Today, Module 3 of the Grenfell Inquiry has begun and our thoughts have been with all the survivors
, the bereaved and affected residents in our North Kensington community.
. The Inquiry today heard opening statements from legal representatives of BSRs, as well as legal representatives from RBKC and from KCTMO. The video and the papers are at this link https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/hearings/module-3-opening-statements-29-march-2021
Our blog has uncovered one man who may have sone information to share with the Inquiry as well as information to share with others at the present RBKC Housing team. Meet John Parsons AKA the mysterious “John P” as featured in our previous blog post about some RBKC suits here
Most of us – including some senior RBKC councillors – have never heard of John Parsons. He has been here for 20 years, starting at KCTMO as a Landscape Surveyor, working his way up to Property Systems Analyst before becoming Technical Services Manager at the discredited KCTMO, and then at RBKC Housing, where he still remains today.
Just in case anyone is still in the dark as to what Mr Parsons’ responsibilities were and still are, , we found this from the KCTMO Link magazine, back in September 2016 here:
That’s right, Mr Parsons was and is repsonsible for logging, keeping and managing data on all RBKC and former TMO housing stock and has been so for at least the past TEN YEARS.
So we hope that Mr Parsons is called to the Grenfell Inquiry in this module to share what information he may have about the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower and the acrions and inactions of both RBKC and KCTMO during that time.
So far, the only mention of evidence from Mr Parsons at the Grenfell Inquiry we have found have been these emails from Phase 1:
So many questions go through our minds , especially because it appears from what we have heard so far at the Grenfell Inquiry that there wasn’t a particularly “sophisticated ” location mapping system in place when the KCTMO was responsible for the management of Grenfell Tower.
We do have to state that our blog is obviously aware that the responsibility for logging conditions of properties and refurbishments falls on the shoulders of more than just one person.
However we have noticed even in that little KCTMO Link article that a couple of things Mr Parsons says there aren’t true . For example there were no regular electrical checks on most of the KCTMO properties they were managing at that time. In fact, RBKC only started having regular electrical checks on properties a couple of years ago . And residents having “new kitchens and bathrooms” is a lie too. Maybe someone was feeding Mr Parsons false information? Or maybe there was a whole chain of wrong information?
So with regards to Grenfell, we have so many questions……..
Getting to the bottom of everything that happened at Grenfell of course, is the job of the Inquiry and not us, but we do have sone other questions that we want to put to Kim Taylor-Smith, RBKC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Grenfell and Housing and RBKC Director of Housing Management Doug Goldring.
Back in December 2017, at the first meeting of the Tenants Consultative Commitee since it was reinstated, Doug Goldring told residents that the council was going to undertake an assessment of all their housing stock, and that RBKC was “only just finding out ” what conditions properties were in. So we want to know what Mr Parsons, the man whose job it was to record this, knew all this time ?
The fact that what Mr Goldring said to residents was basically an admission by the council that KCTMO did not do a terribly good job of recording the conditions of our housing stock really begs the question ,why Mr Goldring and Cllr Taylor-Smith kept a man who by the looks of things had failed to record this properly, in his post?
At a fairly recent meeting of the RBKC Housing and Communities Committee, Cllr Robert Freeman asked Mr Goldring to guarantee that the council would not return to the “bad old days of the TMO” – because not all residents- including us- are convinced that our council has moved forwards; we think their decision to retain the services of Mr Parsons is rather questionable – retaining the setivices of a senior KCTMO employee who appears to have serious questions to answer about Grenfell Tower as well as questions to answer with regards to what he did or did not know or report about conditions of neglected housing stock hardly demonstrates a break from the troubled past…
We really hope to get answers on this and are deeply disturbed by the lack of openness from our council As far as we know Mr Parsons has not been before the Housing Committee once
So we will see what happens and wait for answers, as well as ask Kim Taylor-Smith and Doug Goldring and others at RBKC to give the reassurance that the housing management under RBKC is different to that of KCTMO , to be more open with us and provide answers to our questions.
Our community lost 72 innocent people in Grenfell Tower and we deserve to know the truth, as well as to know that RBKC is not managing (or mismanaging) our homes the same way the KCTMO did. Some proposed new changes to RBKC tenancy agreements (coming soon on this blog ) seem to do a lot of finger pointing at residents and throwing responsibilities on to them , but many of us feel that the council ought to get its own house in order first,