Grenfell safety screen could be torn down… because it’s wrong colour

Grenfell safety screen could be torn down… because it’s the wrong colour: Victims say white sheet should be changed for a green one (but it may cost £400k)

  • Builders suspended construction of plastic sheet surrounding burnt-out remains
  • Survivors and relatives angry wrapping is white because it signifies mourning
  • White shroud harder to spot, sparking claims that tragedy could be forgotten

Builders have suspended the construction of a giant plastic sheet surrounding the burnt-out remains of the Grenfell Tower

The white shroud covering Grenfell Tower could be pulled down at a cost of £400,000 because it’s the wrong colour.

Builders have suspended the construction of a giant plastic sheet surrounding the burnt-out remains of the tower because survivors and relatives of the dead want it to be green.

Some are angry that the wrapping is white because the colour signifies mourning in some cultures. They also believe a white shroud will make it harder to spot on the skyline, sparking claims the tragedy could be forgotten.

Instead they want it to be green, which is the colour that has been adopted by Grenfell survivors and campaign groups during vigils and marches, and on social media. Pulling down the sheeting and replacing it with a green one would cost up to £400,000, sources say.

Officials had previously promised that the charred tower would be covered by early this year after psychologists warned that the sight of it was worsening the trauma of those living nearby.

Scaffolding was put up in August – two months after the fire ripped through the building, killing 71. The first plastic sheets were put up in October and officials planned to cover up one floor every week.

But the construction has been painfully slow and has stalled since the row erupted last month. Many fear the tower will not be covered in time for the first anniversary of the fire on June 14. 

Last night friends of the survivors claimed that officials ignored their requests to erect a green shroud. One said: ‘We wanted it to be a vivid colour so that this devastating tragedy would not be forgotten. But officials simply ignored us and started putting up a white one.

‘They have only started listening after we put pressure on them by going directly to government ministers. The anniversary is coming up and this is already a traumatic time for those affected by the fire. Now we will have to commemorate the dead with the charred remains still dominating the skyline. Once again, we have been ignored and neglected.’

A group called Grenfell United – which represents many of those affected by the inferno – claims it asked for the shroud to be green back in December.

It is understood to have copies of emails to officials proving this. A spokesman for the group said: ‘The tower should have been covered months ago. 

The fire at Grenfell Tower in the Lancaster West Estate in North Kensington on June 14, 2017 caused 71 deaths and over 70 injuries

‘Survivors, bereaved and the community agreed with the Government two things last year – that the tower would be covered and would be covered in green to reflect the wishes of the community and ensure that what happened would never be forgotten. 

‘Despite this agreement a white covering was put up without ever explaining why.

‘Approaching the one-year anniversary the Government needs to resolve this quickly so that we can all keep moving forward with rebuilding our lives and our community.’

Survivors voiced their concerns over the colour of the shroud in meetings last month with Home Office minister Nick Hurd.

Last night a source close to him said: ‘He understands that there are concerns over the colour of the plastic sheeting and has met survivors to listen to their views.’

Responsibility for the charred remains lies with a body called London Local Authority Gold.

An LLAG spokesman said it has received some new proposals from the community recently and will ‘make a decision on the best way forward…in due course’.

He added: ‘We continue to consult closely with the community. The wrapping of the tower is by its nature a sensitive issue and one which many people have understandably strong views on.’ 

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