By our reporter
New documents have been released that expose historic negligence of the body responsible for
managing Grenfell tower.
Documents recently made public after a campaign by residents show a neglect of health and
safety with respect to recommendations made by Capita Symonds. The evidence in the independent report that the been repressed for 12 years stated that “torches with rechargeable batteries should be installed in every flat, wired to the mains to recharge, so that residents could use torches to escape.
Both the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council and its housing management body,
Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization (KCTMO), would not say if these
suggestions were carried out, but residents have said that the torches never materialized.
In 2005 two thirds of the tower’s emergency lighting failed a routine inspection after which
another independent report was commissioned. The report exposed the criminal failings of the
KCTMO in its management of the tower. The findings revealed that there was ‘inadequate
management’, “inadequate installation standards”, a “failure to acknowledge the importance of
undertaking urgent remedial works” and a “lack of communication” between the blocks
management and residents.
This will not be news to the survivors of the tragedy. The problems were there for all to see.
However, the struggle residents have had to get these documents released show that there is a
clear attempt by the KCTMO to cover up the evidence. In justifying the suppression of the truth
about their criminal actions, the KCTMO has used the rouse that they are a private organisation
and therefore are not obliged to make information public. This relates also to the minutes of
meetings that covered the tower’s refurbishments.