Council votes unanimously to end contact with body managing Grenfell Tower



Kensington and Chelsea Council has voted unanimously to end its contract with the company that managed the Grenfell Tower.

The decision was made to terminate the contract with the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) and replace it with a new arrangement to manage its housing stock.

Deputy council leader Kim Taylor-Smith said at a council meeting on Wednesday night: “The TMO no longer has the trust of residents.”

He said the council was working with the TMO to bring its contract to a close, citing lack of confidence in its fire safety record and a unanimous vote of no confidence from 25 residents’ associations.

Earlier in the meeting the council’s leader Elizabeth Campbell revealed that that 20 families affected by the fire at the 24-storey block are now in permanent accommodation, while 52 have accepted an offer.

She insisted “this is not the time for haste, this is a time for getting it right,” after facing criticism that the authority has been too slow to rehouse survivors of the blaze.

Elizabeth Campbell: The council leader spoke a meeting with residents on Wednesday (EPA)

She said: “We are working around the clock to do whatever we can to get people into new homes.”

Cllr Campbell said Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) had bought 120 homes, while a further 20 purchases were in the hands of solicitors and 20 more under negotiation.

“I am confident the number of people moving in to new homes will increase dramatically in the coming months,” she said.

She was heckled by residents seated in the public gallery, with one shouting: “You move in to a tower block then”.

Labour councillor Robert Atkinson was cheered when he called on the Government to recommit to its promise of an amnesty for any illegal migrants affected by the fire.

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He said it was the only way for any inquiry to get to the full truth of what happened on the night of June 14.

He condemned the slow rate of progress at rehousing survivors, saying: “The council needs to be doing more and needs to be doing it faster.”

The meeting started with a minute’s silence to remember all those who lost their lives in the fire, followed by the appointment of Cllr Benazir Lasharie as deputy mayor.

Inside Grenfell Tower

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Water is sprayed on Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

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Fire service personnel inside Grenfell Tower in west London

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A view inside the Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

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Sniffer dogs were sent inside to the tower today

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Fire service personnel inside Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

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Part of the scorched facade of the Grenfell Tower in London as firefighting continue to damp-down the deadly fire

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Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

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A view inside the Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

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Cllr Lasharie gave a tearful acceptance speech, saying: “The tower has been part of my life – the first thing I could see when I left my home and the last thing we would see when I came home.”

She described growing up in the shadow of the tower and playing in the park at its base as a child, adding: “This council needs to change”.

Members of the Independent Grenfell Recovery Task Force appointed by communities and local government minister Sajid Javid were present at the meeting to “challenge and support” the council, said Kensington’s and Chelsea’s mayor Marie-Therese Rossi.

She said: “They are looking at whether the council is up to the job of dealing with the long-term recovery of those who have suffered as a result of the Grenfell Fire tragedy.”

 



Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/its-a-time-for-getting-it-right-not-for-haste-council-responds-to-claims-it-is-rehousing-grenfell-a3645466.html

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