‘WE HAVE been strong and we are not prepared to be walked over and we do want answers,’ Grenfell survivor Jaquie Hayes said yesterday.
She spoke as the deadline passed at 5pm yesterday for local residents and organisations to submit evidence to the inquiry into the fire which claimed the lives of so many men, women and children.
More than 200 people have submitted responses to the inquiry. However, local residents, families of the victims and Grenfell survivors fear that the inquiry will be biased and far too narrow. They want the inquiry to examine who was responsible for the fire, why survivors still have not been re-housed and why, when they repeatedly warned that the building was a fire risk, they were not listened to.
And most importantly they want those responsible to be sent to prison. Last week, the police announced a criminal investigation and said that there were grounds for ‘corporate manslaughter’. However ‘corporate manslaughter’ is only punishable with a fine.
Karim Mussilhy, a family member of one of those who tragically died in the fire said: ‘The criminal investigation is important and a priority to us because then it means that these organisations will be investigated and hopefully private individuals will be charged and potentially taken to prison.’
Moyra Samuels, one of the co-founders of Justice 4 Grenfell said: ‘There is a whole range of concerned organisations, including Justice 4 Grenfell and Architects for Social Housing who have submitted evidence to the inquiry because this does impact on social housing very broadly, nationally.
‘There are issues as well concerning the voices of concerned residents before the fire. Those voices were not listened to, they were systematically ignored and we are concerned that that is to do with the attitude of the local authority and the TMO (Tenants Management Organisation) towards residents in social housing.
‘They were dismissive, they were threatening and I think those concerns which actually gave warning about the fire risks have to be taken into account. There will be no trust or confidence in an inquiry that is not broad.
‘We cannot accept an inquiry that only looks at the fire. It has to take account of all the issues, especially what happened to the survivors and the evacuees after the fire and the role of the local authority in responding to this atrocity subsequently to the fire. The criminal investigation and the inquiry have to run in tandem.’