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Friday 29th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

Residents ‘have lost confidence’ in body

by Felicity Collier

Kensington and Chelsea Council has voted unanimously to end its contract with the organisation which managed Grenfell Tower.

The council said Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) will no longer manage its social housing stock “because it no longer has the confidence of residents.”

Deputy council leader Kim Taylor-Smith, who called for a new management structure to be established, told the meeting on Wednesday night: “We are listening to residents and consulting on how they want their homes and neighbourhoods to be managed in the future.”

Before the vote, residents heckled council leader Elizabeth Campbell as she defended the council’s track record of rehousing survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.

On the three month anniversary of the disaster earlier this month, only two families had moved into permanent homes while 150 were still waiting in hotels.

The Bramley House Residents Association presented a petition demanding reasons for delays in rehousing.

However Ms Campbell said a total of 20 families are now in permanent accommodation, and a further 52 households have accepted an offer in principle.

She added that the council had bought 120 homes while 20 purchases were in the hands of solicitors and 20 more are under negotiation.

Victims are receiving advice from the North Kensington Law Centre but Isis Amlak, a member of the Grenfell Action Group, reminded the council that it had cut its funding.

She said: “It could have been there to represent the disabled people who have been placed inappropriately in a tower block.”

She cited the case of a man forced to abandon his wheelchair-bound father on an upper floor of the tower during the blaze.

There was also criticism of the council’s relief effort following the disaster.

Loubna Aghzafi, a volunteer who has helped the community, said she had donated a bottle of milk dated August 16, 2017 but it had recently been placed in a box of supplies by council workers and a mother had given it to her nine-weekold baby making it ill.

A council spokesman said it was “urgently investigating” the allegation but it was the first they had heard about it.

Ms Aghzafi said: “You are desperate to safeguard each other’s rank and most importantly to further careers on the back of this tragedy.”