A MINUTE of silence was held at the council's civic offices this morning to pay tribute to those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire last Wednesday.

Hundreds of council staff and visitors flocked outside the Bridge Street headquarters at 11am.

Councillor Rose Williams, mayor of Reading, led the tribute to those who lost their lives in the fire.

She said: "We are gathered this morning to unite with the rest of the country in remembering those who died or have been affected by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower last week.

"Those of you who work for the council will agree we are one of the best councils in the country. We look after our citizens to the very best of our ability.

"Last Wednesday, after watching the news in the morning, I phoned our emergency department to see if there was any help we could offer.

"The phone call never came. We have out emergency systems in place and over the years we have developed good plans because we are so close to the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

"We have strong evacuation methods in place, where as other councils have not stood up to the mark. Well done everybody who helps to keep our citizens safe."

Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, has vowed to rehouse every homeless family affected by the fire in North Kensington, as part of his new role as Housing Minister.

He was appointed last Tuesday, the day before the fatal blaze broke out, with dozens of people presumed dead.

Families have been forced to sleep on the streets in tents, with children confirmed among the fatalities.

Peter Burt organised a small gathering outside the town hall on Saturday afternoon.

Flowers and a placard were laid to remember the victims.