Grenfell tower

Discussion in 'Politics' started by chrisrobin, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. chrisrobin

    chrisrobin Well-Known Member

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    Now the ire is beginning to subside, the political activist having made capital and now moved on leaving the victims of this dreadful disaster to pick up their lives again after having been placed under the media spotlight for so many days, now is the time to look at the facts.
    Much will be made of negligence from the council, of contractors cutting corners to make more profit, lack of co-ordination in the aftermath - who has a contingency plan for such a dreadful occurrence - and as usual loud vociferous voices demanding heads.
    Start with the facts.
    Grenfell Tower had a management committee of 8 people.
    4 of those members were residents, the other 4 members were from the management team for the council.
    One of those 4 was elected as a Labour MP in the recent election.
    So, where are the statements for these 8, where is the Labour MP in all this, Jeremy had made gain and so have the far left.
    Apart from that so far there is little evidence, but these 8 members of the committee haven't yet come forward as a body to say where they went wrong if in fact complaints had been made....
     
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  2. keenobserver

    keenobserver Well-Known Member

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    Well, 4 of them could be dead . . .
     
  3. canuck_pa

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    The fire at Grenfell Tower was horrific. My heart goes out to all those effected. I do not understand why all public housings aren't brought up-to-date when new fire regulations are introduced. It sounds like a lot of things were wrong with that building. I can understand the residents on the management committee may not be aware of the fire prevention regulations but the members from the council should have known. Fire alarms and smoke detectors should be tested on a regular basis. I hope a full investigation is held and a few heads roll. And then all other public buildings should be brought up-to-date so there won't be a repeat disaster.
     
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  4. malakos

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    Is it known yet what started the fire?
     
  5. geitjeshoeder

    geitjeshoeder Active Member

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    It's was horrible to see, what i can't understand is, why are health and safety issues such a problem? I mean if you look at regulations in Germany or the Netherlands, things like this are much less prone to happen.
     
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  6. Joll

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    A small fire on the 4th floor caused by a faulty fridge.

    The flames got out the window and ignited the (highly flammable as it turns out) external cladding. :eek::mad:
     
  7. Joll

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    That's what we want to know. ;)
     
  8. dandelion

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    Fire was started by a refrigerator, and the fire service attended and put out the fire in the flat. However, they then discovered that the fire had spread into the cladding on the outside of the tower. I assume it then spread up the tower and back in to all the flats.

    Kensington and Chlsea has a management company which operates all its housing stock. This was the organisation named in the planning application for recent changes to the block. http://www.kctmo.org.uk/sub/about-us/20/the-board

    This company has a board of eight residents, four council members and three 'independents. I imagine the council members are chosen by the council, which is heavily conservative. The resident members are electd from occupiers of council property in the borough. I don't know what composition there is of types of council property in the borough as a whole, but it might include some which is quite posh. The block was definitely the least posh.

    I don't know how the 'independent' members are chosen, but probably by some sort of 'old boys network'.

    I dont see the name of the new MP amongst the governors. Anyone who lives in one of the properties they manage is entitled to register as a 'member'.

    I se there is a Grenfell action group formed by residents, which has been complaining about the council and how it is manamging its proporties for years. they note that Kensingtom spends £1.5 million a year on subsidising opera in holland park and has £275 million of reserves, but srill used flammable cladding because it was cheaper. https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/

    The GAG website reports refusal by the management organisation to listen to their complaints about fire safety issues, including fire safety systems and problems with the electrical supply to the building, causing fires. Which just might bring us back to the question of how a refrigerator comes to catch fire.

    newspapers reports have suggested that fireproof cladding might have been as little as £5,000 more expensive. Though that might be dependent on a number of things. The council is reported as saving millions of pounds by choosing the cheapest contractor bidding. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...ton-chelsea-borough-council-tmo-a7794086.html
     
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  9. dandelion

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    To expand on the cladding, wikipedia suggests the claddung manufacturer in fact makes three sorts, and the one apparently used is the cheapest and least fire proof. On a building of this size the manufacturers recommend the most expensive, and wiki note that the one used would have been banned in some countries on such buildings.

    Behind the cladding they used polyurethan fom insulation, which comes in rigid sheets and is relatively easty to handle, but it is a hydrocarbon and will burn. Myself, I favour glass fibre or rock wool, which are basically rock.

    Taken together, I would expect changes on these lines would have cost more. ths epeople dies to safe money, as is usually the case.

    One needs to reflect whether a billion pounds spent on police or secret service agenst is more cost effective than a billion spent on housing.
     
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  10. vibrationzzz

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    If the manufacturers specify this material is not suitable for this type of construction, then there is no leg to stand on for contractor or council. Manufacturers specifications on their product stand above all other specifications and law.

    If their product is used using their specifications and installation instruction, and it fails , the company is liable.
     
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  11. chrisrobin

    chrisrobin Well-Known Member

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    as usual there is one bad apple - or could be - using the cheaper sort of cladding - currently I think five samples are being tested, five blocks are thought to be contaminated- and that's in the entire UK.
    Even so, it shouldn't have happened but the entire industry isn't to blame, just a greedy few.
    Lest hope there is some speedy response to this and prosecutions quickly take place - not that having that sort of justice will bring any solace to the victims of this tragedy - though the looney left will still be having a field day.
     
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  12. dandelion

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    It will not end up as 5 blocks. Two have caught fire already, and the odds of 2 out of 5 being unlucky enough to catch fire must be very low.

    The queen's speech just announced a public enquiry. Assume there will be no report until after the next election is due in 5 years time. What is needed is emergency amendments to building regulations today.
     
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  13. dandelion

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    Chief executive of kensington council resigns. He says he was asked to do so because the Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid put pressure on the council to get rid of him.

    The government denies they asked him to resign.

    Most peculiar. Why do they deny it? Did they want him to take the blame so they neednt look elsewhere for a scapegoate? For example the four government ministers who supposedly had been warned about the dangers from this sort of cladding?

    Presumably government pressure is why kensington council has suddenly started finding houses for the victims of the fire whereas it has been accused of being very slow to do anything to begin with. Normal policy would be to rehouse them in liverpool, or Belfast, or frankly anywhere cheap they could find acoss the country. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40362317

    It seems quite likely an eventual enquiry will find the council and contractors did nothing wrong. They installed the cheapest possible cladding accepted by law.

    But this just pushes on the problem. The law should not have allowed this to be done. There had been previous fires and conclusions drawn from them about what should be done, but government had resisted doing it. Most likely the government's drive to cut costs prevented any kind of measures which puts them up. Pressure on councils tosafe money by cutting corners meant they went for the cheap option. Possibly departmental cutbacks meant there were no people to do things like reviewing building regulations following new information about fire risks.
     
  14. chrisrobin

    chrisrobin Well-Known Member

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    I'm beginning to think you are a bit like Donald trump - you can do no wrong and everybody else is wrong.
    It must be so boring going through life being so pessimistic and seeing conspiracies behind every remark - if you look and see the designers of the refurbishment recommended the fire resistant panels but they were not fitted - and the inspections failed to pick this up - its all out there so someone is either not trained properly for the job they do allowing the contractor got away with doing a cheap job.
    Nothing to do with ministers, Prime Ministers or even leaders of the Opposition. All to do with those on the ground supposed to maintain standards - and surely - if one is looking for parties to blame, surely the building had a fire worthiness certificate....
    These things regrettably happen, standards change, staff change and often in a changing world there is no continuation. It comes down to one thing, the panels, if they were the wrong sort who gave the go ahead for them to be fitted and who checked to make sure....
    And I wonder what would have happened had it been in a different part of the country....

    but then I don't rerally want to think that or I might end up with yet another conspiracy theory...
     
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  15. Jjz1109

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    One of the few instances in which you and I might agree, chrisrobin. As an outside observer, it's difficult to comprehend how this happened. There are building codes / standards that are supposed to be regularly monitored and heavily enforced. These standards should transcend any political motivations and costs, as they are supposed to be enforced unilaterally. Implying one party or group is to blame seems silly, and should go directly to the governing body responsible for building codes, or whatever it might be. Glad the Queen called for a public inquiry. THAT will get to the bottom of it.
     
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  16. dandelion

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    No,it is not. In fact what happened is pretty normal throughout human history. A new invention appears, might be absolutely safe. People figure out how to make it cheaper, but in the process things get changed and new opportunities for a disaster open up. Radio this morning was talking about green dyes based on arsenic, which were all the rage after they were discovered because green is a difficult colour to make, untill it was shown they were killing people. Curious thing is, the inventor knew perfectly well they were poisonous, he was a chemist. Perhaps he felt that, used carefully they would be fine. I am sure cladding manufacturers understand perfectly well the limits of their products and under what situations they do not make new risks.

    No one has suggested the manufacturer recommended what was installed. But it seems to have been a lawful option in terms of UK building code. As I said, the historic pattern is for such codes only to catch up after there have been sufficient problems.

    The dificulty for the government is that there had already been fires and the problem was understood. Ministers have been lobbied for 5 years about this and had they acted straight away, then this particular block would never have been clad in such panels. The fire was totally preventable, had govenment acted. They didnt.

    Then there is the question whether Kensignton planners or other staff should have been sufficiently on the ball that they anyway knew there was a problem. Kensington owned the block. Even if they are allowed, they could have chosen specifically not to use less safe panels, but for whatever reason did not.

    The real problem here is that this is an issue which has arisen during the term of the current conservative adminstration, or came to attention just at the tail end of labour, but the conservatives did not do anything. Possibly billions of pounds have been spent making blocks less safe, which logicall now need re-cladding. Most likely this is exactly why the government did not get on and do something. Much cheaper to pretend there is no problem and hope someone has hidden the matches.
     
    #16 dandelion, Jun 22, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
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  17. Tight_N_Juicy

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  18. chrisrobin

    chrisrobin Well-Known Member

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    Its really wonderful the way you in addition to many others can attach a political slant when dealing with human misery.
     
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  19. Jjz1109

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    I believe the term is "exploiting" the situation. Sad that In these horrific events it turns to fingering pointing politics. I am sure these building codes issues have been there for a while, but to use this as an opportunity to posture is wrong. Address the issue and fix it.
     
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  20. dandelion

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    Chrisrobin, the tories are guilty of at best mismanagement, at worst culpable negligence. The most likely explanation is that they wanted to save money and so dismissed this as a low priority.

    Well it should not have been. Not only have these people now died unnecessarily but millions have been spent making towers less safe, with work which will have to be re done. This was a huge false economy.
     
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