The Grenfell Inquiry Chairman has today written to all core participants responding to the issues that were raised at the Procedural Hearing on 11 and 12 December.
The main outstanding issue is that Sir Martin declined to recommend to PM Theresa May that panel members with equitable decision-making powers should be appointed alongside him.
‘I am and must remain completely independent of the government and in my view it would be wrong for me to take the initiative by advising the Prime Minister either to appoint additional members to the panel or not to do so. That must be a matter for her own judgment, free of any unsolicited advice from me. If proposals were made to expand the panel, I should, of course, consider them carefully and with an open mind, but unless and until that occurs, I must refrain from comment.’
J4G continues to call on the Prime Minister to urgently make these appointments as a step to building community trust and confidence in the Inquiry.
Other Key points in the response include:-
- Lawyers representing Grenfell families ‘may’ be allowed to question witnesses directly, the chairman of the public inquiry into the fire.
- Ministers, town hall chiefs and company bosses will be told to identify their Grenfell Tower responsibilities amid worries that the inquiry could be hampered by a “culture of denial”.
- An expert in tenant management will draw up a report and give evidence amid claims that “little heed was paid” by the authorities to warnings by Grenfell residents about the fire risk.
- Exploring assistance such as travel, childcare and refreshment costs for victims’ families and survivors to attend hearings in central London. No local venue in Kensington has been secured for future hearings. This was requested at the procedural hearings.
- Documents will be disclosed in “sensible tranches” but not all the raw information submitted will be made available to core participants, with some papers redacted. The inquiry may receive 270,000 documents.
- Local residents will be ‘consulted’ on setting up a “consultative panel” to promote a “sense of engagement” and build confidence in the inquiry.
If you’d like to read the Chairman’s full response, please click here: The Chairman’s Response to Submissions made on 11 – 12 December 2017