Across the country things are structured for the blue-light services to form the 'hard' response to civil emergency but for local authorities to co-ordinate the 'soft' side; power, water, sewerage, food, housing, transport, clothing, bedding, pets, banks, schools. Each council is given a substantial annual grant to maintain an Emergency Planning function including regular training; 'gold' 'silver' and 'bronze' commands in association with neighbouring councils are put in place. So when something like Grenfell happens, the machine swings smoothly into place.
Except of course it didn't. K&C's response was non-existent. Holgate was an utter failure, a decorative popinjay, who left it up to churches, mosques and sharp-elbowed residents to organise food and clothing banks, blankets and so on. And despite K&C being replete with flats, Holgate's morons were sending DPs to council housing hundreds of miles away. In the event a group of six neighbouring councils had to step in to do what K&C was not - in the process excluding Holgate from the management of a crisis in his own borough. Even the departments of State each set up a stand on the estate and dispatched staff to serve the DPs - but not K&C council.
It was quite right that this duffer was booted out. It also reminded me of the incompetence of the mayor of New Orleans in the days following the disastrous floods there. Such people must go. They earn their inflated salaries on the basis of a modicum of competence. When found wanting, they must be cast into the darkness.
I've just found Simon Jenkins in the ES whose own piece mirrors my view:-
It was total humiliation. Yesterday, as the dust began to settle around the Grenfell Tower site, six London borough bosses met to co-ordinate rescue efforts and struggle to repair the reputation of local government. They did not include the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, on whose patch the tragedy occurred. In the chair was the chief executive of the City Corporation, John Barradell, with “leadership roles” for Westminster, Southwark, Ealing, Hounslow, Bromley and Harrow. I am told they did not even meet in the royal borough.