The Inquiry has written to core participants with an update.
This update provides a digest of:
- Inquiry operations during social restrictions
- Contact information
- Disclosure figures
- Drop-in sessions
Inquiry operations during social restrictions
While hearings are suspended due to the ongoing social restrictions, the work of the Inquiry continues. This includes the disclosure of documents to core participants, the analysis of evidence, and preparing question plans for witnesses due to give evidence in forthcoming modules. The Inquiry's experts also continue work on their reports for Phase 2.
The Inquiry is also considering potential options to enable hearings to progress, and has written to core participants and module 1 and module 2 witnesses to consult them on the following three options:
- Option 1: Suspend hearings until social restrictions have been lifted completely
- Option 2: Conduct hearings remotely via a video conferencing platform
- Options 3: Resume hearings with limited attendance when social restrictions are partially lifted
The purpose of the letter is to set out the Panel’s current thinking and to seek core participant views before any decision is made about which option to pursue. There is a fundamental balancing exercise to be carried out, by the Panel, between the need to maintain momentum and further the Inquiry’s work by taking oral evidence and the need to maintain the integrity and quality of that evidence as well as the physical and psychological well-being of the witnesses and other key participants.
As part of these considerations, the Inquiry is also consulting with colleagues in its counselling support services to establish whether it is possible to provide adequate support remotely and to identify any other factors the Panel needs to take into account including the impact of the current crisis on key participants and on the capacity and resilience of required support services. Responses to the consultation letter have been requested by 27 April 2020.
The Inquiry’s work on other Phase 2 modules continues while hearings are suspended. In line with social restrictions, all Inquiry team members are working remotely to ensure operations continue, but can still be contacted on 0800 121 4282 or by emailing [email protected]
Support services continue to be in place. If you need to talk about anything to do with your emotional wellbeing, the NHS website has further information at www.grenfellwellbeing.com.
The Grenfell Outreach Team is open Monday to Thursday from 09:00-20:00, and their number is 0208 637 6279. They also offer a weekend and out of hours service. More information can be found on the NHS website.
To protect both the community and the wider public from the spread of COVID-19, the Inquiry will not be holding drop-ins until guidance indicates that it is safe to do so. Anyone who wishes to contact the Inquiry in the meantime can do so through the routes detailed above.
As of 17 April 2020, the Inquiry has disclosed 20, 752 documents in Phase 1, and 115,698 in Phase 2, coming to a total of 136,450.
The drop-in session for April has been cancelled in line with current guidelines around public gatherings. Please email [email protected] if you wish to speak to a member of the Inquiry team.