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After Kensington and Chelsea Council banned both members of the public and press from attending the cabinet meeting in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire , getwestlondon will report what we can from the council offices.

The meeting, the first since the disaster on June 14 which has claimed at least 80 lives, will take place at Kensington Town Hall on Thursday (June 29) at 6.30pm.

Despite repeated attempts for media access the meeting, Kensington and Chelsea Council upheld the decision.

So reporter Goolistan Cooper will head to the meeting regardless, in an attempt to hold the local authority to account and provide reaction from the scene.

Follow our live blog for updates as we get them.

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We will leave this story tonight

We will give you the latest as soon as we hear it tomorrow morning.

Until then here is the latest:

A meeting held by senior councillors linked to the Grenfell Tower fire was scrapped on Thursday (June 29) after journalists entered the room.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea leader Nicholas Paget-Brown claimed reports of the meeting in the media would “prejudice” the upcoming public inquiry.

You can read the full story here.

Labour calling for council leader to resign

Labour councillors and members were furious at the decision - some crying - and calling for the council leader to quit.

One said:

Our reputation is in the gutter.

Press in attendance due to legal challenge

The council leader said the meeting was agreed to be held in private but “can’t have an unprejudiced discussion if the press are present.”

He said the press were here as the result of a legal challenge and declared the meeting closed.

Council reputation has been "tarnished and diminished"

Councillor Nick Paget-Brown announced a sub-committee and scrutiny will be set-up.

The name of Kensington and Chelsea has been tarnished and diminished. Reputation has been damaged and fractured.

He argued some of the criticism was wrong but now was not the time to discuss that.

The challenge now is to bring the community together and ensure one of the most diverse parts of this great city starts to move forward.

"We are absolutely and utterly exhausted"

Asked why more residents were not protesting at the town hall, Moira Samuels said:

We are absolutely and utterly exhausted

After the press were allowed in but not the public either she or another person said:

You will not talk to ordinary people of Kensington. Everything comes through the press.

"They have hidden away"

Moira Samuels continued:

They have hidden away.

There’s real anger and frustration that we’re not being allowed in.

The council has "locked itself behind closed doors"

Resident Moira Samuels said before the meeting:

Yet again the council has locked itself behind closed doors.

They need to come out and offer an explanation why we are not going into this meeting .

"This is a huge event in the contemporary history of London"

The statement concludes:

This is a huge event in the contemporary history of London. The horror to befall Grenfell Tower has been seen around the world. The challenge now is to ensure that the strengths which also characterise this place, and North Kensington in particular, are seen to play their part in bringing the community together and ensuring that one of the most diverse parts of a great City can start to move forward from this tragedy.

Work from the council "needs to continue"

The statement read:

The other work of the Council needs to continue. Many residents depend on our social care programmes, child support, waste, parks, transport, planning and library services. It is important that this work carries on and meets the highest standards expected by our residents.

At present the name of Kensington and Chelsea stands tarnished and diminished. Our plans to transform housing are currently on hold. Our reputation with the wider community in North Kensington is damaged and in some cases fractured. Our tenants and leaseholders have questions for us and KCTMO. We are under sustained media criticism for a slow reaction to the Fire, non-visibility and for failing to invest in North Kensington. I believe that many of these criticisms need to be challenged and over time they will be, but I can think of nothing more demeaning to the memory of those lost and missing in the fire than seeking the resolution of political scores.

"I think we will need a dedicated scrutiny commitee"

The statement read:

The Council will need to think about how we continue to recognise the immensity of this tragedy. It cannot be business as usual. In the next few days I will announce a sub-committee of the Cabinet to oversee the specific challenges posed by the fire and to ensure that we have a co-ordinated and visible response that is respected by the survivors.

I think we will also need a dedicated Scrutiny Committee to oversee this work and to ensure that community representatives are properly heard. I will discuss this with the other parties.

Our officer team will need to consider how it is best configured to respond and this is likely to involve staff dedicated to a specific Grenfell Tower unit.

Kensington and Chelsea council meeting SCRAPPED after High Court orders journalists be allowed in

Councillors have called for council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown’s resignation after he refused to let the meeting continue.

Read the full story here.

The council recognises there has been a "political fall-out"

He added:

I recognise that there has been political fall-out from the Grenfell Fire and that there may yet be more. We have lost our Town Clerk, Nicholas Holgate and I want to reinforce my thanks to him for the great service that he has given to Kensington and Chelsea over his eight years with us. I am very grateful to Dr Barry Quirk, Chief Executive of Lewisham for agreeing to act as an interim Chief Executive and grateful to Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham for agreeing to lend him to us. We will hear from Dr Quirk shortly.

I also want to acknowledge the huge amount of work undertaken by officers on the ground who have stepped up to deal with this tragedy. Many have volunteered long hours and weekends to ensure that we are able to ensure that a range of services and the benefits of local knowledge and contacts can be brought into play in the service of residents.

On other partners offering assistance

He said:

It is clear that the scale and complexity of this tragedy required help from beyond this borough. I am extremely grateful to all the other boroughs who have offered assistance. Also to more than 10,000 people who have volunteered help. We have responded to them all and asked them to complete a questionnaire setting out the area where they are best able to offer help. The Volunteer Centre will take on the role of coordinating this activity.

We have also received a huge number of donations of food, goods and money. The Red Cross are assisting with this and some of the goods will be sold to raise money.

The Red Cross along with the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation will deliver funds to community groups.

We have also been extremely fortunate in the sustained support given by so many of the community groups and voluntary organisations based in North Kensington from the very first hours of the fire. Council staff were present at many of them, but clearly not visible enough. As responsibility for the operation of the Grenfell Support Group passes back to the borough over the next week or so, we will be looking to the community to indicate what else is required and they will take an active role in deciding how the donations are handled.

"Families have received immediate financial support"

More than £1m has been distributed to affected families, according to the council leader:

Families have received immediate financial support. As of yesterday more than £1.6m had been distributed to affected families. This consists of a £500 cash payment for immediate needs and £5,000 delivered through the DWP into a bank account. I recognise that in the early days there were issues in ensuring that all those who needed cash had received it.

Red Cross and HMRC "providing support to people without papers"

Cllr Nicholas Paget-Brown had this to say on the Red Cross and HMRC:

The Red Cross and HMRC have been providing support to people without papers to help them with basic identification. Some residents have been concerned that there will be difficulties with their immigration status despite the undertakings given by the Prime Minister. I have written to the Home Secretary to urge her to ensure that Home Office staff are aware of this and that displaced residents are not deterred from seeking help.

He continued:

A social worker has been allocated to every affected household that wants one both from the Tower and other neighbouring properties. On the ground, 106 of the 160 Adult Social Care and Childrens’ Social Services Team have been Royal Borough staff.

The Housing Assessment Team has been staffed by officers from other boroughs but the allocations team is from the Royal Borough.

Kensington Aldridge Academy will remain closed until September and pupils in Year 7-9 are currently based at Burlington Danes. The sixth form is at Latymer Upper School. Further tests are being made of the cladding. St Francis of Assisi school is operating from the Sion Manning site. Counselling is being provided to both teachers and pupils and our educational psychologists are providing in-depth support across the borough.

Support for individuals and families

The councillor said a family assitance centre providing support to those dealing with bereavement has been opened and offers a wide range of support services including interpreters.

A social worker has been allocated to every affected household that wants one both from the Tower and other neighbouring properties. On the ground, 106 of the 160 Adult Social Care and Childrens’ Social Services Team have been Royal Borough staff.

The Housing Assessment Team has been staffed by officers from other boroughs but the allocations team is from the Royal Borough.

Kensington Aldridge Academy will remain closed until September and pupils in Year 7-9 are currently based at Burlington Danes. The sixth form is at Latymer Upper School. Further tests are being made of the cladding. St Francis of Assisi school is operating from the Sion Manning site. Counselling is being provided to both teachers and pupils and our educational psychologists are providing in-depth support across the borough.

"Offers have been made of interim housing"

The Conservative politician continued:

Everyone who lost their home is undergoing a Housing Assessment to identify their longer-term needs. So far 153 have been completed. 65 have been offered temporary accommodation. Our Housing Allocations team is searching for appropriate properties nearby. 68 new build flats have been identified in the Warwick Road development to which the Council will have the nominations. We have also had discussions with Clarion who have offered several flats in their Chelsea site for short-term accommodation. Other offers have been made of interim housing and are currently being assessed.

On Housing

The council leader provided an update on the housing situation:

I wanted to update the Cabinet on where we are now in terms of supporting those who lost their homes or needed to move out of nearby properties for safety. I realise the Council has come in for much criticism for its response. I will acknowledge this and apologise for what we could have done better.

373 households are currently in temporary accommodation. That includes 140 placements of people from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk. Nobody has been offered accommodation outside London. Residents have been told that they can stay in a hotel until a more suitable housing option can be identified. There is a target of re-housing everyone currently in a hotel within three weeks to more suitable interim accommodation whilst their long-term housing requirements are met.

Cllr Paget-Brown on fire safety

The Kensington and Chelsea council leader had this to say on fire safety:

The cause of the fire and the reasons it spread so rapidly will lie at the heart of the public enquiry and it would not be right to pre-empt that.

Kensington and Chelsea Tennant Management Organisation (KCTMO) manage 18 tower blocks which are over ten stories in the borough – all have up-to-date Fire Safety Risk Assessments and none of the other high-rise blocks in the borough have cladding.

This has been confirmed to Department for Commuinities and Local Government (DCLG) as part of their survey into tower blocks and external fixtures.

I can however confirm that a letter about fire safety has been delivered by hand to all residents in high-rise blocks by KCTMO. It reiterates advice given by the fire service.

The KCTMO has also commissioned an independent fire survey of the Council’s blocks of flats and the results of this will be made publicly available.

Statement focuses on five areas

The statement continues into five topics:

  1. Fire safety
  2. Housing assessment and allocation
  3. Support for individuals and families
  4. Other partners who have offered assistance
  5. Changes to the way the council operates in response to the fire

Cllr Nicholas Paget-Brown full statement

Councillor Nicholas Paget-Brown has released the following statement after leaving the cabinet meeting finished this evening:

We meet in the tragic aftermath of the worst incident to have occurred in the borough since Kensington and Chelsea was created 52 years ago and one of London’s worst single losses of life since the second world war.

There are many questions but I want to start by remembering that it is the 80 people confirmed so far who have lost their lives and their grief stricken families that are uppermost in our minds.

They certainly have been in mine. We also know that the top of the building has not been reached yet and that a number of people are still unaccounted for having been reported missing.

It is still almost impossible to take in the events which led to their final moments in the early hours of that summer morning.

Councillor Atkinson tells us what happened tonight in the chamber

The Council’s Labour leader has told us what went on in that meeting.

"He's totally failing to deal with the situation altogether"

The council’s Labour leader made the remark about Nicholas Paget-Brown while speaking with a member of Grenfell Action Group, a residents association which repeatedly highlighted fire safety concerns over the last few years.

It can’t go on.

His own backbenchers were just as horrified as we were.

Council Leader's statement - 'name stands tarnished'

Nicholas Paget-Brown, the man who shut down the meeting ‘on legal advice’ because journalists had been allowed in and could report on what was being discussed, has issued a statement.

At present the name of Kensington and Chelsea stands tarnished and diminished.

Our plans to transform housing are currently on hold.

Our reputation with the wider community in North Kensington is damaged and in some cases fractured.

Our tenants and leaseholders have questions for us and KCTMO.

We are under sustained media criticism for a slow reaction to the Fire, non-visibility and for failing to invest in North Kensington.

I believe that many of these criticisms need to be challenged and over time they will be, but I can think of nothing more demeaning to the memory of those lost and missing in the fire than seeking the resolution of political scores.

"Council should not resign"

Our reporter Goolistan Cooper has spoken to this member of the public outside the council offices, and she thinks councillors should NOT resign. She said: “If they do that they’re gone. They can’t resign because they won’t be held accountable.”

A member of the public who thinks the Cabinet should NOT resign
A member of the public who thinks the Cabinet should NOT resign (Image: Goolistan Cooper)

Sadiq Khan reacts to council meeting

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has reacted to the events unfolding at Kensington and Chelsea Council and said the decision is “beggars belief”.

He is doing a live Q&A via his facebook page with LBC.

Continued police presence

There are still policemen outside the council building

Police presence outside Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea cabinet meeting where Grenfell Tower tragedy was due to be discussed
Police presence outside Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea cabinet meeting where Grenfell Tower tragedy was due to be discussed (Image: Goolistan Cooper)

High Court ruling

Press Gazette is reporting:

After a challenge at the High Court by a coalition of six media groups a judge ordered Kensington Council to admit journalists with press cards to the meeting. After journalists arrive the council called off the meeting claiming it would prejudice the forthcoming public inquiry.

Legal advice

This afternoon getwestlondon sought legal advice and told Kensington and Chelsea that excluding the press could lead to a judicial review.