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  1. ITV Report

Grenfell United rejects council's 'unreserved apology'

Survivors group Grenfell United has rejected the council's unreserved apology after it admitted its building controllers made several key failings before signing off a refurbishment which saw the building coated in flammable panels.

Grenfell United said there was "no true remorse" in the admission by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, adding it was "insulting to survivors and bereaved families for them to suggest they are being honest about their role in our suffering".

RBKC counsel James Maxwell Scott QC told the inquiry on Wednesday:

The council has identified a number of failings in the way its building control services processed and considered the application for building control approval during the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower. On behalf of the council, it apologises unreservedly for those failings. Grenfell Tower is a tragedy which should never have happened. This council could have done and should have done more to stop it happening.

– James Maxwell Scott QC, RBKC counsel

RBKC owned the west London block but it was run by an arms-length body, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation which oversaw the refurbishment.

The inquiry heard earlier this week that building control officials failed to ask for comprehensive details of the project, including materials used in the cladding system.

Listing failings of the organisation, Mr Maxwell Scott said it "failed to ask for comprehensive details on the cladding system including the crown" and failed to identify that the insulation materials used in the cladding system were not of limited combustibility.

Building control failed to recognise that insufficient or no cavity barriers to seal the cavities at openings within the walls, including around the windows, had been indicated on the plans submitted to it.

Building control did not have a formal procedure for tracking the progress of applications for building control approval ... had one been in place, it would have reduced the likelihood of aspects of the application or the building control approval process being overlooked.

– James Maxwell Scott QC, RBKC counsel

He said it should not have issued a completion certificate on July 7 2016.

There is no confession here, barely any honesty and certainly no true remorse.

They have no choice but to accept that it was a total failure for their building control to sign off the refurbishment. They have not opened up about all the other ways they were disturbingly reckless in the project from start to finish and how they treated us before and after the fire.

It is insulting to us that they are trying to argue that despite signing off a building that was a death trap they should not share any responsibility for it.

This argument makes them no better than all the companies we have heard this week, passing the buck and minimising their own role in the disaster.

– Grenfell United