far 110 assessments have been completed.
Housing numbers across Grenfell Tower, Grenfell Walk and the Cordon area.
There are 249 households in emergency accommodation.
130 keyworkers are supporting people affected.
Some families from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk have not had their housing needs assessed yet. We have contacted them and are trying urgently to engage them in the assessment process.
19 viewings are taking place for families to view houses we have offered to date.
68 new build flats as part of the Kensington Road development in the borough will be provided to re-house residents from Grenfell Tower. These will be ready by end July 2017.
As of 12pm on June 21 £675,200 has been distributed to affected families.
This is made up of a £500 cash payments and £5,000 delivered through DWP into bank accounts or similar in a single payment, along with discretionary payments made by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
51 households have been given the £5,000 payments so far.
There are a range of support services available in the Assistance Centre. This includes housing needs, emergency funds, health, social care services, experienced volunteers from the Red Cross and other organisations, food and above all, a kind and sympathetic team of people ready to provide advice on anything.
Every household whose home has been destroyed as a result of the fire will receive a guaranteed £5,500 initial emergency payment from the £5m discretionary fund. This will be made up of a £500 cash payment and £5,000 delivered through DWP into bank accounts or similar in a single payment.
British Red Cross is coordinating and providing assistance. Red Cross personnel and volunteers have been on site 24 hours a day since early Wednesday. They are undertaking outreach work to find people who need help and we have also asked them to be at airports to meet grieving relatives as they arrive. They can also help distribute donations that have poured in from the public.
A Red Cross helpline is in action to help give practical or emotional support to anyone who needs it and capacity of this is being expanded to give people a central point of contact.
The number is 0800 458 9472.
Public health advice following the Grenfell Tower fire.
Public Health England (PHE) has been providing specialist advice on health following the Grenfell Tower fire one week ago. This includes health advice on air quality, smoke exposure, asbestos, and the clean-up process.
Dr Deborah Turbitt, health protection director for PHE in London, said:
“We have been assessing air quality over the past week in relation to the Grenfell Tower fire and this shows no detectable deterioration in air quality and our advice is that the wider risk to people’s health as a result of the fire, beyond those directly affected, is minimal.
“People who were close to the scene last week and exposed to smoke from the fire may have experienced irritation to their air passages, skin and eyes, and respiratory symptoms including coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, phlegm production and chest pain. People who have ongoing concerns about their symptoms should call NHS 111 for medical advice.
“We know that bound asbestos, contained in building materials such as plaster or fibre board, was present in Grenfell Tower in ceilings and header panels inside airing cupboards. It is possible that very small amounts of asbestos fibres will have been dispersed within the smoke plume but would have formed only a small fraction of the smoke and particles released in the fire; all smoke is toxic and any asbestos would present a minimal additional risk to health.
“Asbestos related diseases are typically associated with a long term workplace exposure to high levels of airborne asbestos fibres.
“Safety officers working with teams currently on the site have tested the air within Grenfell Tower for dust and asbestos and have not detected any levels of concern. When work commences to clear the site there will be a system of engineering work that will prevent any asbestos being released from the site and a programme of regular environmental air monitoring conducted to ensure that both contractors and local residents are not put at any risk.”
Frequently asked questions
Are people being in emergency housing being put in tower blocks?
No. People are being temporarily housed in hotel accommodation in or close to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
Are people living in parks?
We are not aware of anybody living in parks and there is no need for people to be living in parks if that is the case we would urge people to come to the Westway Sports Centre so we can help with their housing needs.
Is anyone being threatened to be made intentionally homeless?
No. We are assessing everyone’s housing needs and ensuring they are met. No one is being forced into housing they don’t want. We will continue to work with everyone until we find them an offer of housing that they accept.
Are people moving a long way out of the borough?
This is not true. We have endeavoured to keep accommodation as local as possible, and we completely accept residents’ wishes to remain close to the community.