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Old 06-17-2017, 02:54 AM   #101 (permalink)
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I see I'm not the only one who fears a Public Enquiry would be a 'whitewash' : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7793866.html

There's a petition for those in the UK who are similarly concerned : https://www.change.org/p/this-govern...-must-be-heard
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“Theresa May’s decision to carry out a public inquiry into the Grenfell tragedy ensures that the Government has control over any uncomfortable revelations about the negligence and poor planning of the Grenfell estate by the Tory-run Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. By choosing a PUBLIC INQUIRY the government protects itself as well as those who should be held accountable. It also blocks any possibility of an INQUEST from taking place: the necessary process would unearth the true causes of the fire for the public interest.”
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Old 06-17-2017, 06:03 AM   #102 (permalink)
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I see I'm not the only one who fears a Public Enquiry would be a 'whitewash' : Grenfell Tower fire: Thousands demand Theresa May hold inquest instead of inquiry amid 'whitewash' fears | The Independent

There's a petition for those in the UK who are similarly concerned : https://www.change.org/p/this-govern...-must-be-heard
A couple of threads from legal twitter putting the opposite point of view.

Twitter

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ETA:
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:55 AM   #103 (permalink)
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A couple of threads from legal twitter putting the opposite point of view.
I find the last few tweets on the Simon Mckay thread rather telling.
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Nigel @MrXeis 21h
Let's see :Hillsborough public inquiry said accidental death. Hutton, Bloody Sunday, in fact when has a public enquiry not been a whitewash?

Craig Thurston‏ @CraigThurston 8h8 hours ago
The ones into the train crashes at Ladbroke Grove and Southall, the Cullen inquiry into Dunblane

Oddbins Shawlands‏ @BStarksTH 3h3 hours ago
Lord Cullen ordered that a police report into Thomas Hamilton's firearms history be kept secret for 100 years. Not brilliant.
And the INQUEST.ORG thread has it's doubters, too
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Lliana Bird 3.3h ago
Have you read the very good & detailed thread by @simonmckay - also a good read about why public inquiry needed rather than inquest x

LeonC1963‏ @LeonC1963 2h2 hours ago
Yes providing it is not dictated by Govt as so many have been

Lliana Bird 1.1h ago
Agreed
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Amanda 25 mins ago

What you're saying is

1 it'll takes yrs
2 no legal aid
3 outcome will b lessons learned
4 No1 or agency will b held 2 account

No gd enuf
I suppose it all comes down to who you trust, and how much.
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Old 06-17-2017, 11:25 AM   #104 (permalink)
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I find the last few tweets on the Simon Mckay thread rather telling.And the INQUEST.ORG thread has it's doubters, tooI suppose it all comes down to who you trust, and how much.
Public inquiries and inquests are not mutually exclusive, though the the inquest will be adjourned until the outcome of the inquiry, and the coroner may, in the end, simply accept the inquiry's findings.

Inquests are certainly not inherently preferable to inquiries. The initial Hilsborough inquest was by no means satisfactory:
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At the original inquests, the then South Yorkshire coroner Dr Stefan Popper decided the hearing should only investigate events before a cut-off time of 3.15pm. He argued that it was unnecessary to look at events beyond this time.

On the evidence of pathologists, he said all those who died would have suffered irreversible brain damage by that time and were beyond saving.

That meant the hearing would not look into the emergency response to the disaster. This was a highly controversial decision strongly disputed by the families of the deceased.
Hillsborough inquests: What you need to know - BBC News

Similarly, the Stephen Lawrence inquest surprised no one when it returned a verdict of unlawful killing but that, to my mind, does not change the significance of Sir William Macpherson's report into the circumstances surrounding his death, and the changes in policing practice to which it led.

I just don't understand some people's hostility to holding a public inquiry. An inquest, it seems to me, really isn't the best forum at which to investigate wider issues like how best to prevent similar disasters in the future, and I'm not wholly sure how well suited it is to investigating and apportioning blame for the fire at Grenfell Tower, since I think that was probably caused by the combined failings of several different agencies and individuals, as well as deficiencies in the various building and fire-prevention codes.

What do you think should happen, rather than, as will quite probably be the case, a public inquiry followed by an inquest?
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:37 PM   #105 (permalink)
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We've got a bit sidetracked from the original issue, probably my fault.

Earlier in this thread, you said
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All I'm saying is that I don't think it's a good idea to jump to conclusions that involve spending a lot of money on precautionary or remedial measures (as opposed to general good building management) without evidence as to what precautions and remedies are needed."
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What do you think should happen, rather than, as will quite probably be the case, a public inquiry followed by an inquest?
My main problem with both is time - it's possible that the same thing could happen to another tower-block before either inquest or enquiry has a chance to report. I was listening to the Chairman of Kent CC on the news earlier, who has a lot of experience in this area. He is of the definite view that we should not waitr before acting, he thinks it's pretty obvious that the problem is plastic insulation and plastic windows, and he says that Sajid Javid should be addressing that problem now, not waiting for the result of any kind of long enquiry or inquest. That's my view too.

I still think that Public Enquiries are more to do with covering arses than fixing problems, but that's actually not germane to this time-delay issue.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:57 PM   #106 (permalink)
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We've got a bit sidetracked from the original issue, probably my fault.

Earlier in this thread, you said


My main problem with both is time - it's possible that the same thing could happen to another tower-block before either inquest or enquiry has a chance to report. I was listening to the Chairman of Kent CC on the news earlier, who has a lot of experience in this area. He is of the definite view that we should not waitr before acting, he thinks it's pretty obvious that the problem is plastic insulation and plastic windows, and he says that Sajid Javid should be addressing that problem now, not waiting for the result of any kind of long enquiry or inquest. That's my view too.

I still think that Public Enquiries are more to do with covering arses than fixing problems, but that's actually not germane to this time-delay issue.
I said at the outset that I thought it would be prudent to suspend use of this particular type of cladding until the outcome of a review (however conducted) is known.

However, that's only part of the story. Presumably several other tower blocks have already been fitted with this, or similar, cladding. What is to be done with them? I've also seen it suggested that, cladding or not, had sprinkler systems been installed then that would have prevented the spread of the fire, cladding or not, and there's more questions regarding the way the cladding was fitted. All those questions seem relevant to the issue of what sort of regulation is needed in the future.

All I'm saying is that decisions about building materials and codes need to be based on evidence. HMG can't simply say, "OK, we're banning the use of this particular type of cladding in future" and leave it at that (though they can, and should, suspend its use pending further investigation). There are other decisions to be taken as well.
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:14 PM   #107 (permalink)
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So there's been an update on the casualties. Police are now saying there are 58 missing, presumed dead and 16 bodies in mortuaries. I'm not sure how that relates to the 30 dead already announced.

UPDATE: Grenfell Tower fire investigation - Metropolitan Police
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:52 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:44 AM   #109 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Innula Zenovka View Post
All I'm saying is that decisions about building materials and codes need to be based on evidence. HMG can't simply say, "OK, we're banning the use of this particular type of cladding in future" and leave it at that (though they can, and should, suspend its use pending further investigation). There are other decisions to be taken as well.
What I'm trying to say is that, yes, evidence is required - but we shouldn't have to wait possibly years for a Public Enquiry report before that evidence can be acted upon - if the fire authorities say action is needed now to potentially save lives, it shouldn't have to wait until after a Public Enquiry rubber-stamps it before it is acted upon.

As for {HMG can't simply say, "OK, we're banning the use of this particular type of cladding in future" and leave it at that} - what's to stop them, if they have sufficient majority in the houses of parliament to pass it as a law ?
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:30 AM   #110 (permalink)
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What I'm trying to say is that, yes, evidence is required - but we shouldn't have to wait possibly years for a Public Enquiry report before that evidence can be acted upon - if the fire authorities say action is needed now to potentially save lives, it shouldn't have to wait until after a Public Enquiry rubber-stamps it before it is acted upon.

As for {HMG can't simply say, "OK, we're banning the use of this particular type of cladding in future" and leave it at that} - what's to stop them, if they have sufficient majority in the houses of parliament to pass it as a law ?
Nothing's to stop them, but it's not, on its own, a sufficient measure. I've seen it suggested in several places that the apartments and shared areas should have been fitted with sprinkler systems, for example. A decision needs to be taken on whether to retro-fit similar blocks with those. And more generally, it seems (as I understand it, at least) that the fire spread far more rapidly than it would have been expected to, regardless of the type of cladding used. This needs urgent investigation, since it may be that the cladding was poorly fitted or it may be that previous assumptions about how fires spread in such towers were mistaken.

Nor am I suggesting that a public inquiry is correct forum to answer these questions, any more than an inquest would be.

I do suggest, though, that it would be a mistake to reach any firm conclusions about further action before the fire investigators have been able to report their findings and make some recommendations. That should take a matter of weeks or months, not years.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:57 AM   #111 (permalink)
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This needs urgent investigation, since it may be that the cladding was poorly fitted or it may be that previous assumptions about how fires spread in such towers were mistaken.
It would appear that, as well as incorrectly fitted inflammable cladding, some of the flat doors weren't fire-proof and there were unprotected gas pipes in the (one and only) stairwell.

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Nor am I suggesting that a public inquiry is correct forum to answer these questions, any more than an inquest would be.
What would you suggest the correct forum might be ?

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I do suggest, though, that it would be a mistake to reach any firm conclusions about further action before the fire investigators have been able to report their findings and make some recommendations. That should take a matter of weeks or months, not years.
"should" - hmmm

I agree that action shouldn't be taken until the fire investigators have come to some fairly solid conclusions, but I don't agree that such evidence should have to be passed through the filter of a Public Enquiry before being acted upon - after all, the bulk of the enquiry's findings in this particular area are (presumably) simply going to be a more formal rehash of the investigator's findings anyway.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:12 AM   #112 (permalink)
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It would appear that, as well as incorrectly fitted inflammable cladding, some of the flat doors weren't fire-proof and there were unprotected gas pipes in the (one and only) stairwell.


What would you suggest the correct forum might be ?


"should" - hmmm

I agree that action shouldn't be taken until the fire investigators have come to some fairly solid conclusions, but I don't agree that such evidence should have to be passed through the filter of a Public Enquiry before being acted upon - after all, the bulk of the enquiry's findings in this particular area are (presumably) simply going to be a more formal rehash of the investigator's findings anyway.
I am not saying it should be passed through the filter of a public inquiry (or an inquest) either. It can be done independently of either, and a lot quicker. I see that today Phillip Hammond discussed this on the Andrew Marr show:
Quote:
However, the chancellor said ultimately the government would be guided by what the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire recommended.

Ministers would ask for interim recommendations from the inquiry relatively soon, instead of waiting several years for a final report before taking action, he said. “If there is something that needs to be done to make buildings safe, then it will be done.
Clearly there's a conflict between the need to act quickly and the need to spend time deciding exactly what actions to take, but I think at the very least we need to wait for the fire investigators' report and recommendations before deciding what steps to take.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:48 AM   #113 (permalink)
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Clearly there's a conflict between the need to act quickly and the need to spend time deciding exactly what actions to take, but I think at the very least we need to wait for the fire investigators' report and recommendations before deciding what steps to take.
I agree absolutely. Now, what were we arguing about ? :-)
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:00 PM   #114 (permalink)
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Looking at Twitter I spotted some things which may or may not have basis in fact. And, unfortunately, I'm not sure how to figure out if there is any truth to it. Two of the things I spotted I also saw on something called 'Squakbox', so I link to it instead of Twitter.

#KCBC: ‘IF YOU ACCEPT TEMPORARY FLATS, YOU’RE OFF REHOMING LIST’ #GRENFELL


grenfell-residents-offered-rooms-in-carbon-copy-hotel-with-cladding

---
Grenfell Tower fire: MPs attack Kensington council for failure to spend £270m reserves on housing | The Independent

Quote:
Fitting a fire-resistant alternative would have cost as little as £5,000 extra to instal. The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association also said installing a sprinkler system would cost just £200,000.
Instead of spending £205,000, the council
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stockpiled £274m of usable reserves following years of chronic underspending

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Old 06-18-2017, 01:31 PM   #115 (permalink)
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I would certainly beware of Skwarkbox. They've already published one story about D Notices that's palpable nonsense and, even without that track record, the story is completely unsourced:
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Residents have told the SKWAWKBOX of a local builder who recently completed twenty new apartments in the area and who has taken them off the market for three months to make them available – for free – to families made homeless by the blaze.

It’s a generous act of kindness typical of the way in which the community has pulled together in the days after the tragedy – but the council has treated it as yet another opportunity to behave crassly toward people whose lives are in tatters at the moment.

Residents say that those who have been offered the free temporary accommodation have been told by the council that if they accept the offer, they will be removed from the council’s rehoming list – even though it’s clear that it’s only temporary.
So somebody has told the reporter that there's this local builder who's finished redeveloping these flats who's willing to make them available rent-free. Well, actually, it would need to be the owner of the flats, the developer, who made this generous offer, but maybe the builder and developer are one and the same.

Whatever the identity of the person who made the offer, we are then told what "residents" say not what they themselves were told by the council but what other residents have told them they were told by the council. That's hardly convincing.

Unless Skwawkbox can identify the mysterious builder/developer who made the offer, and someone to whom she or he made the offer and who was then told by the council that accepting it would jeopardise their application for permanent re-housing, I would ignore it.

It's not just the right who do fake news.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:03 PM   #116 (permalink)
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I had noticed the lack of sources, both in Squakbox and on Twitter and was wary (especially considering some of the responses I'd seen on Twitter). But do not really know how to look up relevant information in the UK.

Thanks.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:56 PM   #117 (permalink)
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But do not really know how to look up relevant information in the UK.
Previously Google was used, but Theresa May's internet reforms (to save us from the terrorists) have changed all that. Now to perform an internet search, one submits ones search terms to the Home Office, and within a month, you will be sent an email with the approved result hyperlinked in it's body.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:06 PM   #118 (permalink)
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Previously Google was used, but Theresa May's internet reforms (to save us from the terrorists) have changed all that. Now to perform an internet search, one submits ones search terms to the Home Office, and within a month, you will be sent an email with the approved result hyperlinked in it's body.
That's fast. In the US it takes 6 - 18 months to get the email.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:46 PM   #119 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lucifer Baphomet View Post
Previously Google was used, but Theresa May's internet reforms (to save us from the terrorists) have changed all that. Now to perform an internet search, one submits ones search terms to the Home Office, and within a month, you will be sent an email with the approved result hyperlinked in it's body.

...and a bill for £5.38
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:00 AM   #120 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lucifer Baphomet View Post
Previously Google was used, but Theresa May's internet reforms (to save us from the terrorists) have changed all that. Now to perform an internet search, one submits ones search terms to the Home Office, and within a month, you will be sent an email with the approved result hyperlinked in it's body.
Luc, you've got to stop having these delusions...















... one month ?! You'd be lucky to get it back in year, and even then it would be someone else's search and sent back to the wrong address.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:44 PM   #121 (permalink)
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Urghh. Grenfell Tower wasn't the only one. Camden Council is evacuating a tower block while they remove the cladding:
BBC - Camden flats being evacuated over cladding

It's the right thing to do, I think, but man... I really feel for the residents right now. Knowing that you've lived in a death trap for ten years, *and* having to move to a temporary accommodation, with all the disruptions that come with it?

And talk about false economies! This is going to have lots of repercussions.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:28 PM   #122 (permalink)
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Reports so far say there are 600 tower blocks around the country with cladding, it's being tested and so far 14 have failed the fire safety tests.

But it's also been pointed out that the cladding is used on schools, hospitals and other types of building. Not clear if any of those are also being tested.

Choosing flammable materials as a cost cutting exercise is going to cost a lot. Why is it that this is always the case? Cut as many corners, do everything as cheap as possible and then spend a fortune patching it up later. It doesn't seem to matter whether its buildings or software development, it's always do it cheap, do it fast, screw the consequences until we have to fix them.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:58 PM   #123 (permalink)
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Domestic smoke alarms would have been largely useless in a building of this size with a fire of this nature. They are almost always networked in residential tower blocks. So, if a smoke alarm sounds on floor 1 then the alarms will immediately sound on every other floor in the building. A £10 smoke alarm from B&Q isn't the same thing at all... but of course it's always wise to fit them in your homes anyway.
Coming late to the discussion here. A non networked smoke alarm in a large apartment building can actually be dangerous if for no other reason that by the time you are alerted to bad shit happening you are already in a position where staying in situ is probably your best bet for remaining alive I.E. the fire is already around you.

I live in a 3 story apartment block where it's double networked. If the cooking alarm (Which is what we call it) goes off in one room it sets the entire apartment off. If it hits the firewall it sets the whole building off.

Oh and we have sprinklers in every room.
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:28 PM   #124 (permalink)
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Now, that would be an example of doing it right the first time. Doesn't cut costs, but it might help in NOT costing your tenants their lives.
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Old 06-24-2017, 03:42 AM   #125 (permalink)
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It's the right thing to do, I think, but man...
Clarifying my "I think", as it's not clear what I meant:

I think evacuating the residents is the right thing to do, unless there's a less disruptive way of fixing that mess without endangering their lives. I can't think of a better way. I'm not a builder nor an engineer, though, so I might well be missing the obvious.

(Also, turns out it's not just the cladding. The pipes are flamey-happy as well.)

Some of the people involved in these projects must've known what they were doing. Yay, let's save some money and turn a tower block into a match-box!... Who in their right mind could justify that?
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