Back in July when RBKC took the decision to abolish the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee, this is what RBKC Conservative councillor for Redcliffe and former Mayor Marie-Therese Rossi had to to say: “It is not the case that Grenfell will be forgotten or that we are taking away your voice, that will not happen as long as I am chair of the Overall Scrutiny Committee. As such I will have overall responsibility for Grenfell-related matters and also responsibility for allocating work to the other four select committees”
Grenfell not forgotten? Oh really?
Just 15 minutes of the last Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting was spent discussing Grenfell related-issues.
As for the committee, only committee member and Courtfield councillor Cllr Janet Evans had any thought to bring Grenfell matters to that last meeting and we thank her for this.
For further background to the RBKC committee changes and local concerns, please see these posts of ours:
Our local comnunity had been concerned that the committee changes would leave Grenfell matters splintered across various oher committees or not discussed at all.
And we are sad to report that this is exactly what has happened.
Look, we actually think having an Overview and Scrutiny Committee overseeing some council committees happens to not be a bad idea.
We do not think that the Grenfell Community Assembly meetings are a bad idea, but essentially they are the same apart from in name as the RBKC Listening Forums that go on elsewhere in other parts of the borough. Useful to some residents they may be, but they are in no way shape or form, an adequate replacement for a scrutiny committee. Clearly Cllr Rossi could do with doing some listening to residents as she even pathetically tried to fob North Kensington residents off with trying to make this excuse on Friday.
But their changes to abolish the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee and reduce scrutiny overall have left us for the worse…
It’s just such a pity that some councillors and senior staff did away with the GRSC and still seemingly wish to sweep Grenfell and North Kensington under the carpet at every other meeting.
That Friday, at the Grenfell Soil and Environmental Checks meeting (and we have a post reporting on this meeting in further detail coming up this week) residents relayed their concerns about the environmnent around our area, toxins and our health to Cllr Rossi.
Cllr Malcolm Spalding, who chaired the meeting and who also chairs the RBKC Environment Select Committee said he would discuss some parts of this in his committee (that was after he had gotten out of “school teacher mode”) and Rossi appeared flummoxed and merely talked of getting committee “working groups ” together , but both councillors essentially told residents that these matters had under the committee changes, to be referred separately to separate council committees – Environment and Health.
A THINKer pointed out to Cllr Rossi, that we previously had a council committee which could address these related matters together – that’s right : the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee – which our council got rid of and that separating these matters will not help, and that most residents do not have the time to go to lots of different committee meetings so under the current council process, this can never be fully explored, discussed and participated in – to no avail.
Understandably after many locals, including THINKers were left feeling even more upset and frustrated and some people even walked out during the meeting. Also noted at Friday’s meeting was the absence of RBKC Grenfell Executive members.
Anyway, because some at RBKC appear to be in the practice of regularly misleading, fobbing off and frustrating residents, THINK will finish this post with a certain practice of ours. Those unfamiliar with our “Piglet-Pie Awards” may want to see this with regards to the origins of the term:
And also this, featuring our first ever deserved recipients of the award (that “surveyor’s report” saying Wornington College was not fit for purpose never did turn up by the way) :
So, first of all we will go back to last Summer, and for her blatant Piglet-Pies about supposedly consulting with residents on the committee changes (she had falsely claimed to have spoken to 348 residents associations for starters ), and for continuing to tell Piglet-Pies about how Grenfell will always be this council’s number one priority, THINK present the Leader of our council, Dizzy Lizzy, with a more than well deserved Piglet-Pie Award:
But we are not quite finished yet; because for also previously repeatedly claiming that “Grenfell is our number one priority”, for telling Piglet-Pies by claiming that Grenfell would be top of the agenda at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and failing to ensure that it was, and for also falsely claiming that the Grenfell Community Assembly meetings are an adequate replacement for a scrutiny committee, THINK are also proud to present Marie-Therese Rossi with a Piglet-Pie Award too:
Shame on the pair of them.
The next Overview and Scrutiny Conmittee is at 6:30pm tonight at Kensington Town Hall. Here, for any residents who may wish to go, are the agenda and details (and at least the website is working this time):
Sonetimes we feel like we have had enough and are not sure if it is worth our going, but maybe sending North Kensington residents into despair, distress and leaving us emotionally exhausted to the point where we just give up, was what RBKC intended in the first place?