View from the House: John Cryer, Leyton and Wanstead MP
PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 July 2017
Lessons must be learned from the Grenfell Tower disaster
The Grenfell Tower disaster shames us all. It ought to be sharp wake-up call for a government that has spent the last seven years undermining councils and cutting them to the bone.
Corners have been cut on public safety with tragic consequences.
It cannot be right that in one of the most prosperous boroughs in the most prosperous city in one of the richest countries on earth, more than 80 people have lost their lives needlessly.
It is scandalous.
I hope the public inquiry is thorough and lessons are learned. However, we do not need to await its detailed findings to know that urgent resources are needed now to fund the proper testing of all such buildings, removing dangerous cladding and replacing it with a safe version.
We need to retrofit sprinkler systems – all the research shows that sprinkler systems save lives – and the resources available to local authorities for planning and building inspection services needs to rise.
We also need to fund our emergency services properly. The bravery and dedication of our firefighters is legendary and their service to the community is truly humbling. The government has a duty to recognise their contribution and reward it appropriately.
The Tories have cut the number of firefighters and the public sector wage cap is having a detrimental effect on recruitment and retention across the public services.
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