The Grenfell Tower disaster left the whole nation in shock, but the similarities to Southwark’s own tragic fire in 2009 at Lakanal House, Camberwell, where six died, were startling.
Green activist John Tyson and Green London Assembly member Sian Berry presented a petition with over 100,000 signatures to the Home Office calling on the Government to implement recommendations from the Lakanal inquest. Proposals such as retro-fitting sprinklers, made by the coroner in a letter sent to government ministers in 2013, were largely ignored.
The Council’s response to fire safety has been heavy handed, and caused distress to some residents. Some have raised concerns that the zero tolerance to all outside furniture is too reminiscent of what came in after Lakanal. What about reviews of compartment breaches?
John says, ‘A key lesson from Grenfell was that we need to listen to people. Residents raised concerns that weren’t heard. Our response needs to be to find fire safety measures that are practical, ensure safety, but recognise individual needs.’
As Greens we believe our homes are a fundamental basic right. Whether you own or rent, you want to know you and your loved ones have somewhere to live. And there’s no more important time than over winter.
Green activist John Tyson worked throughout the summer with the Ledbury Action Group to get the Council to commit to rehousing residents and safeguarding their estate, in Peckham. Successive councils had ignored residents’ concerns over building safety, and an engineers’ report finally commissioned this year found that the four blocks were at risk of collapse from a gas explosion.Read more
The terrible loss of life in the Grenfell Tower disaster was something many people thought could never happen in Britain. But Grenfell was not an isolated tragedy. In 2009, six people died in a fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell, which highlighted issues that could have prevented Grenfell.
John Tyson, the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, has drawn up a petition calling for the immediate implementation of the 2013 report on the Lakanal fire. The petition now has more than 80,000 signatures – you can sign it here.
Southwark Green Party has serious concerns about the escalating situation for residents on the Ledbury Estate in Peckham.
Safety issues on the estate were first raised over 30 years ago, and the blocks have since been the subject of reports by industry experts. While we recognise that control of the council has changed over the years, and mistakes made in the past are not the responsibility of the current leadership, it should not have taken the tragedy of Grenfell Tower for Council leaders to acknowledge problems on the Ledbury.
Residents have been without hot water and proper cooking facilities since 10 August. They should not have to heat water on a stove or with kettles to have a bath, or travel to a sports centre to use showers.Read more
After the Grenfell fire, Green activist John Tyson started a petition aimed at getting the Department for Communities and Local Government to implement the findings from the Lakanal fire inquest.
Recommendations from the report include:
- use of fire resistant materials
- regular fire assessments
- providing residents with full instructions about what to do in the event of a fire.
The petition has received over 104,000 signatures, from people up and down the UK.
On 22 August, John (right) delivered the petition to the Department for Communities and Local Government, with the support of Green London Assembly member Sian Berry (centre) and Dave Lewis, of Sceaux Gardens TRA and a witness of the Lakanal House fire (left). You can still sign it to keep up the pressure.