Grenfell Tower Disaster

Discussion in 'Plymouth' started by Plymborn, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Plymborn

    Plymborn Well-Known Member
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    Watching the horror and agony of this appalling fire disaster and the aftermath of it live on television has been truely heart rendering.

    Happening in one of the richest Boroughs in London and the UK....Kensington & Chelsea.....where you have the extremes of rich opulence and tower block poverty living not far apart really brings it home to you the divisions of big city living.

    I wasn't going to start this thread....but there does seem to be some important questions developing here about the quality of what seems to be cut-price regeneration in council property and how it is done in more wealthy properties.

    Flame-retardant cladding could have been fitted to Grenfell Tower for just an extra £5,000. Yesterday Omnis Exteriors said it had been asked to supply cheaper cladding to installer Harley Facades which did not meet strict fire-retardant specifications. The cut price version is banned from use in the USA and Germany for tall buildings....the bottom line is always profit, profit....profit when private firms get involved in council building the lose of life is rising each day......how many profit £'s is each life valued at.....stories of shoddy workmanship throughout the whole project is coming to light there will be many firms and other people involved in this that will be trying to cover there backs over this.

    A visit from Royalty, Corbyn, Mayor Kahn and poor Theresa May (more than once, because the party felt it hadn't gone well).....Khan and May felt the wrath of the crowd.....and May's security whipped her away quickly....unfortunately the woman cannot seem to think upon her feet and all she had was sound bites for Emily Maitlis, who asked her some searching questions in an arranged interview by the Government.

    Very evident the lack of Cabinet Ministers backing her up on the day......and on Monday she has the start of brexit talks beginning.
     
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  2. sensiblegreeny

    sensiblegreeny Well-Known Member
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    I predict another election before Christmas 2017 so Brexit will be once again put on hold. I think this subject is probably best left alone but sufice to say yes it is shocking and you cannot be untouched by the stories unless you are granite in the first place. I would not want to be a fireman having to go through that building.
     
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  3. notDistantGreen

    notDistantGreen Active Member

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    I'm not sure whether all of the above is true, although I'm sure Plymborn has quoted it in good faith. Much as there is understandable desire for quick answers locally, ideally with a prominent person to blame, I'm afraid it will be necessary to wait for the official reports. These things aren't simple.

    I read an article in yesterday's paper that said it was arguable whether the cladding met UK building regs. It called for the regulations to be recast to be understandable to the man in the street, which is patent nonsense. We'll be wanting quantum physics in cartoon form next.

    What people are going to want is to blame the contractor in the belief he trousered the savings. Having experience of similar (although not identical) contracts, that is almost never the case in major jobs: I know of only one instance where materials were definitely priced as one thing (by a competitor) and supplied as another, although there was absolutely no safety implication. I'd tell you which contract it was, but the client involved is probably reading these messages....

    What happens is that the client (the council's management company in this cae) demands saving from the contractor: it's the client that benefits, not those doing the work. According to the Times, the council dropped their original contractor, Leadbitter, who'd priced the job at £11.27m, and gave the work to Rydon for £8.5m. It's a golden rule of procurement to eliminate any outlying bids, either much too high or much too low, as those bidders haven't understood the specification and contract. I wonder how the council thought those savings were to be made? Rydon have pointed out that not only did the materials meet building regs (i bet they are read differently now), but that the work was signed off by the council's building control department.
     
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  4. Plymborn

    Plymborn Well-Known Member
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    A senior official responsible for Grenfell Tower was criticised by an internal investigation for his attitude to the concerns of those living there.

    Residents complained they were being treated with "contempt and disdain" by Peter Maddison. the director of assets and regeneration for Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), which runs the high rise block.

    In 2013, Grenfell Action Group raised repeated concerns about the safety of the building, culminating in the warning that last year's £8.6 million refurbishment had created a disaster waiting to happen, and complained to KCTMO about his behaviour.

    The group's complaint followed its attempts to obtain information about how much money was to be spent on repairs. Minutes of a KCTMO meeting seen by Grenfell Action Group showed a report by construction consultants Rand Associates had found £105 million needed to be spent on KCTMO's entire housing stock by 2017, but the organisation was planning to spend £38 million, a shortfall of £67 million.

    The group claimed attempts to see the Rand report were blocked by Mr Maddison, until he eventually released a heavily redacted version. The group stated: "He had painstakingly removed every numerical reference within it." It described Mr Maddison's attitude as "cavalier and grossly disrespectful".......Sunday Telegraph article.
     
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  5. notDistantGreen

    notDistantGreen Active Member

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    I owe you an apology Plymborn. I have now looked at today's Times and it quotes "Government officials" who say categorically that the cladding didn't meet building regs and quote the £5,000 figure. In my defence, that's contradictory to the article in yesterday's Times, which said it wasn't clear if the panels complied, which I interpreted as meaning they did since the contract process should have ensured the correct materials were used.

    I'm tempted to say "Government officials" would say that given what's happened but in essence, they have nowhere to run. If they did know what materials were being used, they are guilty and if they didn't, are guilty because with the obvious risks inherent in tall buildings, they should have known. Equally, if the contractor felt obliged to use unsafe materials to save the client cost, they should have walked away.

    PS I've stopped taking the Telegraph because of its editorial stance on Brexit.....
     
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  6. notDistantGreen

    notDistantGreen Active Member

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    Third bite of the cherry.

    Who was to blame for this isn't actually that important right now: it's too late to save those poor people. That will all become clear when the official reports come out in due course.

    The priority should be to find out how many other tall buildings are out there with the same cladding. You wouldn't think that would take very long but the question seems to have disappeared without trace.

    It's odd that because if we knew, we'd know right away who to blame. If there's just the one or they all involve this contractor or this council, then the blame lies there. If there are many of them, resulting from different client/council combinations, then the problem is with the building regs, which should have updated by central government as recommended after previous fires.

    Any guesses how soon we'll be told how many more buildings are like this?
     
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  7. Plymborn

    Plymborn Well-Known Member
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    I have the Telegraph for their sports coverage.....I take all papers "comments" with a pinch of salt to be honest, always an agenda I decided.....many moons ago when we had young children I use to have more "basic" requirements regarding newspapers......but when the Mirror got into a page "three" war with the ghastly Sun....I decided that I didn't need it in the house anymore.
     
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  8. Plymborn

    Plymborn Well-Known Member
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    I believe we will find that there are hundreds....maybe thousands.......we do seem to be lagging behind these days regarding H&S....in the EU or out of it.

    Will we try and blame it on austerity.
     
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  9. Greenarmyjoe

    Greenarmyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Its horrific how quickly that cladding went up, May is a disgrace even tho she got my vote. Poor families left with nothing and loved ones missing. She is heartless now trying to make up for it. 5 million fund from her. equates to less than 10 k per resident as they reckon over 600 people in that block.. Joke.

    Step down now May.. she has had abad few months, she may as well go before she makes a pig of Brexit..

    Also heard today that they reckon tower blocks may be pulled down in certain areas..

    It will be blamed on the contractor most probably, we always get the blame and i price alot of jobs.. They all come back from the councils or housing Associations asking for a reduction.. We always price to the spec that they send out, never any different, so it depends if they fitted and priced what was asked for or a substitute material was used to save on costs. Or a brown envelope ..

    I doubt the truth will ever come out.. Public enquiry will be years just like the iraq enquiry .. give that money to the familes.. plenty hotels in the area to put them up instead of on a roll mat in a hall..
     
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  10. notDistantGreen

    notDistantGreen Active Member

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    In the Telegraph, Bexit editorial opinion and actual news have become indistinguishable....
     
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  11. sensiblegreeny

    sensiblegreeny Well-Known Member
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    Joe, please do not confuse public money with personal wealth, The £5m is NOT her £5m it is our £5m. Money cannot make up for death in any circumstances. The occupants will get a lot more than our £10k (ish) given there are collections going on all over the place. If the £10k (ish) of our money is to replace possessions lost which is the implication then I would guess it probably might for most of them. It seems small but when it comes to Government handing out money it usually is. Ask a lot of Service people.
     
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  12. notDistantGreen

    notDistantGreen Active Member

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    It's just a short term emergency top-up anyway isn't it? It will be nowhere near the full sum paid out.

    There is unfortunately a lot of political capital being made out of this, which is a disgrace. For example, there were supposedly 500 people living in that block. How on earth are they expected to be rehoused within the immediate area? This is London, there aren't many vacant properties. It's deliberate trouble making to stir people up about it.
     
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  13. Plymborn

    Plymborn Well-Known Member
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    What are the possibilities that there are people who live/lived in this block who are illegally here and do not have any traceable identity.....to be given an emergency top-up....or even to be identified as dead.

    There are many luxury new builds in London that have been bought by foreign investors....never intending them ever to be lived in....but as assets that grow in value far more than placing cash in an investment fund etc.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  14. Plymborn

    Plymborn Well-Known Member
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    Just been reading your favourite paper notDistant.....<whistle>.

    In a television interview yesterday Jeremy Corbyn said "There are a large number of deliberately kept vacant flats and properties all over London.....it's called landbanking. People with a lot of money buy a house, buy a flat, keep it empty. (he was talking about re-housing the homeless Grenfell tower tenants).......reported in the Daily Telegraph today.....

    My paper arrived after my first comment and I hadn't heard Corbyn's interview last night either.......we could be heading for a summer of riots....heaven forbid....but equalities in London are becoming obscene.....London has rich pickings for rich people from all over the world to..."invest" (if that's the right word) there spare money.

    Hugh chunks of the UK....which we think are British are not ours in the first place.....so much of the development in London (1000's of derek/cranes blot out the horizon as you go up town by train) isn't British....We all admire the magnificent Shard as the train goes through London Bridge Station.....but do we own one brick....one piece of glass....staffed in general by non-UK workers and used probably by non-UK people......we can hardly afford to go on a sightseeing trip to the summit.
     
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  15. notDistantGreen

    notDistantGreen Active Member

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    This is the political capital that's being made from the far left. Are we going to have seizure of private property?

    I do think that where some of this money is coming from is a murky area. A lot of it comes from corrupt practices in Russia and its satellites, Africa and the Middle East. If you or I want to open a bank account it's a hell of a pallover whereas billions in dirty money seems to flow freely.
     
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  16. Greenarmyjoe

    Greenarmyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Plym, i agree i think it will all turn nasty soon and another summer of problems possibly riots. People are not happy any were and its just mounting tension awaiting to explode. Hope fully I'm wrong.
    Well i agree house them in the empty flats/houses.
    Now another idiot drives a van into people in London.. Every few weeks there is another incident a present..
     
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  17. Plymborn

    Plymborn Well-Known Member
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    No....this is not political capital being made by the far left.....this is honest Joe Bloggs's view from those that see it happening every day around them in London.

    Now as Joe has mentioned above....someone drives a van at moslems coming out of two mosques after midnight...how has that not happened earlier than this is surprising....thankfully it hasn't......but now it has happened.....we could do with those 20,000 missing Policemen.....plus Fire Stations and firemen that have been culled.
     
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  18. sensiblegreeny

    sensiblegreeny Well-Known Member
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    There is one obvious point to make here. It is not the fault of people who can afford to own a property that isn't lived in. It is not the duty of those people to pick up the bill for others who are both responsible possibly for the problem in the first place and then charged with finding a solution for those left. Taking from the better off to give the proceeds of their labour to the not so well off is clearly a left wing theory. This is where Corbyn's clothes fall off and his real ideoligy comes out. Whilst I feel dreadfully sorry for the people in that fire I do not want to hand over my life savings to them and it is not the job of responsible government to expect people to do that. If you all think they should have everything then sell your house, give them the proceeds and live in a tent yourself. I suspect though none will even move house.
     
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  19. Greenarmyjoe

    Greenarmyjoe Well-Known Member

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    We can talk about this all night and day, nothing will change. Its not nice hearing it all and watching the news..

    I am not saying take it from the people that worked for it and investors but surely there must be empty properties..

    I today have spoken wit ha company we do a lot for who are in London bridge and they manage a lot tower blocks in London.. They are reviewing now but most of there stuff is private not owned by councils and no cladding..
    As you said Plym i am surprised no one has driven at these muslims before.. no need for that. I know that mosque as been at the centre of rubbish before and my Family lived in that area of London..
     
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  20. sensiblegreeny

    sensiblegreeny Well-Known Member
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    Some of the reporting on this is getting a bit over the top. By that I'm talking about some of the issues being raised by the media. There was a bloke on the news tonight who had escaped the block with his family. He has nothing left cloths and furnishings wise so there is a reasonable expectation that he is going to receive help for himself and his 7 children. Currently he is living in a Hotel so there is help straight away. He was complaining that he has only received two payments of £500 each time since the fire. The interviewer was happy to show the blokes mobile with a bank account balance of -£5.01 on it (I think that was the balance) thus implying that the help he had already wasn't nearly enough. Here is a question for everyone. What was his balance before the fire? Was it loads of money in credit or did the £500 x 2 go to paying off the debit balance as well. To be objective in reporting you need to state how the debit balance was arrived at and not assume he has been left bereft of any funds. The thing the reporter was trying to show was a bigger hard luck story of callous government. I will almost guarantee the reporter didn't even ask because it was a good story to tell as it was. Loads of people will of course be left thinking it's government failure once more when it may not be anything of the kind. The story isn't a lie but it isn't representative of the truth either. But to report it any other way doesn't make a story at all does it.

    I think they should kick all of the reporting people out of the area now and let others get on with the sorting out the problems. There will be mistakes made doing that but given the scale of the problems that isn't surprising is it. Making capital out of every little slip up will not help anyone. It will though give fuel to those who will make mischief out of this to stir up resentment. Nothing like a good riot to solve a problem is there. No doubt heads will roll in good time but it is better to ensure the right ones do than start chopping away indiscriminately and the real culprits be allowed to hide away. You are not going to get to the bottom of who did what when where and why in such a short time span.
     
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