Government to give financial aid to tower block blaze council

16 Jun 17

The government has confirmed emergency financial assistance will be given to Kensington and Chelsea Council in the wake of the fatal Grenfell Tower fire.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid yesterday announced the government’s Bellwin scheme would be activated to support the west London council.

The scheme gives financial assistance to local authorities to help with immediate costs following a disaster or emergency in their area that involves danger to life or property.

Kensington and Chelsea Council will be able to apply for 100% of its eligible costs if they spend more than 0.2% of their calculated annual revenue budgets on emergency works.

Javid said: “As the prime minister has been clear, the government stands ready to help in anyway possible.

“We’re determined to stand squarely behind the affected communities.

“Funding through the Bellwin scheme will help councils support the community to get back on their feet.”

The local authority confirmed this morning it has rehoused 109 households in hotels in west London.

Yesterday the newly appointed housing minister Alok Sharma also confirmed during an emergency minister meeting with Home Office minister Nick Hurd that Kensington and Chelsea Council and the government would guarantee that every family from Grenfell Tower will be rehoused in the local area.

Hurd told MPs during that meeting in a parliamentary committee room that "our intention as a government is to leave no stone unturned".

Theresa May yesterday called for a full public inquiry into the circumstances of the tragedy, which MPs labeled a “crime” and a “man-made disaster”.

Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, said: “We are all deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy and are determined that all necessary support will be there for victims and their families.

“That is why we have made emergency funding available so the local council can provide much-needed services to everybody affected.”

Hammond pulled out of his annual Mansion House policy speech, which was due to take place last night, in view of the tragedy.

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