Cllr Una O’Halloran, Islington Council
Cllr Una O’Halloran, Islington Council's Executive Member for Homes and Communities

Cllr Una O’Halloran, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Homes and Communities

Today, and every day, we remember the tragic lives lost in the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy on 14th June 2017.

We will all remember what we were doing when we saw the news that night and morning. It was a completely avoidable tragedy, one that took the lives of so many social housing tenants who were let down by so many people they trusted to keep them safe – their government, their council, their housing association, their building manager, the companies who built their homes, and so many more.

And as we reach the fifth anniversary of that awful day, we look at what we are doing to make sure nothing like Grenfell ever happens again.

As a council, we have responsibility to keep everyone in our council homes safe, as well as holding those who own other homes to account.

Since 2017, we have been working hard to identify where there are issues and take action as swiftly as possible. We removed cladding from Braithwaite House swiftly after the tragedy and undertook an audit of all our other properties to ensure they were as safe as they could be, including checks of all fire doors and targeted engagement with residents around safety measures, such as keeping communal areas clear of hazards.      .

But it isn’t only council tenants who need to be kept safe. Everyone does and over the last five years, we have seen housing association and private tenants being let down by the Government and their landlords over and over again.

Last year, Islington’s Labour-run Council agreed to adopt the 10 asks of the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign.

These include lobbying the Tory Government to provide the necessary funds to make every building in Islington safe from cladding and other fire safety risks, at no cost to leaseholder, as well as reform of the EWS1 process, offering mental health support for affected residents, and protecting residents from historic and future costs.

Over the last few years, our council has supported local people on Queensland Road, on the Packington Estate and across our borough stand up to their landlords and fight for safer homes. And we will continue to do so.

Today, five years on from the Grenfell Tower tragedy, we will light up the Town Hall in green to remember the victims and commit to continue fighting for every home to be safe from fire.

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