Grenfell Tower: Private developers are ready to offer displaced residents their properties, says Labour councillor

Grenfell Tower: 'Its not surprising that the Kensington and Chelsea council leader hasn't resigned, but now he has no power', Labour councillor

Nicholas Paget-Brown offered to resign over the fire

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Private developers are ready to offer up their vacant properties to help those displaced by the Grenfell Tower, according to a Labour member of Kensington and Chelsea council.

Councillor Robert Atkinson also told talkRADIO that council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown has now been stripped of all his power and will "quietly slip away" soon.

Atkinson is a councillor for Notting Dale, where Grenfell Tower is situated. He spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer about the ongoing protests surrounding Grenfell Fire, which has seen Paget-Brown offer to resign.

He said: "What they [the displaced residents] need to have is decent and stable temporary accommodation and then as quickly as possible they need to be offered permanent accommodation. We can’t have people being moved every night from one hotel to another.

"There is accommodation available provided enough money is being spent on it.

"I have kept urging [the council] to go back to the developers and ask about the developments that are standing empty. I am aware that some of the private developers have gone back to the council and said 'we've got 80 units in Kensington and Chelsea, they are available.

"The new student residences of Imperial college which are not going to be occupied at least until that’s another example."

Paget-Brown’s offer to resign has been turned down, but Atkinson believes he will soon leave anyway.

 "The cabinet members hold their authority under his leadership, so if he goes many of them do,” Atkinson said. “So it doesn't surprise me that they wish for him to continue to preserve their own position.

"They will be got rid of, they will quietly slip away over the summer I suspect."

The councillor thinks that Paget-Brown "should go, but you should be aware that he might still be in office but he’s certainly not in power.

"The efforts of Kensington and Chelsea to respond to the crisis was simply shambolic and they essentially crumbled under the strain.

"The rescue effort and the relief effort has now been taken out of the hands of Kensington and Chelsea because they’ve proved so dire. 

"The problem has not been lack of money, it’s lack of leadership."

Listen to the full interview above