London Grenfell area Conservatives build for billionaires

This 2014 video from London, England is called Save Earl’s Court: Our Voices Will Be Heard.

By Peter Lazenby in London, England:

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Grenfell council faces protest over luxury flats

TORY Kensington and Chelsea Council will be targeted for a protest tonight over plans to build luxury homes on a 22-acre site in the Earl’s Court area.

The London council, which has been condemned following the Grenfell Tower disaster, has ignored local residents’ calls for the project to include affordable housing.

Activists from the Radical Housing Network, Save Earl’s Court Campaign and Save Earl’s Court Supporters Club will stage a demonstration to coincide with the council’s planning committee this evening.

Councillors will meet to discuss the project with developers Capco at the committee.

Natasha Gordon, who fled her home next to Grenfell Tower following the fire in 2017, said: “After the Grenfell fire the government said it would build social housing, but there is none planned for this huge anti-social luxury development.

“The council should learn lessons from the fire and put local families first — building homes for us to live in, not for millionaires to speculate with.”

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) General Secretary Matt Wrack has said the government’s inquiry in the Grenfell Tower fire is in danger of becoming a “whitewash.” He told the Guardian, “The views I am expressing are being expressed more bluntly in fire stations, that this is in danger of turning into a stitch-up of firefighters … the only thing they did on the night was turn up to put a fire out and yet they are the people that have come under most scrutiny so far”: here.

Campaigners have reacted with frustration at news that criminal charges over the Grenfell Tower fire may not be considered until 2021. Scotland Yard said it would not hand a file to prosecutors until the end of a public inquiry into the disaster. Survivors’ group Grenfell United said families were disheartened by a lack of official progress: here.

5 thoughts on “London Grenfell area Conservatives build for billionaires

  1. Wednesday, 6 March 2019

    NO FIRE ESCAPE! Tory fire safety guidance fails

    Firefighters greeted by local residents on the silent walk through Kensington to remember all those who died in the Grenfell fire

    NEW GOVERNMENT fire safety guidance fails to include escape plans, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) warned yesterday.

    RIBA insist that the government’s guidance does not include occasions when the ‘stay-put’ policy has to be abandoned. In the case of the Grenfell Tower fire, which tragically claimed the lives of 72 men, women and children, the building itself was not designed for evacuation, because it only has one staircase. This means that as firefighters are running up with their equipment to fight the fire, it is impossible for everyone to run down.

    RIBA said: ‘For too long government and the construction industry have relied on building design and construction that meets the regulatory requirements to resist the spread of fire.’

    It adds that the guidance assumes that ‘measures to resist the spread of fire will be effective and the stay-put policy can be relied on, with no provision for when fire spreads beyond compartments and occupants need or choose to leave their flats.’

    It called on the government to focus on adding guidance on enabling people to safely evacuate or be rescued from their flats during a fire when the guidance is reviewed. RIBA said there should be at least two staircases in new multiple occupancy residential buildings, something which is already required in offices and hotels and is being introduced in Scotland.

    It also wants a requirement for sprinklers in all new and converted residential buildings, and the retrofitting of sprinklers in existing residential buildings above 18 metres.

    Meanwhile, residents of the iconic 43-storey Halo Tower have been warned to evacuate immediately if a fire breaks out after dangerous cladding was discovered on buildings in the same development.

    Halo Tower is a private block, part of a 700-home development, which comprises a number of buildings on the edge of the Olympic Park in Stratford in east London. A number of them are clad in flammable high-pressure laminate (HPL) panels which will need to be replaced.

    A study published earlier this year showed that HPL panels release heat 25 times faster and burn 115 times hotter than non-combustible products. A waking watch of fire wardens has been put in place at the luxury private rent tower, the largest housing association block in the country, a letter sent by housing association Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) says.

    Residents of the tower have been warned to evacuate immediately if a fire breaks out.
    HPL is not the same as that used on Grenfell Tower, but has been widely linked to fire safety fears and was used on Lakanal House in south London where six people were killed in a fire in 2009.


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