Save Trellick and Cheltenham Estate: Public meeting this evening

This evening, Monday the 18th of October, from 7pm to 9pm, at St Thomas Kensal Town Church, Kensal Road W10 5JY, there will be a public meeting to discuss the controversial Edenham site proposals, that RBKC is likely to go ahead with , despite their consultations showing that 66% of residents are opposed to it and only 12% outright support the scheme.

On the panel will be:

Kim Taylor-Smith

Johnny Thalassites

Sarah Firth

James Pockson

Phineas Harper

Moyra Samuels

And of course, Trellick Tower resident, and writer Gill Kernick

While THINKers have been recently taking a short break, there certainly has been no rest for the hard working and dedicated campaigning residents of Trellick Tower and the Cheltenham Estate. They have been out and about campaigning in North Kensington, informing others more about the controversial scheme and the issues with it and their petition now has more than enough signatures (over 2,600) to go to the Council now. We previously featured their petition and the issues with the scheme here:

We think the council needs to be listening to their concerns properly and not just ploughing ahead regardless. The issue is not purely about needing more housing (as some at the council have falsely portrayed it as being so) .

Height, density, amount of units of housing, type of housing, fire safety, the local public realm, the listed status of Trellick Tower and the Cheltenham Estate, questions over the council’s choice of architects, and questions over how much – or rather how little the council is engaging with the residents are the main points of debate (and indeed contention) here.

Tonight, we look forward to a productive, detailed and informative discussion about the scheme and we also especially hope that Kim Taylor-Smith and Johnny Thalassites are listening.

Well we certainly have more than a strong degree of scepticism with regard to how much RBKC really are listening, so this calls for some further reading.

So here are two must-read articles from Gill Kernick’s brilliant blog The Grenfell Enquirer on concerns over RBKC conmmunity engagement post-Grenfell :

As the consultations over the scheme have ended many residents now feel that this evening’s meeting, and when the petition comes to Kensington Town Hall will likely be the last opportunities for RBKC to take views on board.

We strongly recommend that any concerned residents in or near North Kensington attend the meeting this evening.

So here is a timely reminder for RBKC: Last Thursday, the 14th of October, marked 52 months- 4 years and 4 months – since the fire disaster at Grenfell Tower devasted our North Kensington commmunity and 72 innocent lives were lost. Our thoughts, as last week, are with them, with their relatives, friends and neighbours , and they are always with them – this is North Kensington and this is our community.

Many of the innocent residents, as seen on the recent excellent very moving documentary on Channel 4 – Grenfell the Untold Story (which showed rare footage of some of those who are sadly no longer with us) , and as heard at the Grenfell Inquiry and as read about in many of the archives of the Grenfell Action Group were failed by a catalogue of failures and part of the chain in that catalogue of failures, was the failure on the part of RBKC to listen to these residents properly and take their views and concerns on board.

After Grenfell, our community hoped for change, we were promised change and the primary change being a change in the culture of how RBKC engages with residents.

Unfortunately we do have to keep reminding RBKC because ignoring the vast majority of residents and just going ahead regardless isn’t fair or full consultation. It isn’t listening, it isn’t treating North Kensington residents, especially those in social housing with respect at all.

We also think that RBKC Leader Elizabeth Campbell could do with reading her words back again, because empty words, hollow promises and ignoring the views of the vast majority of residents isn’t exactly showing any sort of culture change after Grenfell; in fact such behaviour has all the hallmarks of the Council going back to the bad old days before the fire again…..


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