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Grenfell Tower relief and rebuilding efforts branded ‘terrible’

Kensington and Chelsea Council leader Elizabeth Campbell was repeatedly heckled during a public meeting.

People affected by the Grenfell Tower fire have said their questions and needs remain unanswered almost two months after the disaster.

At a heated public meeting, in the shadow of the charred hulk in north Kensington, key figures in the response team were repeatedly told relief and rebuilding efforts were “terrible”.

Volunteer Ilham Zein, 28, said that youths were being turned away from an official support centre with empty Oyster cards they needed to travel and search for work.

Kensington and Chelsea Council Leader Elizabeth Campbell (Victoria Jones/PA)

Ms Zein, who said she lost family members and friends in the inferno, claimed the treatment was “disgraceful” and discouraging people from going back.

Council leader Elizabeth Campbell told assembled community members: “I know this is not as quick as a lot of you had hoped. But we’re trying to run a fair and transparent process.”

Mrs Campbell was repeatedly heckled and booed and accused of not answering questions properly.

To much applause, one woman told the panel: “If you’re coming to this meeting come prepared, with a strategy, don’t fob us off. We’re a community of integrity.”

Air pollution levels in the area remain safe and have been monitored every day since the 24-storey block went up in flames on June 14, Dr Deborah Turbitt, of Public Health England, said.

But several complained of respiratory problems and claimed local GPs talked of a “Grenfell cough”.

Steven Pretty, who lives 40 yards from the tower, said he has suffered significant chest pain ever since the blaze on June 14.

The audience, gathered in Notting Hill Methodist Church, directed their ire at the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) who were accused of “hiding”.

The meeting was the fifth held so far, and the audience called repeatedly on someone from the TMO to come to the next one.

People attend a vigil to mark four weeks since the Grenfell Tower fire (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The church hall repeatedly filled with exasperated sighs and shouts they were not being given straight answers.

One woman, who said she just buried two relatives who died in the fire, made an impassioned speech and called for a minute’s silence for the dead at meetings, to cheers and applause.

She also called for prayers and choirs at the next Notting Hill Carnival.

Carnival chairman Pepe Francis said he wanted to bring the festival to “a standstill” on the Monday at 3pm in tribute to the dead.


From Belfast Telegraph