Town hall vigil to mark fourth anniversary of Grenfell Tower disaster

Alex Dickin formed Ipswich Cladiators last year

Alex Dickin formed Ipswich Cladiators last year - Credit: Archant

Campaigners fighting unsafe cladding and fire safety defects are commemorating four years since the Grenfell Tower disaster with a late-night vigil.

On June 14, 2017, a devastating blaze tore through the 24-storey tower block in North Kensington, claiming the lives of 72 people.

Alex Dickin, founder of the Ipswich Cladiators which now has more than 2,000 members impacted by the building safety crisis, said the group will mark the fourth anniversary of the tragedy on the town’s Cornhill at 10pm on Monday.

Ipswich Borough Council is set to illuminate the town hall in green, in respect for all those who lost their lives. 

Smoke billows from the fire that engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London. Picture: VICT

Smoke billows from the fire that engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London. Picture: VICTORIA JONES/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

Mr Dickin said the crisis stemming from the tragic fire has left thousands of Ipswich residents living in dangerous homes that they cannot sell, including himself.

The 27-year-old has a flat in Cardinal Lofts, which he bought as his first home - but in October 2020 discovered it was impacted by insufficient cladding.

He also highlighted the plight of St Francis Tower residents, who are living behind plastic shrinkwrap while flammable cladding is replaced.

“I couldn’t have believed when I watched the tragic news reports of the Grenfell disaster that morning four years ago that it would be affecting my life today,” Mr Dickin added.

“I’m trapped in a dangerous flat and I have no idea how much this is going to cost me, my life is on hold.”

Alex Dickin and Claire Hamblion of Ipswich Clators group, set up to fight cladding scandal of unsafe

Alex Dickin and Claire Hamblion of the new Ipswich Cladiators group, set up to fight the cladding crisis Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

The government’s Building Safety Fund now stands at £5.1billion, with those responsible for blocks over 18m eligible to apply for funding. 

However, in many cases, leaseholders are still being expected to foot the bill for buildings under that height.

Mr Dickin is urging members of the public to join the group and pay their respects to the 72 people who died in the Grenfell fire on Monday evening.

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They will gather on the Cornhill ahead of a 10pm start.

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