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Hi everyone

In response to an Evening Standard article yesterday about our very own Chief Executive leading a London wide initiative in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy I sent the following to ES Views (don't suppose they'll print it):

Like many other City of London tenants I read with a mixture of incredulity and hope that John Barradell is leading a group of London Boroughs responding to the Grenfell Tower tragedy (Simon Jenkins 20/06).
The incredulity comes from the fact that as a City tenant (and former chair of both tenants' and residents' associations on my Estate) the story of the Grenfell Tower tenants' relationship with their ineffective and ineffectual Housing Management sadly mirrors our own.
There is a long history on Golden Lane Estate of residents raising concerns about inappropriate repairs, the serious lack of maintenance and other issues, only to be ignored.
Two years ago the exterior cladding fell of one of the buildings during the weekend (it remains unrepaired).
The following weekend an electrical fire in one of the blocks left some residents without power for almost a week.
On both occasions the emergency contact numbers given to residents proved to be ineffective (quite how an answerphone would qualify as an "emergency number" is a mystery), though the issue had been raised several times in preceding months following less serious incidents.
Last week I tried to speak to Estate management about some immediate fire safety concerns from tenants in a 15 story block, and followed this up with an e-mail containing photos to illustrate the point when they proved to be unavailable. To date there has not even been an acknowledgement of the e-mail let alone any action on the fairly simple suggestions to resolve the issues.
And the hope? Perhaps John Barradell will come back from his high powered meetings with other Boroughs and have a talk to his own Housing staff.

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Perhaps this is the new standard for all Corporation tenants: CoL flats

Whilst we can applaud the CoL for stepping in to sort out the RBK&C's urgent housing needs, it does beg the question as to why the CoL choses to move at such a glacial pace when refurbishing its own properties (a pace which is unacceptable).  If the former YMCA can be refurbished within such a brisk timescale, there can be no reason why the woeful state of our own estate can't be similarly dealt with.  I am pretty fed up with our estate having the characteristics of a dilapidated 70's sink estate, complete with crumbling concrete and peeling paint.

Are the CoL not ashamed of this state of affairs?  In my block, no definite date for concrete repairs, for window replacement, for external painting.  Just lots of service charges for 'supervision and management'.

What I don't understand is what the other London boroughs are doing to assist as from what I can see is that the Col are paying to rehouse around half of the homeless families, its great that they are helping out but surely others should be doing their bit. And Jean i totally agree with you that the YMCA seems to have been done very quickly even though I'm sure they must have had the same planning restraints as our blocks I live in Crescent House and dreaming of the day we get new windows if only to help block out some of the noise.

David I agree with your points.

While the City of London should be applauded for the financial provision to allow the purchase of the social housing block to house some families affected by the tragedy in RBKC, what is clearly not acceptable is the failures by RBKC to provide for its own residents. RBKC have sufficient surpluses in their accounts which would have allowed for the purchase of many new blocks.

Just as the City has found funds to purchase a block in RBKC, the City should have allocated funding to retain, and refurbish the ex YMCA block on Fann Street for social housing, rather than selling a new lease to Redrow.


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