London

Grenfell scrutiny group could be scrapped by council

Grenfell Tower Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The fire at Grenfell Tower killed 72 people

The council responsible for Grenfell Tower is proposing to shut down a scrutiny committee set up to look at its response to the fatal fire in 2017.

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) councillors say the group would be replaced with new dedicated public meetings which have a "wider remit".

It follows a review by RBKC of the way it "holds decision-makers to account".

Campaigners say they fear the Grenfell crisis will be "subsumed into the day-to-day running of the council".

Residents shouted "shame on you" as councillors voted through the recommendation to scrap the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee (GRSC) at a meeting in Kensington Town Hall.

'Very troubling'

The move is part of a review of the council's scrutiny processes, which will reduce the current six specialist committees to four.

The committees will look at adult social care and health; environment; family services; and housing and communities - all under an overarching overview and scrutiny body.

Councillors have recommended that scrutiny of Grenfell recovery services is prioritised within these committees.

According to the council, the new public meetings will "replace and expand upon" the GRSC, and give greater power to communities to hold all public agencies involved in Grenfell recovery to account.

From September, the meetings will be held four times a year.

'Dog litter'

However, Moyra Samuels of Justice4Grenfell, a community-led organisation, said the council's decision was "very troubling".

She said: "Grenfell will be just one of many issues facing locals up for discussion - alongside dog litter and bus routes.

"It's frankly an insult to the bereaved and the survivors [of the Grenfell fire].

"We don't want public meetings, we want to know who is holding this council to account."

The decision is expected to be approved at the next full council meeting on 24 July.

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