It has been very clear for some time to the residents of Grenfell Tower that those responsible for ensuring the smooth running of Lancaster West Estate are failing in their duty of care and wilfully allowing our residential amenity to decline in unacceptable ways.
Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in our landlords failure to deal with a serious health and safety issue that recently developed at the entrance/exit to Grenfell Tower. This matter is of particular concern as there is only one entry and exit to Grenfell Tower during the Improvement Works and the potential for a fire to break out in the communal area on the walkway does not bear thinking about as residents would be trapped in the building with no way out!
In recent weeks TMO staff allowed a quantity of household ‘bulk’ rubbish to accumulate, including old mattresses, in the temporary entrance foyer of the tower. This accumulation constituted a potential fire risk and a danger to residents. The TMO area manager and her staff were slow to react and no-one had been bothered to organise the clearence of this rubbish.
It has to be said that residents should not be dumping rubbish in this manner, but because of the improvement works currently underway there is no elevator access to the ground level, leaving them with an awkward final descent through a narrow twisting stairwell. It would appear that that not all residents with bulk rubbish to dispose of are willing to take this task on, and we suspect that some are probably physically incapable of doing so. It is therefore vital that the caretaking staff take responsibility for ensuring that all such health and safety hazards are promptly dealt with. In this instance they clearly failed to do so, and there is no evidence that we can see of any timely intervention from the management team, who bear the ultimate responsibility for dealing with such issues. Our readers should also note that this is not the first occasion on which we have raised fire safety issues in the Grenfell Tower area with Siobhan Rumble, and that we have never received satisfactory responses from her, or any other TMO officer, on any previous occasion.
One really has to wonder what Ms Rumble and her mates at the TMO get up to with their time. They certainly appear not to give a stuff about providing basic services or ensuring that health and safety rules are properly enforced! If ever any evidence was needed of the neglect and lack of care towards residents of Grenfell Tower by the TMO, then we believe that their inability to keep the entrance, in this case the only entrance and the only emergency exit, of a busy tower block clean and safe speaks volumes.
At time of posting this blog the accumulated rubbish had at last been cleared, but not before we had drawn it to the attention of Sacha Jevans, the Executive Director of Operations at the TMO, and Cllr Blakeman who represents the Notting Dale ward and sits on the TMO board. However, If the onsite staff at Lancaster West, from cleaning contractors and caretakers to office management, are so complacent that they can’t be trusted to deal promptly with such a public eyesore and health and safety hazard, then one has to wonder about the standard of health and safety scrutiny behind the scenes in hidden areas that are not so visible to the public.
Not for the first time we must ask how safe is Lancaster West, can staff be trusted to ensure it is safe, and what hidden fire risks might be lurking in Grenfell Tower or elsewhere on the estate?