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Grenfell Tower Inquiry Terms Of Reference Announced

Today marks the official start date of the inquiry.

15/08/2017 10:26 | Updated 15 August 2017

The actions of Kensington and Chelsea Council, the refurbishment of the tower and the response of the fire brigade are among the issues to be covered in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the Government announced on Tuesday.

The “adequacy” of the regulations, the spread of the fire and whether relevant regulations relating to high-rise buildings will also be considered.

The terms of reference for the inquiry has been announced two months after the blaze ripped through the 24-storey building, killing at least 80 people.

The Government said that the Prime Minister has “accepted in full the recommendations” made by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, the judge leading the inquiry.

The recommendations were: 

The cause and spread of the fire;

The design, construction and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower;

The scope and adequacy of the relevant regulations relating to high-rise buildings;

Whether the relevant legislation and guidance were complied with in the case of Grenfell Tower;

The actions of the local authority and other bodies before the tragedy;

The response of the London Fire Brigade to the fire and the response of central and local government in the aftermath.

May said: “It is vital that there is justice for the victims of this appalling tragedy and for their families who have suffered so terribly.

“The terms of reference set out by Sir Martin address crucial issues such as the cause of the fire and the adequacy of building and fire regulations which will allow the inquiry to get to the truth of what happened and learn the lessons to stop a similar catastrophe happening in the future.

“I am determined that the broader questions raised by this fire – including around social housing - are not left unanswered.

“We are taking action with the Housing Minister meeting social housing tenants to discuss the challenges they face and we will be setting out further proposals in due course.”

PA Wire/PA Images

The Government said that Moore-Bick had also identified broader questions on social housing policy but that “after careful reflection he has concluded should not be within the scope of the Inquiry itself”.

The Government statetment added: “The Prime Minister respects the reasons set out by the Chair for not including these in the Inquiry’s terms of reference, but is also very clear that should not - and will not - mean the questions raised are left unanswered or are somehow seen as a lower priority.

“As part of this work the government will now consider how best to address the social housing issues.

“The Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, will personally meet and hear from as many social housing tenants as possible, both in the immediate area around Grenfell Tower but also across the country to help build up a comprehensive picture of some of the immediate issues facing tenants, as well as to identify any common concerns that must inform any national approach.

“There will be a further announcement on this work shortly.”

The consultation received more than 550 written responses, the Government said. 

May confirmed that August 15 would be the official start date of the inquiry.

A preliminary hearing is due to be held on September 14 with an initial report dealing with the cause of the fire and the means with which it spread to the whole building by Easter next year.

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