Not Grenfell of course, but another of Harley”s projects
This month, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry heard from witnesses from cladding specialist firm Harley Facades, the sub-contractor under Rydon who were partly responsible for the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.
Daniel Anketell-Jones, Harley Facades’ Design Manager until 2016, had said that some designs, drawings, documents and emails relating to the Grenfell Tower refurbishment were “lost forever” after wiping the drive of his laptop – which he kept after leaving the firm.
Anketell-Jones also said “I believed everything would be kept on the company server because all the laptops just attached into the server and all the emails were retained on there.’
As some of our readers will know, this blog has had more than our fair share of tech issues, but that excuse is beyond ridiculous.
These are just a few local residents’ responses to this as posted on on our local Nextdoor:
Nextdoor is well-known for neighbours getting together in the community to offer a lending hand and for small businesses to advertise their services ; so here is what a nearby business posted:
Perhaps Mr Anketell-Jones should give them a call?
Owner of Harley Facades, Ray Bailey, had said that all employees of the firm who had worked on the refurbishment except for Mr Anketell-Jones were able to send emails.
Normally this sort of thing might be considered to be perverting the course of justice, but thanks (or no thanks) to a decision taken by the Attorney General Suella Braverman, Daniel Anketell-Jones, or any other corporate witnesses at the Grenfell Inquiry for that matter, are exempt from prosecution.
With regards to the insulation and the cladding Mr Bailey had said that his firm had been convinced by Saint Goban and Celotex thay the insulation met regulations and that “they signed off on it, so as far as we were concerned the products were safe.”
He also told the Inquiry that he had been unaware of fires involving the cladding in Dubai in 2015.
Oh dear, cladding specialists who don’t have any idea of what they work in? It’s really hard to believe that THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING CLADDING ON PEOPLE’S HOMES DID NOT APPREAR TO CONSIDER ANY POTENTIAL FIRE HAZARDS OF WHAT THEY WERE WORKING WITH.
If that doesn’t show utter incompetence, we don’t know what does .
Ray Bailey did call for combustible materials to be banned, saying “the legislation is complicated to use, it’s not very clear, and I think any form of combustible insulation or cladding should be banned immediately”
Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?
Bailey’s son, Ben Bailey, had been appointed Harley’s Project Manager at Grenfell and it was revealed that the firm did not inspect the installation of insulation, windows and cavity barriers on the south face of the Grenfell Tower before cladding was fitted .
Inside Housing reported that Ben Bailey, 25 years old at the time, had previously project-managed only one job – Merit House in Barnet. Inside Housing revealed in June that this building is among 14 other Harley projects that have required urgent remediation since the fire.
Apparently spending time working for the family firm in his school and university holidays was enough to qualify young Ben to be put in this role.
As for emails (well, emails that hadn’t been deleted anyway) , Peter Apps of Inside Housing also reported that the Inquiry also saw an internal Harley email shortly before its appointment in 2014 which warned that items would “need looking at by our proposed Grenfell House [sic] construction team” (they couldn’t even get the name right) .“And therein lies the problem,” the email said. “We don’t f****g have one” It added: “Unless we can gear up and service it we are doomed to fail.”
It does has to be said that while individual witnesses may be exempt from prosecution ; corporations are not.
Unfortunately, we’re not convinced this will be the last time crucial evidence will just happen to be unavailable and sorry lame excuses for incompetence and negligence are made.
We know that KCTMO and RBKC certainly haven’t much of an effort to hold on to important information about tenants (still to this day in some casrs) – so we won’t exactly be too surprised if they claim ignorance or say they no longer have the crucial information details about the building ….
If the trauma of the fire and the pain we feel from losing 72 innocent members of our community in what was a preventable disaster hasn’t been bad enough, also listening to the “it wasn’t me – pass the parcel avoid the blame game” played by so many individuals and organisations, such as Studio E, Rydon, and Exova – who all played a part in this – at the Inquiry has been a truly sickening experience for us.
Ray Bailey had said “We are not statutory compliance experts. Building control are the experts on compliance,”
Well, witnesses from RBKC Building Control will be giving evidence tomorrow so let’s see what they have to say….
RBKC at the Inquiry tomorrow morning – protest
Tomorrow, Thursday the 1st of October, witnesses from RBKC building control will be giving evidence and there will be a socially distanced protest outside at 13 Bishops Bridge Road, W2 – near Paddington Station fron 9:30am – 11am.
THINKers will be there, along with several members of our North Kensington community and we urge anyone who shares our deep concern and anger to come and join us.