On that awful morning of 14th June 2017 most of us woke up to the terrible news of the Grenfell Tower fire and the sheer horror of what had unfolded during the early hours of that day were hard to comprehend.
So many lives lost, 72 members of the London community died with a further 74 hospitalised and the number of people who will have long term anxiety and depression episodes for years to come must surely in the thousands and most certainly difficult to calculate.
The long awaited report was made available in the public domain on 30th October 2019, some of which had been leaked to the frustration of the victims, their families, friends and support groups. It turns out that what we have is Phase 1 of the inquiry that focuses on the fire from when it started and the responses. Phase 2 of the inquiry will look at the events and decision making that may have contributed to the devastation caused by the fire.
Phase 1 report is in 4 volumes with 856 pages, 6 parts and there is an Executive Summary of 32 pages. The response to the report has been typically of our society to find an individual to blame. One such person has been Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, for her comments that she would not have done anything differently on the night. The Chair of the Grenfell Town Inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, criticised for her “remarkable insensitivity”.
Are such comments and criticisms taking away the real focus of this inquiry? There are calls for Dany Cotton to resign and give up her pension that she will have paid into during her 31 years of service for saving lives. Are these all unnecessary distractions taking the focus away from making sure such a disaster never happens again?