Grenfell fire survivors ‘getting just £10’ from Kensington officials

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Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire are being handed just £10 by council officials, it is claimed, despite millions in relief money being donated by the public. West London film producer Nisha Parti who has been helping homeless victims of the disaster said survivors have been handed “a tenner” as they check in to hotels.

She said volunteers are unable to access any money, despite public donations reaching more than £3m and after Theresa May pledged £5m in Government aid.

Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, she said: “Kensington and Chelsea are giving £10 to the survivors when they go to hotels. ”There is money pouring in from all these amazing volunteers, we can’t get access to the money and we cannot get it to the families.“ Asked by Robert Peston why volunteers were unable to access relief funds, she said: ”Because no one’s telling us where it is. “Victims were going to hotels, arriving at hotels, with no one from the council to greet them, to check them in, to give them clothes and food.

”Volunteers are now going to hotels with food packages, with cash that they’re trying to find because they have nothing.“ David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, told the programme it is a ”scandal“ that the public and charities are being forced to plug the gap because local government is unable to co-ordinate relief. He said: ”I met people yesterday who had been given that £10. They have lost everything. Why are we behaving like this is Victorian England where charity steps in, people step in, but we don’t have local government able to co-ordinate. “We know how to do this. We did it after the riots, we do it after floods, so you’ve got to ask why these people in Kensington and Chelsea are not getting it. What’s different to them than exists in the rest of the country? It’s an outrage. It’s a scandal. It’s appalling.”

‘Duty of care’

Eve Allison, a Conservative who sits on Kensington and Chelsea Council, said the council has a duty of care to survivors of the fire. She told BBC Breakfast: “The mood is sombre and the community continue to do what we can. The danger is when hope starts to fade, and from hope then what you’ll find is despair. ”It is on our watch, it’s our responsibility. We do have a duty of care to all our residents and whatever findings and failings come out, they have to come out soon because all the community, the victims, the families, people need answers


It’s Community Pubs Month: Here’s why your local boozer is important

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Over 20 million pints are drank in Britain every single day. If you’re one of the millions having a post-work pint tonight, you’ll be well aware at the increasing number of local pubs calling last orders for good, with around 27 allegedly closing each week.

It’s not all doom and gloom though as British pubs are fighting back – so get a round in and raise a toast to your local with Paul Ainsworth, Chair of Pub Campaigning (CAMRA), who talks about and future of the Great British boozer.

Q:Why are pubs so important to British culture?

 A:They play a vital part in many people’s social lives, providing a place to meet and socialise and feel part of a community – even if you’re just sitting in the corner reading the paper rather than joining in the conversation at the bar. How many people have celebrated a wedding in a pub? Marked the arrival of a new baby with friends at the bar? Or made a new colleague feel welcome with a pint?

Q:What do they bring to local communities?

A:In many areas and villages they provide the last remaining public meeting space, with meeting halls and post offices already lost. They also create jobs and bring money into a local area which then tends to be spent in that local area.

Q:If pubs are so important to us, why are they struggling?

A:Pubs play a vital part in many people’s social lives, providing a place to meet and socialise and feel part of a community. Yet they are under a huge number of threats. From high taxes and business rates to weak planning laws, pubs are often a soft target for property developers who can make a quick profit turning a pub into a supermarket or housing.

Q:And what is the Government doing to help?

A:CAMRA is delighted to announce that after years of campaigning the Government has agreed to support measures to better protect pubs through the planning system. A current planning loophole which gives developer a free reign over demolishing or converting pubs will soon be closed, which will give local communities a greater say over their beloved pub’s future. We welcome the Government’s decision, which will ultimately help to stem the number of pub closures across the country.

To find out more information about the Campaign for Real Ale visit www.camra.org.uk.


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