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Tower safety - residents organise to get action
About 150 residents from three tower blocks on Ranwell West estate in Tower Hamlets met to discuss safety after the dreadful deaths in the Grenfell fire. The meeting voted to demand smoke alarms, new fire doors and sprinklers, as well as insisting on access to the fire safety assessment in progress following Grenfell.

But the discussion also raised other issues including the potential chimney effects through the old rubbish chutes and warm air heating systems as well as problems with rubbish collection and waste disposal points round the blocks being used for fly tipping. Slow response times when problems are reported are part of everyones experience on the estate.

The Housing director for the Clarion group, the housing association which now runs the estate, promised to look into all the issues raised but seemed to have no answers other than what the residents could do themselves to keep communal areas clear of rubbish. She did pledge to implement any of the recommendations from the enquiry into the Grenfell fire.
Pellings, the contractors responsible for overseeing the current refurbishment works, were not able to say anything about the fire safety status of the new cladding being put on the roofs of the blocks.

Everyone is aware of the consequences of the bonfire of regulations, the effects of privatisation and the taking away of any accountability to residents, and how that led to Grenfell. Housing has become about making profits not providing safe homes for working class people.

The meeting was also supported by local mayor, John Biggs and the two local councillors, who said they would support the residents.

But the residents at the meeting are determined to get organised and take back control. Over 30 people left details for a contact group and residents agreed to meet again to hold Clarion, the new landlord to account.

Sheila McGregor 30th June

03 Jul 2017


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