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DCLG to intervene in Kensington following Grenfell Tower disaster

The DCLG will be intervening in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) following the authority’s handling of the Grenfell Tower incident a few weeks ago.

In a statement to MPs in the Commons today, communities secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that an independent taskforce would be sent in to advise the council on dealing with the problem and also the longer term recovery work involved with the disaster.

The taskforce will report directly to Javid, and will be made up of experienced and senior people with a track record in delivery – including figures from local government.

Details about the chair and membership of the taskforce will be announced shortly, and when established, the team will be put in place for as long as required by the affected area.

All aspects of the recovery operation will be taken on board by the taskforce, but a special focus on housing, regeneration and community engagement will be taken by the team.

The governance of RBKC will also be investigated by the taskforce to ensure that it is still providing effective leadership even through such difficult circumstances.

“The scale of the recovery effort needed on the Lancaster West estate in the months to come cannot be underestimated,” Javid told MPs. “Support to survivors, the families and friends of those who lost their lives and residents in the wider community must and will be ongoing.

“The challenge of providing that support is and will continue to be significant. I want to help the council meet that challenge.”

Javid added that the immediate response to the disaster being co-ordinated by the Grenfell Response Team and headed up by John Barradell was being supported by figures in London Councils, wider local government sector as well as the voluntary sector and emergency services.

“Their expertise and hard work is making a huge difference. However, this is a temporary measure to deal with the immediate need,” Javid concluded.  

Top Image: Ik Aldama, DPA, PA Images

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