A message from the government:
In response to the guidance from government on the COVID-19 coronavirus we had to review our plans for the second stage of the environmental checks around the Grenfell Tower site. We consulted with community stakeholders and shared their views with Ministers. It was agreed that we should pause parts of Stage 2 to ensure residents can continue to be engaged. However, progress is being made where possible and safe to do so.
As part of this we have been progressing plans for a virtual community event, which will now take place on Monday, 20 July at 11am to 11.45am. If you are unable to join us at this time a video of the event will be posted on YouTube, so you can watch it at a time that suits you.
At the event you will be able to meet the scientists who are carrying out, supporting or overseeing Stage 2 of the environmental checks - we know from Stage 1 that this is something that was important to you. The scientists will tell you about their roles, explain what has happened to date and let you know what will happen next. There will also be a question and answer session.
We want to make sure you find the event useful and informative, so please let us know if there is anything about the environmental checks that you would like the scientists to include in their presentation. We also want to know what questions about the environmental checks you would like to ask the scientists.
Please send your suggestions for what you would like the scientists to include and/or your questions by email to me direct or to the email@example.com email. Or if you prefer you can call 03034 449 086. We would be grateful for your suggestions and questions by Friday, 10 July.
We also have a telephone drop in between 10am and 12 noon on a Wednesday if you want to speak to us about the environmental checks, the Grenfell Tower site or the Memorial Commission.
We will be writing to bereaved families and former residents of the Tower about the upcoming safety works. This is to let them know about the works prior to preparatory activity, such as the delivery of equipment on-site, beginning later this month.
This factsheet contains more information about the works, but in summary:
· Around September, heavy and damaged items will be removed from the Tower to reduce weight on the building. This will include the removal of unreturnable items from individual flats.
· Later in the autumn, asbestos will be removed, also to reduce weight and to ensure the continued safety of those working in the building and of local residents.
· After this, new ‘props’ will be installed, to supplement those already there and to ensure the Tower’s stability until a decision is made about its future.
The works will be carried out in phases over the coming year. Our agreement with the existing contractor on-site will also be expiring so we will soon be reviewing potential companies to carry out these works. We will provide more information about this soon, including how we will approach the process of selecting a new contractor and also how the community can be involved in that process if they would like to be.
We appreciated the feedback you gave to us in May about how we communicate with you about these works. Some of the things we will be doing are:
- Holding an online Q&A on 27 July, from 6pm-7pm. We will provide the joining details for that event shortly, but you can email us now with any immediate questions you would like us to answer during the event. (A second online event will take place in September.)
- Providing regular updates throughout these works and in a number of different ways, based on your preferences, to ensure everyone can access it and be informed.
We will provide you with a further update on these works later in the summer and we would appreciate your support in sharing this information to your groups.
Please come back to me with any questions at this stage or contact the Grenfell site management team: GrenfellTowerSite@communities.gov.uk or phone 0303 444 0011. (Please note that the attached factsheet is available on gov.uk.)
Finally, we also want to let you know that, following a formal selection process, MHCLG has appointed Kaizen, who specialise in community engagement, and Claremont, a communications agency. They will help us to gather the community’s views to inform decision-making about the Grenfell Tower site, including about how the site is managed, and to support the Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission’s work. We would like to introduce you to our specialists over the coming weeks and will soon be in touch to arrange this with you. We’re happy to speak to you about any immediate questions you might have about this.