Kensington Council terminates contract with body managing Grenfell Tower


Kensington and Chelsea Council has voted unanimously to terminate its contract with the organisation responsible for managing Grenfell Tower.

The council voted unanimously to terminate the current 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.

During the heated meeting where councillors clashed with local residents, council leader Elizabeth Campbell defended RBKC’s track record of rehousing survivors.

She insisted “this is not a time for haste, this is a time for getting it right” following criticism it has been too slow to provide families with suitable permanent accommodation.

Ms Campbell said at the meeting that 20 families are now in permanent accommodation while a further 52 households have accepted an offer in principle.

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

There were cries of “shame” from members of the public while another heckler yelled: “You move in to a tower block then.”

Ms Campbell said Kensington and Chelsea council had bought 120 homes while a further 20 purchases were in the hands of solicitors and 20 more under negotiation.

She added: “I am confident the number of people moving in to new homes will increase dramatically in the coming months.”

She said the council was “shamed” by the poorly organised response in the immediate aftermath of the fire compared to that of the community.

One of volunteers responsible for organising the relief effort from the community, Loubna Aghzafi, brought an out-of-date bottle of milk to the meeting which she said was recently placed in a box of supplies by council workers.

She said the milk had been given a nine-week-old baby who then became ill as a result.

Ms Aghzafi said all the council staff that were “solution minded” had been sidelined while those bent on protecting themselves had taken over.

“You are desperate to safeguard each other’s rank and most importantly to further their careers on the back of this tragedy,” she said.

A spokesman said the council was “urgently investigating” the allegation about the out-of-date baby milk.

Ms Campbell said victims were being advised by the North Kensington Law Centre but a local activist attacked the council for voting to cut the centre’s funding, rendering it “ineffective”.

Isis Amlak, a member of the Grenfell Action Group, said: “What a surprise you are using the North Ken Law Centre. I remember when you cut it and cut it and cut it until it was more or less ineffective.



Source : http://www.itv.com/news/2017-09-28/kensington-council-terminates-contract-with-body-managing-grenfell-tower/

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