POLITICS

Grenfell Council Leader Offers Advice On How To Make Cuts In 'Final Insult' To Victims

'Paget-Brown’s attempt to whitewash his career by becoming a cost-cutting consultant is the final insult.'

21/08/2017 12:47 BST | Updated 21/08/2017 16:23 BST

The council leader who presided over the Grenfell Tower disaster offered paid “advice” on public sector cutbacks - and tried to “whitewash” his CV in the process. 

Nick Paget-Brown resigned as leader of Kensington and Chelsea council after the authority’s woeful response to the deadly inferno drew widespread criticism. 

He has remained a councillor but has attracted fresh ire from survivors and rival politicians after advertising his own company - NPB Consulting - on his new Linkedin profile.

 

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Nick Paget-Brown's Linkedin profile says his firm NPB Consulting offers councils help with "financial planning in an age of austerity"

The firm, of which he is managing director, offers specialist advice on “financial planning in an age of austerity” to other councils. 

Paget-Brown is also accused of hurling a “final insult” to victims as he has omitted his experience as council leader from his CV’s career history, leaving a space between the end of his time as deputy leader in 2013 and founding NPB in 2017. His appointment as leader was mentioned elsewhere. 

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Smoke billowing from Grenfell Tower 

The local authority chose a cheaper, more flammable cladding for the tower block in the run-up to the fire. The decision saved £293,000 on a £9.2 million refurbishment.

The cladding is widely believed to have allowed the blaze to spread rapidly. 

Shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne urged councillors at Kensington and Chelsea to show “empathy and compassion” for the victims’ families. 

He said: “The lack of management of this tragedy, from both local and central government, was a failure - and RBKC has much to do to win back the trust of residents. This will not help. 

“Grenfell residents - many still homeless, still without the support they need - fear that they will be forgotten and will see the erasing of this tragedy from the record of councillor Paget-Brown as confirmation of this. 

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Shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne

“I urge all with a responsibility to the residents failed in this tragedy to show the empathy and compassion that is needed. The immediate focus needs to be on housing and providing support.”

Paget-Brown used the networking site to advertise his skills, including “policy analysis, seminars, briefings and drafting assistance for organisations working with local authorities”.

Emma Dent Coad, the Labour MP for Kensington, said: “Paget-Brown’s attempt to whitewash his career by becoming a cost-cutting consultant is the final insult.”

Moyra Samuels, co-founder of the Justice 4 Grenfell campaign, said: “To effectively say, ‘I’m moving on swiftly to my next project’ shows complete disdain for this community.”

At the time of his resignation, Paget-Brown said he shared responsibility for the “perceived failings” of the council.

Theresa May has announced a public inquiry into the disaster, which will be led by retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick with hearings expected to start in the autumn.