Below is the text of a letter sent to Claire Williams at the TMO on behalf of the newly formed Grenfell Community Unite. The photographs illustrating this piece were taken in the “show flat” in Grenfell Tower (that has now remained empty of tenants for well over two years!) and ably demonstrate an appalling disregard for taste, quality workmanship and health and safety.
This callous and avoidable destruction of our homes is what we are concerned about and we are demanding that the TMO recognise Grenfell Community Unite as a legitimate community/resident group representing the tenants, leaseholders and renters in Grenfell Tower and to request that our landlord, KCTMO, and their building contractor for the Grenfell Tower Improvement Works, Rydon, meet with our community to address our concerns:
The purpose of this email is to request a meeting with TMO / Rydon to discuss the construction works taking place in and around Grenfell Tower.
As you know, on the 17th March 2015, upwards of 100 residents gathered in our Community Rooms to attend an Emergency Meeting to discuss our community’s concerns regarding the Grenfell Tower Improvement Works. Details of the meeting and outcomes can be found summarised below:
Last Tuesday 17th March 2015, nearly one hundred residents, representing over fifty households in Grenfell Tower, gathered in the Community Rooms to discuss problems with the Grenfell Tower Improvement Works. The meeting was facilitated by Pilgrim Tucker from Unite the Union’s Community membership.
Problems with the works:
- Residents discussed how RBKC Council and our landlord the TMO have prevented residents coming together to form a collective voice.
- We discussed what problems the TMO/Rydon and the Grenfell Tower Improvement Works were causing to residents. Many issues were identified, including:
- Lack of meaningful consultation from TMO/Rydon and how information keeps changing all the time.
- Concern that Rydon intend to position boilers in residents entrance hallways.
- Concern that exposed hot pipes will provide a health and safety problem and will look unsightly in our homes.
- Concern at the appalling standard of work undertaken by Rydon in communal areas and inside a number of residents properties.
- Concern that the workmen commandeer the lift, create unacceptable levels of noise and do not clean up after themselves.
Agreed at the meeting:
- Residents agreed that we want the works to be carried out in a professional manner and to a high standard, that we want to be treated with respect by the TMO, and that tenants and leaseholders must be properly consulted.
- Residents voted by an overwhelming majority that we will not allow Rydon into our homes until we have had the problems with the works addressed by the TMO and Rydon.
- We have agreed to display posters on our front doors in an act of solidarity and to notify Rydon that they are not welcome in our properties until we are satisfied we will be treated with respect.
- A number of residents have volunteered to give some time to help out with organising a further Emergency Residents Meeting with Rydon so that the problems can be addressed.
- There was a general agreement from residents that we may wish to join Unite Community.
On the 26th March 2015 representatives from approximately 20 households in Grenfell Tower gathered to form “Grenfell Community Unite” as a community / residents group. We believe that by so doing residents can speak with a collective voice to address our concerns regarding the Improvement Works.
The outcome of our first meeting was a unanimous decision to request a meeting between members of Grenfell Community Unite and TMO/ Rydon.
Members of Grenfell Community Unite are therefore requesting that TMO/Rydon meet with our members as a matter of urgency. We are also requesting that a representative from Max Fordham and the architect Studio E are present. We also agreed to write to our local Ward Councillors, and invite them to attend too. We shall be asking our contact at Unite Community to come and assist by chairing the meeting; if she is not available we will approach Kensington and Chelsea Social Council and request a facilitator from there. We will supply you with an agenda and provide a set of requests prior to the meeting.
As time is such a pressing issue, please could you respond by 5pm on Wednesday 8th April 2015 to:
- Confirm your willingness to acknowledge the Grenfell Community Unite as a residents/community group, a representative voice for the tenants, leaseholders and renters of Grenfell Tower.
- Confirm your willingness to meet with Grenfell Community Unite members in a public meeting to discuss the aforementioned issues, and a number of specific requests we have for TMO and Rydon.
Following this confirmation we can then progress to setting a date for that meeting.
Edward Daffarn & David Collins on behalf of Grenfell Community Unite