News

Leslie Grantham dies aged 71

Actor Leslie Grantham known for playing 'Dirty Den' in Eastenders has died aged 71.

A statement from his representative said: “We formally announce the loss of Leslie Grantham, who passed away at 10.20am on the morning of Friday 15 June 2018.

“His ex-wife and sons have asked for their privacy to be respected at this difficult time."

Grenfell Tower - It Didn't Need To Happen by Eartha Pond

GRENFELL TOWER – IT DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN
by Eartha Pond


G ="Good night mum, love you! Can you leave the door open on your way out? The weather's too hot and humid" was the last un-panicked sentence communicated in flat X on floor Y.
"Mum, why can I smell burning and why is there so much noise in the block?"
"It's fine darling, they are most probably returning from breaking their fast."
Remember how many people were celebrating together on Monday.

IT DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN…….

R =Repeated sirens bellow consistently and loudly, the incessant sound moving closer and closer! The previously static noise outside becomes less orchestrated and borders on impending chaos as it now includes screams. The bird’s eye view now presents silhouettes of frantic movement, with thick black smoke and flames dancing amongst what I can remember to be tree branches... now I wish they were extended, outstretched arms to pull people to safety.

IT DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN…….

E =Engines, the emergency services, empty pipes representing incompetence and lack of accountability. Unable to give adequate advice in the face of an incomprehensible scene: “Remain in your flat" they advised, "your location has been noted”.

Lack of access to get close enough, quickly enough.

Lack of adequate equipment to penetrate the entire building. "Wet some towels and sheets" he shouted, "we might need to try to escape ourselves!"
"But dad! There's no water coming out of the taps!"

IT DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN…….

N =NINE NINE NINE! NINE NINE NINE! NINE NINE NINE! No other choice...they had to do it in order for him to survive! "Drop him!"

"We will catch him" they shouted from below!

"I love you son, I have faith you will survive" and the father slammed his eyes shut in conjunction with his heartbeat failing as his beloved son descended...

Still no knock on the door with help. Still no indication via an alarm system that itis unsafe to open my door. Yet the burn on the palm of my hand from the door handle tells a completely different story.

IT DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN…….

F =Fire!!! "Get back!" screams an officer, in the direction of distraught neighbours, friends and family. Men and women proceed into the building where instructions are being repeated by a firefighter to the on rushing brigade team who have just arrived at the scene, having abandoned their engine due to lack of access space.

IT DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN…….

E="Excuse me, has anyone seen a little girl! I can’t find my daughter; we all came out of the flat together! Somebody HELP, help me please!"

"STANDBACK PLEASE!"

"Everyone that’s been taken out is over by the tree, please double check she is not with a neighbour and we will continue to search inside and out."

IT DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN…….

L =Lungs filled with smoke, coughing and unable to breathe as the ash clawed at the throats of its prey. Breathing apparatus readily available on exit like the recent craze of possessing a fidget spinner in the KAA playground.

The adjacent school playground looked on powerless, afraid for her children. Would they be coming to school tomorrow? It's exam season.

Lights from torches, lights from flames, lights from phones. The night is a light from a range of sources, including the flame from the clipper being used by the traumatised lady shaking with a cigarette clamped between her index fingers and the mobile phones held in the trembling hands of aghast spectators watching something unspeakable knowing that no words would ever, ever be able to describe this.

Flashing blue lights shuttling patients to the hospitals, with a range of injuries.

IT DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN…….

L =Lost in the smoke. Those three women waving towels frantically for the attention of the emergency services have now disappeared. Debris continues to fall down like black snow, through the windows of neighbours located on the walk. Cladding flies and floats in the air, emulating a cash winning scene from the Crystal Maze, symbolising the sacrificing of people over profit.

IT DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN…….

T =Too many times they warned the Council about their concerns and were not listened to. Too many times they highlighted their concerns regarding renovations and lack of basic infrastructures within their place of residence. For nearly two hours, in light of hundreds of harrowing calls for life-saving advice, residents were told: “Stay put”. Some recognised the danger and decided to dictate their journey and passage to safety or eternity.

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN…….

O = One by one concerns were ignored. One by one each firefighter exited and returned into a building thatcontinued to roar. The flames showed no mercy, as with devastating doors they tore through the building like a tornado. Nothing like this had been seen or experienced before. Within minutes the emergency services ignored safety guidelines put in place to save their own lives, by returning time and time again into the building and on several occasions transferring their oxygen masks to residents in need. However took hours to ignore “stay put” policy put in place to save residents? If only the inadequate safety guidelines put in place to save residents had been ignored, so many more might have been saved.

One by one the voices of residents from within the tower became silent. One by onet he emergency services received repetitive phone calls with the same information “We are stuck in flat x on floor y”.

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN…….

W =Why did this happen? Why was this allowed to happen? Why is the building still burning? Where are my teacher and classmate from school? Where is the local authority? Where can I get help? Where should I drop off this van load of stuff? It’s not much but I have brought a selection of clean clothes and shoes and a few crates of water. How can we help?

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN…….

E =Empathy from communities near and far is remarkable! Everyone from all walks of life and faiths has arrived in their thousands to support those in need.EVERYONE apart from the local council! Evidence builds of missing family members, posters scattered on each wall and lamppost within a 400 yard radius. Why has there been a systematic breakdown of policy and provision of safe and habitable social housing? What has happened with the procurement of contractors, materials and strategic decisions made both locally and nationally?

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN…….

R = Rain 48hrs later…..like a few other elements, it arrived a little too late. Like the response from those put in place to protect us and keep us safe. Like the response to concerns raised not only from residents but from the previous recommendations in recent similar events. Like the inadequacy of ongoing monitoring of works and safety checks in such buildings. Like the lack of integrity demonstrated in highlighting the lack of effectiveness and efficiency of the response of both local and national governments in the face of the atrocity that occurred.

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN…….

Accountability,transparency, and JUSTICE

Rolls-Royce will cut 4600 jobs

Rolls-Royce will cut 4600 jobs at its jet engine manufacturing business in Derby.

Middle management and support staff are the ones expected to be cut as the engine giants attempt to save £400 million per year.

Derby’s Labour MP Chris Williamson said he wants the government to intervene. He tweeted:

Get the latest from Good Morning Britain reporter Pipa Thompson above.

2018 FIFA World Cup: Everything you need to know

One of the world’s biggest sporting event in the world has almost arrived.

That’s right, we’re talking about the FIFA World Cup!

The eagerly anticipated football competition will have 32 teams competing for the biggest prize in world football.

When is the World Cup?

The competition will run for four weeks, from 14 June to 15 July.

Where is the World Cup?

The tournament is being held in Russia across 12 different stadiums and 11 different cities.

Previously unseen photos reveal childhood of physicist Stephen Hawking

The family of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking have released a series of photos of his childhood ahead of a memorial service to remember him.

Hawking died aged 76 in March 2018. He was known around the world for his work in science and his outspoken comments on politics, current affairs and global matters. During his life, he was portrayed on the big screen by Eddy Redmayne in The Theory of Everything.

Brexit division as MPs vote on amendments that could throw EU departure off the rails

Theresa May faces a tough week ahead as MPs debate the flagship piece of the Brexit legislation, the EU withdrawal Bill.

What is the purpose of this Bill?

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill revokes the 1972 Act which took the UK into the European Economic Area, but also transposes all relevant EU law into British statute so there are no holes in the law book at the point of Brexit.

Jeremy Hunt wants more protection for doctors

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will offer more protection to doctors if they make honest mistakes' at work.

The new plans aim to give more support to NHS staff and help them learn from their mishaps, rather than put blame on them.

Doctors and nurses say fewer mistakes will be made if pressures and lack of resources are addressed.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “There are far too many cases now where doctors are being investigated for a criminal action, which is actually more a result of medical error.”