Former senior housing officer Nigel Hamilton on privatisation of public services; retired fire safety engineer Anthony Ferguson and architect Kate Macintosh on cladding dangers; ex-borough architect John Murray on high-rise policy history

Grenfell Tower fire: latest updates

It is urgent for the thousands of families living in tower blocks around the UK that the process of understanding and learning the lessons of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower gets under way as soon as possible and leaves no stone unturned (The warnings were ignored, 15 June).

One issue I hope to see addressed is the almost religious adherence of the public sector to the purchaser/provider split, which means that local authorities, the health service and others no longer directly provide in-house services but commission them from external private sector providers, through competitive tendering. I know from many years’ experience as a senior local government housing officer that there was a time when a major technical project, like the refurbishment of a tower block, would have been led by an in-house team including architects, engineers and other experts whose professional pride, ability to sleep at night and pension depended on getting it right.

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