Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, where a 24-storey London tower block burned to the ground and left dozens of people dead and many more injured and without homes, are asking to be able to contribute in the public inquiry into the cause of the fire and who is responsible. They want to be in the loop on the terms and the scope of the investigation.

The Grenfell Tower survivors also want to be brought in for their thoughts on how it is set up, such as who’s in charge and which judge is going to preside over the case. This is understandable, given how the government system is basically why the fire happened in the first place, so you can understand why they might be a little reluctant to just place all their trust right back into that same system to resolve the issue.

Consultation like this is unusual in public inquiries

The residents of Grenfell Tower do understand and acknowledge that consultation of this kind in a public inquiry like this is pretty unusual, but they say this will be essential in restoring their trust (and that of other locals in the area, who feel just as disregarded and less important than the neighbouring rich people) in the authorities and the local council.

A representative group from the Lancaster West Estate, which surrounds Grenfell Tower, has written a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May with the express purpose to “demand that our voices are heard and fully included in the public inquiry.” The group includes some of the survivors of the fire.

Police investigating the case are currently mulling over the possibility of pressing charges for manslaughter.

According to the letter, the group are glad that the inquiry is taking place and they’re happy that the government finally seems committed to helping the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and looking out for their safety (albeit way, way too late).

However, they want the government to show that they really mean this by letting the residents take part in the investigation and negotiation its terms with them. They also want to be able to choose the inquiry’s counsel and who the panel of advisors in the case is made up of.

May ordered the public inquiry after visiting the scene

May ordered a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster after finally visiting the scene of the fire and speaking to the residents, having previously avoided them like a coward. The fire is reported to have claimed at least 79 lives. Those people died after the tower’s residents had repeatedly warned the government of the fire risk posed by the building and repeatedly been ignored.

Also in the residents’ letter to May are demands for a full, detailed investigation that incorporates other, related fires that have taken place, not just Grenfell Tower. Grenfell was given shoddy, flammable cladding that is illegal in America and costs £2 cheaper than the much safer, fire-retardant kind.

And Lakanal House in the south of London went up in flames back in 2009 and killed six people – the government didn’t do anything about fire safety measures back then. Does it take 79 deaths that they’re responsible for to get the government to do anything these days?

Residents say investigation should ‘leave no stone unturned’

The group of residents are saying that, following the Grenfell Tower disaster, the public inquiry should cover everything, from the failures of the government in this area in London to the failures of the government on a UK-wide scale. In their letter, they insist that the investigation being carried out “must leave no stone unturned” and “identify each and every individual and organisation who must bear responsibility and accountability for this tragedy and the mishandling of the aftermath.”