Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Grenfell Tower catastrophe

The following appear to be matters of public record:
1. The block of flats was run not by the Council but by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO). This body is made up of 8 TENANTS, 4 councillors and 3 independent members.
2 Labour hold the seat that the block is situated in.
3 Labour run the London Council who manage the under-funded London Fire Service
4 Emma Coad the sitting Labour MP for that ward also sat on the KCTMO.
5 The advice to stay put which Sadiq Khan has been so vocal about was given by the London Fire Service.
6 The decision to change contractors during the refurb was made by KCTMO.
7 The decision not to spend an additional £138k on fitting sprinklers was again KCTMO.
8 The decision to create Arms Length Management Organisatins (ALMO) such as the KCTMO was made under the Right To Manage legislation passed in 2002 as part of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act.
9 This was put in place to give leaseholders and tenants a greater say and the ability to self manage, which in some circumstances has clearly proven to be flawed.
10 Which Govt was in a charge when this law was passed? It was Labour.
11 Sadiq Khan as mayor of London Produced a report to say that the fire service did not need further funding.
12 Emma Coad elected Labour MP was on the board of the Tenant Management group who are being accused of not listening to tenants. 
Further, according to Christopher Booker (a strong advocate for Remain) in the Telegraph, when the Grenfell Tower was built, the cladding materials were glass-based and inert.  Fire could not pass through or behind the cladding.   Since then, authority for specification of construction materials has passed from individual governments to the EU.   The EU has decreed, as part of climate change initiatives, that the main purpose of cladding is to provide insulation, thus reducing the need to burn fuel.   When, three years ago, Kensington spent £10m on up-rating the Grenfell Tower it had no option but to use cladding permitted by the EU.    Unfortunately, the cladding is not fireproof.  I have not (yet) heard anybody accuse the EU of responsibility for the fire - though that is where at least part of the blame lies.

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