UK

Grenfell: Kensington Council Ends Contract With Tower Management Company

'It no longer has the trust of residents'.

27/09/2017 22:25 BST | Updated 27/09/2017 23:13 BST

Kensington and Chelsea Council has voted unanimously to terminate its contract with the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, the body responsible for managing Grenfell Tower.

Council members said the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) “no longer has the trust of residents in the borough”, the BBC reports.

Deputy council leader, Kim Taylor-Smith, said: “We are listening to residents and consulting on how they want their homes and neighbourhoods to be managed in the future.”

Established in 1996 to manage almost 10,000 properties in the borough, the TMO has been heavily criticised for failing to respond to residents’ concerns both before and after the devastating blaze in west London.

In August, it was stripped of its responsibility for the management of properties in the Lancaster West housing estate, including Grenfell.

But the council said it would now work with it to bring the whole contract to an end.

AFP

In August, heads of sixteen residents’ associations wrote an open letter to leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council urging the local authority to sever ties with TMO.

Thousands of people represented by the heads of the residents’ organisations said they had “no confidence” in the TMO and said they felt “ignored” by the organisation for years.

In the council’s agenda published ahead of its vote, it was noted the TMO is “no longer tenable” and that it “needs to be dismantled and replaced”. 

It was heavily criticised by residents of the Grenfell Action Group before the fire broke out, notably in a blogpost where its said they had concerns about the fact there was only one escape route, the placement of gas pipes near it, rubbish piling up inside and presenting a fire hazard, and the absence of a building-wide sprinkler or alarm system.

“It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord,” they wrote in a blogpost from last November.