Hundreds submit Grenfell Tower inquiry proposals as deadline passes

Consultation on which issues the Grenfell Tower public inquiry should examine has ended following more than 400 submissions.

Hundreds submit Grenfell Tower inquiry proposals as deadline passes

Consultation on which issues the Grenfell Tower public inquiry should examine has ended following more than 400 submissions.

Survivors, bereaved families and other involved parties have spent the past few weeks making their case about what the scope of the forthcoming probe should be.

As the 5pm deadline for suggestions approached, campaigners said they would strongly oppose any form of "limited" inquiry into the disaster.

At least 80 people died when a fire devastated the 24-storey block last month, while hundreds more were left destitute.

An inquiry source said more than 400 submissions had been received by the Friday afternoon cut-off.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick, the retired Court of Appeal judge leading the process, is now tasked with writing to the Prime Minister with recommendations for the inquiry's terms of reference.

It is understood he may use his correspondence to recommend the Government consider broader questions about social housing separately.

It will then be up to Theresa May to decide what questions the inquiry should seek to answer, which she is expected to do thereafter.

Heated debate has encircled the probe since its inception in June, with survivors angered by suggestions it could be limited to the cause of the fire and how similar tragedies could be prevented in future.

Sir Martin faced calls to resign after indicating on his first day in the job his investigation may not be broad enough to satisfy all of those affected.

He later promised to consider a broad range of evidence when he launched a public consultation into the terms of reference in July.

The Justice4Grenfell group urged him to include an examination of local and national social housing policy and whether it "increased risks to residents".

In the group's submission, six suggestions for the terms of reference were included.

It said the inquiry's fundamental purpose should be restoring public confidence in the safety of "social housing nationally" and the "competence, ability and willingness of public authorities to oversee, regulate and ensure" it.

Calls were also included for Kensington and Chelsea Council to face scrutiny alongside the Home Office, 10 Downing Street and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The group wrote: "The inquiry must uncover the correspondence and documents within these departments that go to the heart of the failed housing and social policies that caused or exacerbated the fire, along with the appalling response in the aftermath.

"The inquiry should seek and obtain internal communications between Government ministers, MPs, councillors and civil servants on matters relating to the Grenfell Tower disaster and the issues related to it."

Those who live in the west London neighbourhood were initially given a week to present their feedback, but the deadline was extended twice.

In meetings with Sir Martin and his advisers, residents set out their desire for a team that represents the diversity of the community, with many of those affected from BME (black and minority ethnic) backgrounds.

Chairman of the nearby Bramley House residents' association Samia Badani said: "What is crucial... having spoken to hundreds of people, they want the inquiry to deal with the relationship between the residents and the local authority and tenant management organisation.

"We'd be very disappointed if it was narrowed down on the causes of the fire.

"We want real change, and unless they understand that relationship between public bodies and residents is flawed, there is no hope of this changing."

Justice4Grenfell said this was "of paramount importance", adding: "The panel should be a diverse group, to ensure that the experiences of the wide range of people affected by the fire are included at the earliest opportunity.

"This is essential to ensure community trust, confidence, and the continued and full participation of survivors and the bereaved families in the inquiry process."

The deadline came on the same day as the inquests of three more victims of the blaze.

PA

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