The long road to Grenfell Recovery, the lack of proper Scrutiny and the people left behind

This is Sheila Durr, she used to be Director for Communities and People at RBKC and was supposed to be the Humanitarian Lead for the Grenfell Recovery here. .

We say “supposed to” because Ms Durr was quite possibly one of the most useless suits ever to serve at RBKC ,and is “best” remembered for her role in the axing of a much-needed  and missed night service for traumatised members of our community: standing there and doing nothing while a fight between traumatised residents  broke out at The Curve, and for completely ignoring emails from  numerous concerned residents, including us .

Do-Nothing Durr left Hornton Street in October 2019, after 2 years , in which many residents in our local community were largely ignored, she spent nearly a year as a Senior Consultant at Surrey County Council before heading up north to Bury Council, where worryingly for residents there, she has been the Executive Director for Children and Young People for the past 5 months.Residents under her duty there have our  sympathies.

Back at a meeting of the (sadly since scrapped by our council in 2019) RBKC Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee, Sheila Durr had mentioned “Together For Grenfell” which nobody in the room bar the suits – had heard of! One of us asked which groups were involved in this organisation and for an explanation of exactly what it is and Ms Durr responded by saying that it was a consortium of local organisations such as Al Manaar, Al Hasaniya and Midaye.

To  more recent times , and RBKC was having a consultation NEARLY FOUR YEARS AFTER GRENFELL about adult health and emotional wellbeing support services in the community. Here is what RBKC said in their consultation blurb: 

Since the Grenfell tragedy, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has commissioned a range of community based emotional health and wellbeing support services in North Kensington from the voluntary sector for adults. These have included those under the ‘Together for Grenfell’ umbrella of providers offering 1:1 and group counselling and wellbeing support for adults.
1:1 and group counselling and wellbeing support for adults.
The aims of the Together for Grenfell project is to support isolated community members whose emotional health and well-being had been affected by the Grenfell tragedy, targeting community members who did not feel comfortable or able to access mainstream services. The offer is personalised and built around the assessed needs of the local population and individuals. As a result, the key elements of the offer include:
  • culturally appropriate services delivered in languages spoken by the community 
  • collaboration and partnership with local partners to integrate culturally appropriate services into the mainstream health offer 
  • support delivered in community settings familiar to local residents, at flexible times that suit them 
We are now two years into the Council’s five-year Grenfell Recovery Strategy and we are interested in understanding people’s views on these services, broader services accessed and planning additional services. This consultation is seeking insight from those who live, work and learn in the borough on how we can:
This consultation is seeking insight from those who live, work and learn in the borough on how we can:
  • Best deliver the new arrangements under the Together for Grenfell umbrella
  • Deliver new initiatives for adults in the community until 2024, which create opportunities for local people to lead their own support, developing and enhancing existing models of support that help people build resilience through social support networks.developing and enhancing existing models of support that help people build resilience through social support networks.
screenshot_20210327-171532

We are left wondeting why was the “Together For Grenfell” umbrella so small? Above  is a list of community organisations from Kensington and Chelsea Social Council listed in  a report from 2019  – and note that only a tiny handful of them have been included.

Only 3 of these organisations were included in the Together For Grenfell network in fact, and we really want to know why. Perhaps “Do Nothing” Durr was engrosssed in a riveting game of tiddlywinks at her Hornton Street desk?

The  abolition of the  Grenfell Recovery  Scrutiny  Committee in 2019 left  a big hole in the scrutinisation of the council’s “efforts”, so many issues as well as individuals and groups  affected unfortunately do not get a look in

The supposed next best thing residents  get is the RBKC Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  The section  of the meeting of that earlier this month was supposed to be about scrutinising the dedicated service for the  survivors and the bereaved.  

But Chair  of the Overview amd Scrutiny Committee Cllr Marie-Therese Rossi insisted at the start of the meeting  that she was making it clear it was about about the dedicated service for the survivors and bereaved, but then added “the wider comnunity”. 

Well, there is no actual dedicated service for the affected local community who are not classified as survivors or bereaved. We hate to repeat ourselves but we are sick and tired of the misleading “wider comnunity” label becaise it appears to have been attached to residents all over RBKC and it ought to-be clearer that residemts of the immediate North Kensington community are obviously suffering from a far more severe level of grief and trauma than residents who live at the other end of the borough  We are disappointed that some councillors appear to be confused about this. Anyway  it was down to Anne Cyron, RBKC Lead Member for Comnunities for clarification and to  be more exacting  and she  did  state that the meeting was specifically about the dedicated service for the survivors and the bereaved.

Several residents and representatives were present at the online meeting, including Kimia from Grenfell Next of Kin and Natasha and Bellal fron Grenfell  United.  It was clear from the meeting that RBKC had failed to contact  a number of bereaved residents and involve then in the service .Kimia gave several examples of this. Some of the bereaved speaking at the meeting said they had not been involved. Perhaps this situation could have been avoided if RBKC had widened their “umbrella” to include the full list of community organisations that KCSC provided a few years ago?   The Grenfell United representatives invited bereaved residents to come along to the Steering Group and get involved. It was obvious that language barriers and communication barriers have prevented some from getting the help and support they needed. 

As for the dedicated service, we do have to say that the feedback we have received from  the survivors and the bereaved on the dedicated service has been largely  very positive, with some praising the efforts of Callum Wilson,  the Director of the service . So not all “bad news” here and we think it is now up to RBKC to broaden their “umbrella” and we hope that we do not see or hear any more instances of people being or feeling  that they are being left out.

But what about scrutinisation of other Grenfell Recovery efforts? Well, there isn’t  really much of that  and it doesn’t look like there will be any soon. Anne Cyron said that that other services and community provisions will be scrutinised “at a later date” but did not say when – so that likely means never in most cases, and as  for affected younger people, which Cllr  Cyron did briefly mention, that will probably get shoehorned  into the next meeting of the RBKC Family Services Committee. As for the parents and other family members  of  affected children, who knows? 

The council’s abandonment of  our affected comnunity has led to people suffering in silence and some affected residents like us,  feeling trapped back in some of the worst stages of PTSD  . Sadly , it has also led to unpleasant scenes, and arguments in the community  with some affected people wrongly pointing the finger at other affected people. The fact is, it is RBKC who are to blame for this; and certainly NOT any of  the survivors  or the bereaved who have already been through enough already. They should be and always will be the priority we hope,  and there should be no point of contention about this. The point of contention we have with RBKC’s approach, is that they have ended up COMPLETELY forgetting about the  affected North Kensington community, trying to fob us off with insubstantial nonsense, and have even been pitting affected residents against others, and community organisations  against others 

Another point  we have to mention is that the council were  heartless and inconsiderate enough to not include older people in their initial. Recovery strategy.  Do they not think older residents exist? Labour Notting Dale councillor Judith Blakeman has constantly  reminded the council of their failure to include and consider older residents  but has been met with very little in the way of response except  for RBKC to seemingly  expect voluntary organistions to pick up the pieces

Other forgotten about affected  residents incude those  who do not live on large  council estates, (including residents in housing co-ops or housing associations, residents in private owned or rented accommnoation and residents who live in temporary accommdoation). 

And, if the language and communication barriers are  still an issue with the bereaved, this is  likely to be an even bigger situation in our community . 

The council just tell affected  people to go to The Curve but quite a lot of people here find the environment there  far too official or clinical – something we ourselves feel and others have said they would feel like they would be taking time and resources away from survivors and the bereaved if they did engage with services at The Curve. The council itself admitted back in 2019 that number of residents were not comfortable with it- but they have failed to provide any alternatives for the community specifically and that has  ended up being left to residents

 And this brings us back to that night service again. It was staffed by some NHS professionals as well as staff from local charities Hestia and Blenheim. It was informal, confidential, and people didn’t have counselling or NHS services forced upon them –  but you knew they were there if you wanted to access them .This is a blog with a huge local following so we will not be retraumatising residents by describing what night terrors are, but many other traumatised residents in the community will know exactly what we mean. That night service provided a safe and confidential space to go for residents experiencing these – sometimes all someone wants is a safe space, a chat and a cup of tea – but apparently for CNWL , West London CCG and RBKC that was too much. Rather than funding this properly, advertising it and  moving it to a more appropriate secular setting, CNWL, West London CCG and  RBKC scrapped it, with  Sheila Durr and former Grenfell Chief Executive  Robyn Fairman – another former  suit we don’t miss –  putting the boot in on behalf of the council – they didn’t back this and clearly they didn’t think that caring for traumatised residents was a priority – we reported them repeatedly   trying to axe the service three years ago https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/rbkc-does-u-turn-after-trying-to-axe-grenfell-night-service-for-traumatised-north-kensington-residents-again/

The council, after claiming the night service was poorly attended even though they failed to advertise it, or move to a more suitable  setting, didn’t seem to care and it  was replaced by a NHS telephone line instead. which we have never used and certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable with ever using. Same goes for many others. And while an in-person service like the much-missed night service due to Lockdown restrictions and Covid would not at the present time  be able to  function , when restrictions are lifted there will be an increasing need for such services as self isolation has   taken a toll on the mental wellbeing of many in our community too  This needs to be looked at again . 

Other help in the community has come from many of our community groups, many of which are not always properly  or fairly supported by the council..In recent times of Covid and lockdown , The SPACE, based at Freston Road, North Kensington has been getting help out to residents (a larger number of our residents than ever before due to Covid and the financial crisis require their help) . Due to  a recent outpouring of donations from kind  other residents all around  the borough, staff at The SPACE have informed us that theu  are now running out of actual space to store their donated goods . So we also call on the council to support them and provide then with extra facilities.  This is a valued and popular community-led hub and they deserve to be better supported by the council. 

RBKC like  to say they have always supported The SPACE but their actions have not always matched up to this. Back in pre-Covid times, RBKC even put on “rival” events, at The Curve  imitating the program of activities provided at The SPACE. 

As for other community groups, there are many outstanding local community groups and voluntary organisations and groups in the locality,  we will just briefly mention just a  tiny  handful of them – LCAT (Latimer Community Art Therapy) at Henry Dickens Comnunity Centre , Kids On The Green,  and Solidarity Sports .

RBKC’s response has been to pit some of  them against other groups which they did in the “Grenfell Projects Fund” last year, in a tacky game show format, where they had to make a “pitch” much like TV show Dragon’s Den, and the few residents who got in, voted on their favourites using the same keypads from TV game show “Who Wants To be a Millionaire”  and the successful organisations who received the most votes, receiving the  funding. We did not attend, as even though we are friends and supporters of many of the successsful organisations who took part, we felt  and still do feel that this format was inappropriate and tasteless.

At THINK, we strongly feel that our  valued community organisations and groups  should not be treated like game show contestants; residents should not be competing against each other, affected members of our community shouldn’t have to jump up and down or go on social media in order to get RBKC to acknowledge that we exist.. The council has failed us over Grenfell Recovery and by not restoring Scrutiny , they are still failing us , and until we get a decent appropriate and fair level of Scrutiny, the successful (and the less successful ) Grenfell Recovery efforts  are analysed, with community feedback, they will further fail us and no lessons will ever be learned.. This requires  is some in depth level of  inclusive discussion about what is working and what is not working.

Unfortunately, as long as supposed Grenfell Scrutiny is  scattered among various council committees and  the general picture of how our community as a whole is affected and what is missing or needed gets properly looked at as a whole, the road to recovery for some will feel  more like a road to nowhere. That is why we are calling for the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee to be reinstated and we invite our local readers to join us by completing and sharing this independent Centre for Governance and Scrutiny survey (it only takes a couple of minutes to complete)

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/S9HZ2JG

If RBKC really wants to demonstrate change, they must first learn to listen to our local residents and respond to our concerns; (by the way, these are not  purely personal concerns of the writers of this blog- we spoke to a number of residents, including some community representatives, some survivors, some of the bereaved, some of those in other community or voluntary groups as well as some health professsionals  – and sadly the same concerns and issues about people being left behind, about people feeling their voices are not heard, about the lack of Grenfell Scrutiny and about feeling that there was a lack of a dedicated community services for traumatised residents kept coming back).

Change doesn’t happen overnight and it will take years for our comnunity to recover from the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, but surely  after everything North Kensington residents have been through, this community  at  the very least deserves far  better than to be treated as an afterthought?  

Grenfell 3 years and 2 months on: The Silent Walk, memories and memorials

Warning: Some of the content of this blog post may be distressing to read for some traumatised residents affected by Grenfell

Two days ago,  Friday the 14th of August saw the welcome return of the Grenfell Silent Walk to our community. Over 100 North Kensington residents turned up to walk in silence in  memory of the 72 members of this community  who lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.


We  will  say a few words  about memorial sites:


Yesterday , The Times reported that PR fire Claremont and consultants Kaizen, have been awarded a £276,000 contract to lead discussions on what should happen to the Grenfell Tower site.

Understandably, this has been very badly received by many of the bereaved .

As a few Government ministers and certainly most  RBKC councillors and senior suits regularly read this blog, we thought we would show just a few  screenshots of  the article   to show  them how some affected people are  feeling about this:



We’re very sorry that we cannot post screenshots of  the complete article in full for legal reasons but our readers can access  it  via a paywall  – here


And this is what Grenfell Next of Kin have said on Twitter:


Many residents of the North Kensington community may not be survivors or bereaved relatives, but many of the people in Grenfell Tower were good friends, neighbours, work colleagues and classmates and we feel loss too.



It has been reported in the local community on several occasions over  considerable  time that some memorials and tributes left by local residents  outside Notting Hill Methodist Church  have been removed.

The Editor of this blog, who lives atound the corner from Grenfell,  stopped leaving hand painted votives in memory of   her friends who lost their lives in the fire  outside the Church   some time ago as these   repeatedly  kept going missing for some  unknown reason.  Other affected  residents   in the community have told us that votives and hearts that  they have left   outside   the  Church  much more recently  have also  gone missing.


At the site outside Grenfell Tower some time back, when some of  the hoardings were removed, a couple of these which had messages from us and some other local residents on them were never returned and we do not know the whereabouts of these .


Some people in charge and some outside influences  appear to think they can pit local residents  against the survivors and bereaved and play us all  off  against each other. This is beyond disgraceful

So we’re going to go back to a meeting  of the  Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee (which is also no longer with us) back in February 2018 – here

That meeting (we will come back to the subject of a controversial figure there in another post)   – which unfortunately did end in disarray –  had been well attended and even though some opinions  on a variety of subjects did differ, here is  something that residents (regardless of what type of housing they lived in or whether they were in an RA or not) , survivors and the bereaved  all  did agree on – and that  was that affected  people here are sick and tired  of  not being listened to and of the consultants and outside agencies that have little to nothing  to do with our community.

The  thoughts feelings and wishes of the survivors, bereaved and the North Kensington residents need to be  respected and taken on board   and more than three years after the fire,  they are still being sidelined or ignored altogether.

Most people  will thankfully never experience what it is like to lose their homes, family members, or friends in a man made disaster or  to suffer fron ongoing PTSD .  The  grief and trauma, that we felt then and still feel now is real and is ever present.

We do not expect everyone to completely get what any of this feels like, but is being listened to and treated with respect and dignity really too much to ask for?



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Grenfell: 31 months tomorrow (yet some at RBKC still fail to understand)

Tomorrow will be exactly 31 months since Grenfell. We ask our readers to please, if they can, to.join us in the Silent Walk. The Walk will be gathering at 6pm outside Notting Hill Methodist Church, Lancaster Road, W11 4AH.

Many North Kensington residents are feeling fragile right now .The 14th of every month is always a very difficult time for us but at the weekend the Grenfell Projects Fund “decision day’ event took place which turned out to be a rather stressful and difficult experience for some as the event was apparently very chaotic, disorganised and there were numerous technical problems. Residents voted on which projects would be allocated £200K of funds to help our community. We send our best wishes to those who were successful and also to everyone who took part.

For those who couldn’t make the event, here are more details and some information on the event and on the projects that had successful outcomes on the day:

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/north-kensington-community-vote-award-local-projects-%C2%A3200k

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/grenfell-response-and-recovery/our-progress-grenfell-recovery/grenfell-projects-fund

Also tomorrow there will be a Grenfell Tower Inquiry drop in session for local residents taking place also at Notting Hill Methodist Church from 4pm to 6:30pm. The Inquiry website states that:

“The Grenfell Tower Inquiry wants to hear from local residents who have information about the emergency relief response in the immediate aftermath of the fire. Members of the team looking at the aftermath of the fire will be at the next Inquiry drop-in to listen to local residents and take questions. If you are unable to attend, then please make contact using the details below. We can then arrange for individuals or small groups to speak with a member of the team at either a separate meeting or by phone.

Email:contact@grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk

Phone: 020 7842 3583.

The Inquiry will continue to hold regular drop-ins, which in February will be held at the Space, 214 Freston Road W10 6TT

Some residents will be reliving memories of the fire and the aftermath and this is going to be a very traumatising experience for many people here tomorrow. Our thoughts are with all affected.

But still some at Kensington Town Hall do not understand.

We did ask RBKC previously to please not conduct meetings at the same time as the Silent Walk, as have a numher of other residents, but we are sorry to say that the council have not listened to our requests and have scheduled a meeting of the Planning Committee at around the same time as the Silent Walk tomorrow.

Look, we understand that the issues of the meeting are regarding other parts of the borough outside North Kensington (Sloane Avenue and Pavilion Road in this case) , and we are of course aware that many other local issues go on regardless of the date, and do not expect everything else to grind to a halt but it is in our opinion, very disrespectful of RBKC to go ahead with conducting this meeting at the same time as the Silent Walk.

Just in case some at the council wrongly assume that planning matters in other parts of the borough are not our concern somehow, we will also remind them that every decision taken at the Town Hall has an impact and also that our blog has connections with every ward in RBKC. We would ordinarily be going to the planning committee if it were on any other day and while this meeting may not be Grenfell-related it is nonetheless the same local authority in charge and we are all residents here.

Yet we have to keep on reminding some people as this does not appear to have sunk into some certain mindsets – and that was and very clearly still is, part of the problem with our council.

Some RBKC councillors do keep saying “Grenfell is our number one priority” but they are not exactly behaving like it is if they are not raising any objections to a meeting going ahead at this time.

Surely as RBKC were and are, the borough responsible for Grenfell and the surrounding community, we would hope that the very least they could do would be to please show some compassion and respect on the 14th of every month?

That is the hope anyway and many traumatised residents here are holding on to hope – the hope of justice for the 72, the bereaved and the survivors, plus the hope of positive social change and a brighter future for North Kensington.

Many of us live in hope but it really shouldn’t be too much to hope that our local authority just at least tries to show us some respect and kindness of thought.

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RBKC does a U-turn after trying to axe Grenfell night service for traumatised North Kensington residents (again)

Pictured on the right (as the “Grim Reaper”) is Robyn Fairman. She is Executive Director for the Grenfell Team at RBKC.

Pictured on the left (holding the axe) is Sheila Durr. She is the Director for Communities and People at the Grenfell Team. Back in a post January, we reported on RBKC attempting to get rid of night services before Christmas at Notting Hill Methodist Church for local residents who are traumatised after Grenfell – utterly heartless.

See our post from back then on the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee (which briefly mentions Sheila Durr) here:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/is-the-grenfell-recovery-scrutiny-committee-a-farce-think-scrutinises-some-of-the-scrutinisers/

Last week a joint statement was issued by RBKC and CNWL (Central North West London NHS) that the night service would be moving from the Church on the 1st of August. The statement did not give much information and it was only seen by a handful of locals. In fact some turned up to the Church that night to find it closed.

Of course one reason that some responsible for these decisions may give for axing the night service is that they may think not a lot of residents are making use of it. But then we can remind them that they have in fact refused to advertise this properly (since last year) so quite a lot of locals have not known about these services.

This statement also said that they were “working closely with the Notting Dale Advisory Group”. Really? Oh wait, surely they mean the “Residents’ Advisory Board” ? That is not what we have heard from local residents – we would dust off one of our Piglet-Pie awards to give RBKC for this, but this really is no laughing matter.

Anyway here is some good news that they have done a U-turn – we have received this statement from Grenfell Support saying that the night service will not be moving from Monday 6th August as was previously advertised –

https://grenfellsupport.org.uk/#1531297892758-cf2045d9-3f77

Let’s just hope this information is accurate and we are pleased the service is safe for now anyway.

One thing, which as local residents who live directly in the area can tell the council about us that many of us in the area get distressed by helicopters flying around here as this happened on the morning of the fire and many of us get distressed and end up reliving it all over again as a result.

While we accept that neither Ms Fairman nor Ms Durr might be in much of a position to personally do something about this, we can tell them that last week, there were a few incidents of a helicopter flying around Grenfell Tower around 2am in the morning. This caused much distress to many local residents in the community in the small hours and has also been filmed by a few people. Local residents are suffering further trauma because of this and rather than bother to listen to us; their agenda appears to be to find ways of cutting us off

As neither Robyn Fairman, Sheila Durr or in fact the vast majority of their colleagues actually live in North Kensington, let THINK tell them that a night service is required (many people around here are still suffering from PTSD, sleep disorders and depression among other conditions) and that the least they can do in their supposed positions is to listen to this community and act upon our needs – still we are not seeing much evidence of this.

Also regarding services for traumatised residents, RBKC fail to notify most of this community regularly about which services are available at The Curve through sending locals regular copies of the Grenfell Support Newsletter – we have also previously posted on this as well as residents not engaging with services because they are not informed about them here:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2018/07/15/dumb-and-dumber/

RBKC and CNWL in our view need to not only engage with the Residents’ Associations, but also deliver accurate and reliable information to peoples’ doors and post notices around the community keeping locals informed and up to date.

Of course some of those responsible seem to ignore the facts that some of the most vulnerable people here may not always belong to a residents’ association (not that there has been much engagement from RBKC with local residents’ associations anyway), some will not be familiar with the website, have language barriers or even in a few cases, not have internet access at all.

Also others have informed THINK that the website link for Grenfell Support is not always updated regularly either – so much for the communications budget!

As for services The Curve, yes some residents are finding them helpful (in particular some of the arts groups and the alternative therapies there) but we do remind RBKC and CWNL that The Curve can also sometimes be quite a noisy environment with radios and televisions blaring out and small children running around the place and that it is not necessarily a suitable environment for some other distressed residents who require peace and quiet. Some lone adults, older people and other vulnerable residents are feeling very excluded from provision of help and services offered already.

Yes there is no ideal “one size fits all” help available, which it is why it is all the more important for them to communicate with this community properly instead of the typical Rotten Borough style of referring to an announcement of closure a “consultation” without ever consulting people in the first place……..

THINK will again remind RBKC that they cannot simply sweep our concerns and needs under the carpet and hope all this will somehow magically disappear.They were part of what caused the Grenfell Tower disaster and they have a duty of responsibility to help our community heal. But still some appear to forget this.

We have also noted that Robyn Fairman’s previous position before she came to RBKC was Head of Strategy at Lewisham Council. Well, many around here have very real concerns that is is a strategy of this council to neglect this community and simply hope (as we have said before) that this will go away. Well the more this council continues to ignore us and to make blind decisions purely based on their own assumptions and lack of knowledge of this community with regards to vital services here, the worse things will get.

Our community which has been through so much, deserves so much better than to be treated in such a dismissive, ignorant, insensitive and evasive manner , and we say that it is high time for some of the incompetent staff who have only acted to make the problems suffered by a traumatised community far worse. to be axed from their jobs.

Is the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee a farce? THINK  scrutinises some of  the scrutinisers

There is a meeting of the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee tonight at 6:30pm at Notting Hill Methodist Church, Lancaster Road, W11 Forgive us for the amusing picture – many issues that need to be raised at this meeting are very serious but we have questions about a few who sit on that committee.

Take Cllr Daniel Moylan,, Cllr Mary Weale, Cllr Malcolm Spalding and Cllr Catherine Faulks – they are Conservative councillors who had senior positions at RBKC at one time or another in the run up to Grenfell.

Daniel Moylan is no stranger to appearances on THINK.

Here:https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/cllr-daniel-moylan-smoke-and-mirrors/

Here: https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/a-rocky-road-well-travelled-and-a-terrapin-in-the-tank/

And falling asleep in this very committee here:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/daniel-moylan-asleep-on-the-job/

Yes as well as showing our community utter disrespect by sleeping in part of the last Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee – we say he should resign from that as well as the council – he was involved in secret meetings with property PR firm Terrapin Communications

He served as Deputy Leader of RBKC from 2005 to 2011. He was also Member for Planning Policy and Housing Policy from 2009-2011.

Here from a few years ago, posted by the Grenfell Action Group, is the Notting Barns South masterplan, also know as the Latimer masterplan :

https://grenfellactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/notting-barns-south-masterplan.pdf

Yes, it has plans for the demolition of a lot of social housing – including Grenfell Tower, as well as whole streets in North Kensington. We question Cllr Moylan’s part in planning and housing policy in shaping these plans.

The flammable cladding was put on Grenfell Tower to apparently make it look more attractive to the new privately built homes on the other side of Kensington Leisure Centre (which are still under construction) and for the homes that were due to be built for the once-planned Silchester Estate regeneration.

There are many other serious questions about the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower and the power surges that occurred there before the fire. We believe that Cllr Moylan, considering his alleged regeneration kingpin role – he was once nicknamed “the king of planning” should not be anywhere near this committee.

Cllr Mary Weale served as Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health from 2013 to 2017. She presided over the disgraceful closure and selling off of the much-loved Thamesbrook community residential care home in Chelsea, which has left some vulnerable adults now placed in homes outside the borough a long way from their families and communities.

Cllr Weale is also a cousin of Rock Feilding-Mellen’s stepfather – but she is most well known for telling people “we hear residents but we don’t listen” She is presently Cabinet Member for communities. Well a major factor over Grenfell is this council not listening to the community. Not least the residents of Grenfell Tower who gave RBKC countless warnings over the building. Some, like our friend Edward Daffarn of the Grenfell Action Group, have lost their homes, others are sadly no longer with us.

THINK believe Cllr Weale’s political career should go straight in the wheelie bin and she should not be serving on this committee and on the RBKC cabinet too..

Catherine Faulks has appeared on the THINK “stage” before:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/cllr-catherine-lady-false-faulks-the-shaming-of-the-shrew/

And on this very committee appearing to fall asleep too

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/not-only-daniel-moylan-but-catherine-faulks-also-appears-to-be-falling-asleep-in-the-job/

She also was Cabinet Member for Education and Libraries for a short time last year.

Yes she might have only been in the RBKC cabinet for a very short time, but was prepared to go ahead with plans to lease North Kensington Library to Notting Hill Prep School (where Rock Feilding-Mellen had places booked for his children) on the cheap.

Cllr “Lady False” Faulks was also vice chair of the Family and Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee from 2013 to 2017. This is around the time when the Maxilla Nursery and Family Centre was closed. When Labour put a motion to reopen this much-loved and needed Centre, Lady False did not appear to actually know where it was! We wonder if she also dozed off while serving on that committee when the Maxilla came up for discussion – if she finds our issues so tiresome then she should go too.

Malcolm Spalding has also made a few appearances on our blog too.

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/hustings-victoria-does-a-theresa-may-and-so-do-most-of-her-colleagues/

And :https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/cllr-malcolm-spalding-bananaman-and-the-disasterplan/

Yes Cllr “Bananaman” Spalding putting his foot in it may amuse us, but he also served as chair of the Public Realm Scrutiny Committee back in 2014. One of the remits of that committee was to scrutinise the “preservation, enhancement and protection of the built and natural environment”

Well Grenfell Tower certainly wasn’t “enhanced” during that time and the residents were certainly not “protected”.

We accept that Bananaman may have had a lesser role than the others we have mentioned but he is a Tory councillor for Earl’s Court and a supporter of the terrible Earl’s Court Masterplan. According to many of his Ward constituents who have been in contact with us, Cllr Spalding also has shown a very dismissive attitude towards social housing and the residents living in it. Not exactly ideal to be serving on this particular committee with the issues raised in it then.

One member of this committee who is not a councillor is Sheila Durr. She was appointed Director of People and Communities last November.

It has been pointed out to us that Ms Durr has failed to answer many questions put to her after 6 weeks. One alleged decision of hers was to close the night service provided locally to residents in our community in the run up to Christmas. There was only two days notice of this apparently and many vulnerable and traumatised users of the service were not informed.

The planned closure was due on the 30th of November, not long before the Inquiry Hearings and not even six months after Grenfell. The alleged decision was swiftly reversed after news of this was leaked and publicised. Still many in our community have questions to ask over this.

We do realise that Sheila Durr is new to her position but this simply is unacceptable.

As for the RBKC Tories on the committee that we have mentioned above, in the words of local campaigner ond friend of THINK Niles Hailstones, they were part of the culture here that brought Grenfell.

We agree with Niles and say that anyone who played a part in the in the run up to the Grenfell Tower fire and the many other issues in our community around it, should not be playing a part in scrutinising the aftermath in our community after Grenfell The last thing we need is an encore of their “performances”.

Grenfell: Six months on. Silent march tonight – please join us

It is is six months since the Grenfell Tower fire occurred on the 14th of June  and at least 71 members of our community lost their lives. We ask all on this day to remember everyone affected; those who are no longer with us and their relatives, friends and neighbours.

Join THINK this evening for the silent march at 6:30pm at Notting Hill Methodist church, Lancaster Road, W11.

This is a day of remembrance, and one that is filled with sadness and anger, but also hope and resolve.

We must ensure that a disaster on this scale never happens again, we must find answers to all the questions we have and hold those people responsible  to account. Above all, our community needs to stand together and stay strong as we remember those who are no longer with us.

This was our post on the following day:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/grenfell-tower-fire/

We also thank many others from across London, the U.K. and all over the world for your support and encouragement.

Today will be the last silent march before Christmas and we ask all to think of the many survivors who will be spending the festive season living in temporary accommodation.

For those of you who cannot make it to North Kensington this evening,  we ask our readers to please either donate or share to Christmas for Grenfell and help bring some much-needed cheer to many members of our community.

https://www.gofundme.com/christmas-for-grenfell

If some if our readers cannot make it and they are on Twitter, our community invites them to light a candle, write #ACandle4Grenfell on a piece of paper and #Silentwalk and share on a picture:

Lets stand together united in remembrance and peace and pledge to do everything we all can to ensure the wellbeing of others and that no other preventable  disasters of this scale ever take place in this country ever again.

 

THINK  are  today not our usual satirical acerbic selves as today  is for  remembering Grenfell, the victims,the survivors, the bereaved and  neighbours and all who care about our  North Kensington community. We are a  local community blog and would not be anywhere without the support and kindness of others.

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Grenfell, the Rotten Borough and the Terrible Mismanagement Organisation: Now is the summer of our discontent….

Demonstrators protest against the Grenfell Tower fire outside a Kensington and Chelsea Council meeting at Kensington Town Hall in London

Last week there was another Grenfell meeting at Notting  Hill Methodist Church. Only the Police and Fire Brigade gave us any reassurance about the situation.

The very difficult subject of recovery of things from the building was brought up, but at least some are open to explaining to the public with regards to structural engineering as to going into the building.

We not only know that the air quality wasn’t monitored on the day (or the following day) when cyanide fumes and other toxic gases were released and many in our local area suffering from  respiratory problems and sickness. We now know that this Rotten Borough appointed two outside sources for their “own” data. Elizabeth “Dizzy Lizzy”Campbell not only neglected to say where they were from and who appointed them (oh don’t worry, we can take a wild guess….) but also went on about children’s and family services (thin ice!) and said “I’ve worked with these people for ten years ” so friends of yours then, Dizzy Lizzy?

One woman who had lost her son, gave a brave, brilliant and beautiful speech, and spoke about her son, and also others who our community have lost in the fire. She asked for the Notting Hill Carnival to go ahead, as long as those who have passed away are remembered and there are suitable tributes paid.

We as a local community blog who have also lost people in this dreadful disaster, will second this. It is important for our community to move forward and enjoy ourselves; but we should never forget those who are  missing or no longer with us – you will be forever with us and we will not be silenced from speaking out about this entirely preventable disaster, and we will pay silent tributes as well as speaking up for our community as needed.

Friend of THINK and local campaigner Samia  Badani, brought up the fact that the TMO is completely unaccountable. She has submitted countless questions under the Freedom of Information act, and asked at this meeting, a simple question regarding who is accountable, RBKC or the TMO, only for Dizzy Lizzy to turn round and say “we don’t know”!! “I don’t think it is possible to answer”  and “the council is separate from the TMO” so that’s crystal clear then.

If our community, friends and family weren’t so devastated, there would be a comedy act in there somewhere, but after all the continual insults to our intelligence that this council still exercises and after still having zero accountability after all this we just  feel utter and total despair.

And as regular readers will know, Dizzy Lizzy at her time in charge of family and children’s services, made destructive cuts to basic and vital facilities for the most vulnerable, only for this Rotten Borough to cut taxes for the wealthiest.

Samia pointed out that the TMO have a responsibility to share information. But all we got from Dizzy Lizzy was “oh well, we can ask”

Anyway as for not providing permanent housing in the community, sadly our fears regarding social cleansing appear to be true. If this sorry lot in charge of our council really wanted to care, they would use their very large reserves to  simply buy properties in the area – it is the very least they could do – after all,  we have more than enough Estate Agents with vacant properties here.

Back to the TMO – their presence was missed  at the meeting. Several survivors asked “where are they?” Well we can answer that question- meeting residents of the Silchester Estate. Two meetings around the corner from each other, same day and same time – now what are the chances of that?

The TMO exists (in sorts), they have a new chief executive, Elaine Elkington, who completely failed to mention Grenfell in her first media appearance.

What is this, some might wonder? In our view is nothing but an empty plutocracy and a complete travesty of democracy and accountability, that’s what.

Many TMO tenants now have no housing office and barely anyone they can contact, but the TMO likes to flex its muscles still and bully people if they dare to make their voices heard.

It has also got to be said that we do not want our social housing  to be privatised. A man from Notting Hill Housing does keep popping up at public meetings to put the boot into the TMO – he does appear to have an ulterior motive because  we know that they and Genesis are planning a merger and they together are sitting on £3.5 billion reserves (no, not a misprint!) These were once progressive and charitable organisations which have become fixed with greed and self interest and paying little interest to the rights of tenants and leaseholders.

We know that they are planing social cleansing by the back door and are looking  to sell off properties in the more lucrative areas (which means our community)

There is no respite and we will try to enjoy Carnival, but our community is not only being failed, but we are being deceived and cheated as well.

We wish the RBKC Tories could experience every second, minute and day of what a thoroughly depressing and anguished time  that we are going through. But justice is really only a hope. See what our former liar (leader) is doing here:

 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/uk_599a96bbe4b0e8cc855e707e/amp

Oh well for him, one door closes and another door opens. We despise this lot for all the destruction that they have brought to this community and we are not getting just getting a lack of accountability, let alone answers, but also now are subject to whatever RBKC entirely decides it wants to do. But enough – will not be trodden on, humiliated and defeated – we stand proud and will defend our community and each other come what may.

Do not expect us to simply put up with any more of this, so go on Tories, enjoy your summer holidays while we don’t. It has to be said that Dizzy Lizzy finished the meeting by shrugging her shoulders, rolling her eyes and eventually throwing her arms up in despair. Well how could she ever begin to imagine how we feel?

No justice: no peace

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