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Grenfell Tower Site To Be Repurposed – As A Remembrance Memorial

Grenfell Tower, or what’s left of it, is probably going to be rebuilt as a memorial to remember the people who lost their lives in last year’s fire breakout. The building will be demolished after forensic teams finish their jobs, which is unlikely to happen before the end of 2018. In October 2017, work began to cover the tower in white sheeting to shield it from public view.

Shahin Sadafi, the chair of the survivors’ group Grenfell United, said the future of the site had been a major source of anxiety for the bereaved, survivors and local community:

“We are pleased that eight months on from the fire we finally have agreement that the bereaved, survivors and community will be at the heart of deciding the legacy of the site,” he said. “We hope working together to create a fitting memorial will be part of a healing process for everyone affected.

They reminded that it the community has priority in decision-making and had no other plans for the site:

“The common assumption is that the consultation will lead towards agreement on a fitting memorial to remember those who lost their lives; and a request for Transport for London (TfL) for the renaming of Latimer Road underground station to commemorate Grenfell Tower which will require TfL’s processes to be followed in reaching a decision.

The casualty count from the fire rose to 72 this week, after Maria Fel Pilar Burton, a 74-year old who was rescued from the 19th floor of the tower, died in hospital.

As Sajid Javid, the secretary of state for housing, points out – this step towards building a memorial is fundamental to rebuilding the community’s trust. “This public commitment is a demonstration of us being true to that word and I am pleased we have been able to agree a way forward,” he said.

Last week, Downing Street defended the prime minister after comments from Stormzy at the 2018 Brit awards, at which the south London MC attacked Theresa May for her response to the fire.

The prime minister’s spokesman said the government had committed millions of pounds to the community in the aftermath of the blaze at the west London tower block in June 2017.

Alan Everett, the vicar of nearby St Clement’s church, revealed the extent of the psychological damage after the accident:

“Residents have the daily trauma of seeing the tower standing in their midst,” he said. “It’s the first thing some people see when pulling up their kitchen blind in the morning; children are walking past it every day on their way to school. It will be a massive relief when it comes down, and then we can take time to decide what to do with the site.”

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