Guest column: Grenfell Tower tragedy shows why cuts to emergency services must be stopped

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

At the time of writing, 79 people were confirmed to have died in the Grenfell Tower blaze.

I am in no doubt that this figure could rise still further.

The horror of Grenfell is so much more shocking because it seems it was so preventable.

I feel there has been a devastating lack of leadership both before and after the fire and those who are found to have failed to act must be held accountable.

The Grenfell cladding company went into liquidation and the council received a report on this.

What questions were then asked and by whom?

Why did the Government fail to act on the coroner’s recommendations following the 2009 Lakanal House fire?

Why were the repeated concerns of residents allegedly ignored?

I have already started asking questions about the safety of our local buildings – including our schools and council buildings.

Yet again our emergency services have gone forwards into danger to help and protect the public.

The fire service has been extraordinary during the Grenfell Tower disaster and we are grateful for their bravery and personal sacrifice.

Local firefighters now need our support.

In Nottinghamshire, the Fire Authority is considering removing full-time overnight cover from a number of fire stations to save money.

This means ‘retained crews’ will be called up at home in the event of a fire or accident.

I have called on the Fire Authority to make health and safety their number one priority and guarantee the existing 24-hour cover with no reduction in staffing.

Specifically, over the last two months I have demanded no cuts to our local fire services.

Please sign the petition to support our firefighters and oppose any cuts by going to my Facebook page by emailing me on mannj@parliament.uk or calling my office on 01909 506200

The start of this week was overshadowed by an attack in London, with a van ploughing into pedestrians.

As a country we have to be able to look after our citizens and I renew my call for the police and intelligence services to be given the powers and finances that they need to monitor and catch potential terrorists.

Ineos is involved in a dispute with the National Trust about fracking.

Ineos had wanted to carry out seismic testing across a significant area of the East Midlands, including under Clumber Park.

The National Trust refused permission for Ineos to access and carry out tests on its land and is now being threatened with legal action.

It is absolutely right that the National Trust should be able to protect our places of natural beauty and in my view Ineos’ tactics are very unimpressive.

I voted in Parliament to put a halt to fracking and I think it should only ever go ahead with the full consent and involvement of local people.