Grenfell Tower: 'Regeneration consultations were deliberately designed to exclude residents', says journalist

Kensington and Chelsea Council has voted to end its contract with the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation

Kensington and Chelsea Council has ended its contract with the TMO

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Consultations about the regeneration of Grenfell Tower were designed to exclude a lot of residents on purpose, according to a columnist.

Kensington and Chelsea Council has voted to end its contract with its Tenant Management Organisation (TMO), which managed Grenfell Tower, three months on from the fire which claimed at least 68 lives.

The council embarked upon a project to regenerate the tower back in 2012 and it was subsequently refurbished, with the renovation work including the installation of cladding which has been cited by many as a key reason for the fire's rapid spread.

Dawn Foster, columnist for The Guardian, told Sam Delaney: "Over and over again Grenfell Tower residents said that they felt the messages they got from the council were that the fact they lived in Kensington at all should have meant they shouldn't be complaining about any problems.

But, she continued, "as we know from looking at Grenfell Tower, the actual consultations that were done with residents [about regeneration] were really really poor [and] deliberately designed to exclude a lot of residents."

When they tried to raise issues and speak to the TMO "they were told to go to the council. They went to the council and were told to complain to the TMO.

"Obviously [the two bodies] were in the same building and a lot of the people who worked on the TMO board also worked for the council. One of the big problems is, that if it was truly separate, people should have been able to go to the council."

Foster also praised Jeremy Corbyn's commitment to force councils to ballot all tenants before any regeneration plans are put in place, suggesting this is vital in light of the Grenfell fire.

Listen to the full interview above