Minutes from the Grenfell Tower Emergency Residents Meeting (17/03/15)


Minutes from the Grenfell Tower Emergency Residents Meeting held in the Lancaster West Estate Community Rooms at 6.45pm on Tuesday 17th March 2015.

This is to record that the meeting was attended by upwards of 100 residents from Grenfell Tower and we have recorded that in excess of 55 households were represented.

****** opened the meeting by stating that we had called tenants, leaseholders and renters together to discuss our concerns regarding the Grenfell Tower Improvement Works.

Mr Edward Daffarn gave apologies from a number of residents who had been unable to attend the meeting and informed residents that a local Labour Councillor, Beinazir Lasharie, and a reporter from a local newspaper had been invited but were also, regrettably, unable to attend on this occasion.
It was pointed out to residents that our meeting was being held in cramped circumstances since the TMO had commandeered our more spacious EMB Community Rooms without consultation and are now forcing residents to commune in the caretakers old office.

Mr Edward Daffarn then informed the meeting about past attempts by residents to gain a united voice for the Grenfell Tower community and how the RBKC Council and the TMO have worked to prevent tenants and leaseholders from forming any form of collective resident representation.

Pilgrim Tucker (Unite Community) introduced herself and briefly explained the nature of her role as a community organiser. Residents then agreed to split into a number of smaller groups and to discuss how the Grenfell Tower Improvement works have impacted on individual residents lives, to identify what are residents primary concerns with regards TMO/Rydon and to explore options of how residents want to respond to these issues?

Feedback as follows:

  • Impact on community and main concerns.
  • Lack of meaningful consultation with residents and feeling of total disregard for tenant and leaseholders well-being.
  • Information provided to residents by TMO/Rydon keeps changing without any consultation or agreement from tenants and leaseholders.
  • Residents not satisfied with standard of works carried out in communal hallway and will not allow this vandalism inside our homes.
  • Grave concern’s at standard of works that have already been carried out inside a number of residents properties by Rydon.
  • Concern that TMO/Rydon are using cheap materials and workmanship “cutting corners”.
  • Residents repeatedly given mis-information by TMO/Rydon (for example: residents informed boiler was going to be positioned in kitchen and has now been re-located to hallway without consultation).
  • Concern that boiler will be placed in hallway above main electrical fuse box and may pose a health and safety risk.
  • Position of boiler in hallway will prevent furniture being entered or removed from homes. Why can’t boilers be placed in the same position as current boilers?
  • Concern that hot pipes are going to be left exposed inside our homes. This was not agreed to by residents and does not follow the example provided in the showroom.
  • Concern from residents that exposed pipes may cause a health and safety risk especially to infants and children.
  • Unsightly nature of pipes in our properties.
  • Concern regarding the impact on fuel bills for residents once individual meters are fixed inside properties.
  • Early starts by workmen and noise nuisance caused by the use of power tools outside of agreed times.
  • Lifts used by workmen preventing use by residents and causing children to be late for school.
  • Workmen creating hazard in lift when building materials are being transported.
  • Lift not cleaned and general levels of dust on landings left by workman at the end of the day.
  • Workmen breaking lifts and then blaming this on residents.

Other issues:

  • Unacceptable levels of noise,
  • changing floor numbers without consulting,
  • radiators being removed and not replaced,
  • no outside flue for boiler is possible health and safety risk,
  • lack of privacy from cranes and no advance warning given to residents of when they will be in use,
  • will residents be able to re-fix blinds/curtains to new windows,
  • problems with access into Grenfell Tower and lack of sign-posting,
  • satellite dishes thrown away by TMO/Rydon,
  • rent rises @10% for next 5 years,
  • loss of spacious Community Room without consultation,
  • TMO charging residents for cable tv that is not even connected.

What action do residents want to take?

At this point Pilgrim Tucker asked residents what actions we would like to take to get the concerns that we have identified as a community responded to by TMO/Rydon.
Residents agreed that we all want the works to continue but that we are demanding that the works are carried out in a professional manner and to a high standard and that we are treated with respect by the TMO and that tenants and leaseholders are properly consulted with.

Residents held a vote to determine whether we wanted to stop Rydon workmen with continuing with their works inside our properties in Grenfelll Tower. A overwhelming majority of tenants and leaseholders voted to stop Rydon from entering our homes until some of the above issues are resolved. Some residents expressed a fear that they could become victimised by the TMO if they do not do what they are told by our landlord.

Residents have agreed to display a poster outside their properties informing Rydon that they will not be allowed entry to our homes. Posters will be distributed to residents over the next couple of days. It was suggested that residents display this poster as a sign of solidarity.

A number of residents agreed that we would like to consider holding a meeting (possibly on Tuesday 31st March) with representatives from RBKC Council, TMO, Rydon, Studio E and Max Fordham to address serious concerns raised at tonight’s meeting.

A group of Grenfell Tower residents have informally agreed to meet and work together to identify most pressing issues and how to take these forward in addition to discussing which stakeholders (TMO, RBKC, etc ?) we would like to invite to any future meeting. It was suggested that we might like to re-invite a local Labour Councillor and members of the Press next time we convene a meeting. If you would like to be involved with this steering group please contact eddiegrenfell@hotmail.co.uk or call 07957 187147.
Residents agreed that we need to get our own independent advice with regards issues concerning health and safety and to examine if the TMO desire to place our boilers in the hallway are being driven purely by cost cutting motives. We may try and identify a heating engineer/plumber/electrician to assist with this evaluation.

A Grenfell Tower representative has been in contact with the North Kensington Law Centre and are seeking advice about residents legal position.

Residents have suggested that it would be a good idea to take photographs of works already completed inside properties and to compare these with examples demonstrated in the show flat on 14th floor.
Residents are also demanding that TMO/Rydon fully complete the show flat on the 14th floor and provide a written works plan for tenants and leaseholders that is then faithfully honoured.

Residents may wish to consider strengthening our solidarity by joining Unite Community.
Agreement that we will try and keep residents informed of future developments by posting notices in the lifts and around Grenfell Tower and further door knocking.

Thank you very much to everyone who attended meeting on 17th March and have shown that Grenfell Tower has a community and that we are coming together to make sure that policy of “divide and rule” by the TMO is defeated.

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