Council sidelined in Grenfell Tower response as leader refuses to quit : The Guardian

Responsibility for taking care of survivors transferred to new response team after criticism of Kensington and Chelsea.

Kensington and Chelsea council has been relieved of responsibility for taking care of the survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster. The work is being handed over to a new Grenfell fire response team, made up of representatives from central government, the British Red Cross, the Metropolitan police, London-wide local and regional government and the London fire brigade.

The move comes as the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea, Nick Paget-Brown, resisted calls to resign in the face of mounting criticism over the chaos and paralysis that have gripped the council in the wake of the disaster. The response team will provide 24-hour access to services and support at the Westway sport and fitness centre. Help and advice are to be provided with housing, funds, health, social care and food.

Eleanor Kelly, the chief executive of Southwark council, said: “We want to make clear that whilst the emergency and local community response was nothing short of heroic, we know that the initial response was simply not good enough on the ground. People are angry, and rightfully so. Our focus is now on ensuring those affected are being cared for and looked after.

“Housing is our main priority. We will organise and speed up the rehousing process. We are currently working with those affected households to establish what their housing need is. As you can appreciate, this takes time.



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