CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

The Chalcots Inquiry: New Journal calls for full, independent investigation

29 June, 2017

THE New Journal today calls on the Town Hall to hold a full, independent investigation into what led to 4,000 residents being evacuated from their homes on the Chalcots estate, an operation of a magnitude not witnessed in Camden in recent memory.

We believe that residents at the Chalcots deserve answers as to why they were told to leave, and full reassurance that, on their return, they will live in a safe and secure home. The same applies to all tenants and leaseholders living on other Camden’s estates, with reviews of fire safety needed.

The council should:

  •  Begin a full and exhaustive inquiry into fire safety faults found at the Chalcots estate as soon as possible;
  • Hold an investigation into all work on the estate, dating back to the renovation of the estate and the installation of cladding;
  • Appoint an independent figure, free from any connection to Camden Council or firms that have worked on the Chalcots estate, to lead the inquiry;
  •  Examine the details of the PFI arrangement on the estate;
  •  Question politicians without fear or favour; l Request evidence from all companies involved;
  • Allow a full voice to tenants and leaseholders;

and

  • Carry out the proceedings in public view.

The New Journal today presents the start of its own investigation – the Chalcots Inquiry – with the goal of seeing council estates protected from fire and with the aim of ensuring the tragedy of the Grenfell tower is never repeated here.

Town Hall leader Councillor Georgia Gould has said she will hold a review to find out what went wrong, and last night (Wednesday) pledged it would be as transparent as possible.

“At the moment we are completely focused on this situation, on getting people into emergency accommodation and the work on the flats,” she said. “Obviously, we’ve all got some huge questions and I think there needs to be a review into all aspects of it: the PFI contract, fire safety, building regulations. We will talk to residents about the best way to do that, but I think the principles of it should be: independent and transparent.“

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