Grenfell Tower neighbour says 'we are already disappointed by the inquiry'

Grenfell Tower campaigns stand in front of the Grand Connaught Rooms as Sir Martin Moore-Bick speaks inside on the opening day of the inquiry into the disaster

Grenfell Tower campaigns stand in front of the Grand Connaught Rooms as Sir Martin Moore-Bick speaks inside on the opening day of the inquiry into the disaster

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A woman who lives in the block next to Grenfell Tower has told talkRADIO the inquiry into June's tragic fire is already on the wrong track.

Samia Badani, chair of the Bramley House residents' association, says the inquiry's make-up and its terms of reference have left neighbours infuriated even before it really gets started.

The inquiry officially opened today with an address by chair Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who gave a speech in Holborn which was beamed back to residents gathered at Notting Hill methodist church. The decision to hold the opening speech in central London, rather than at the site of the disaster, has prompted huge criticism.

Badani told talkRADIO "we had burning cladding coming to our doorstep" on the night of the fire and said she and her fellow residents are furious about the decision to hold the opening speech miles from the epicentre of the tragedy.

She told Sam Delaney "the environment has to be the real one" and "if [Moore-Bick] is to be successful in finding out the truth he has to find out what this community is about."

She continued: "We were already disappointed. The problem we have here is that we know that the causes of the fire are not just physical causes. For 20 years we've had contempt, not listening to what we had to say.

"Here we have an inquiry and the very selection of the judge was not in consultation with us... [I have] little faith in terms of where this inquiry is going."

Badani claims her own block was not evacuated during the fire, even though it was almost adjacent to the burning fire. Yet, she says, this will not be covered by the inquiry, as its examination of the emergency response effort will focus only on the Lancaster West estate - which does not include Bramley House.

Three months on from the tragedy, she says "we don't feel safe. We've suffered 20 years of under-funding and we don't see a way out."

Listen above.