More On Fire Safety

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The picture above, taken in October 2012, is the one that kicked-off our row with Lancaster West management on the issue of public safety and emergency access in the Grenfell Tower area. It shows several vehicles belonging to the cleaning contractors which had been parked for a full weekend in an emergency access area adjacent to Grenfell Tower, which should have  been protected by a locked gallows gate.

When we renewed  our complaints in December we were assured, by Ms Rumble, that her response to the October complaint had been to issue strict instructions to the offending contractor that they must not park in this area. We understood this to mean that no vehicles would be allowed to park in this area, that all contractors would be given the same instructions, and that the caretaking staff were under orders to enforce strict parking controls in the area.

Clearly this is not what she meant, as she later informed us that she had actually authorised other vehicles (but apparently not the cleaning contractors?) to park next to Grenfell Tower, and on double-yellow lines elsewhere in the emergency access zone. When we queried this later, with the local highways authority at RBKC, we were told that Ms Rumble has no power to dispense with, or re-interpret, the Highway Code which forbids parking on double-yellow lines.

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Anyway, this second picture was taken by us on Monday 28th January at exactly the same location, and shows several commercial vehicles parked, on double-yellow lines in the same restricted emergency access area. What exactly, we wonder, is the difference, and why would this be considered acceptable by Ms Rumble, while the parking of the cleaning contractors vehicles apparently was not?

We think Ms Rumble is guilty of duplicity, and is still risking public safety for the sake of convenience. She doesn’t appear to be running a very tight ship at Lancaster West. This is not surprising if you consider that she spends much of her time these days at the TMO, doubling as their Income Manager. This, incidentally, is a breach of the LWMA management agreement which requires the manager post (aka lead officer) at Lancaster West to be full-time. But then, neither the Council nor the TMO have ever shown the slightest regard or respect for that agreement, except when it suited their own interests to invoke it.

Either way this reeks of criminal negligence to us, and as usual there’s very little the disempowered and uninformed residents of Lancaster West can do about it.

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