especially in view of announcement in today’s Barnet press stating
The same cladding on Grenfell Tower is on a Barnet block of flats and businesses, it has been revealed.East Sussex company Harley Façade Ltd and its main contractor, Rydon, completed work on commercial building Merit House, Edgware Road between 2013 and 2015, adding the same waterproof cladding that wrapped Grenfell Tower..
But we as the voices of the residents and housing campaigns NEED TO FIGHT TO ENSURE that they are replaced – with decent, genuinely affordable, PUBLIC housing which are homes for the residents that were living there!!!
This tragedy MUST not be allowed to be an opportunity for those with power to socially cleanse the area – to gentrify with luxury homes for the rich and residents to be dispersed all over the country like pieces of furniture !!!
Labour councillors have submitted a member’s item to the 26 June Housing Committee calling for a review of fire safety at all Barnet Homes properties and housing association properties located in the borough following the fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington.
The member’s item from Cllr Ross Houston, the Labour Group Housing Spokesperson and Deputy Group Leader, also asks the Committee to look at what Barnet Council can and should be doing to ensure private blocks of flats have robust fire safety arrangements in place.
Cllr Ross Houston said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people who are affected by this terrible fire at Grenfell Tower.
Radical Housing Network, a London-wide alliance of groups fighting for housing justice, said the Grenfell fire was a tragic consequence of systematic disinvestment in council housing alongside disregard for council tenants safety and their concerns – and called for #JusticeforGrenfell.
The catastrophe at Grenfell Tower was foreseen by a community group on the estate. Just 7 months ago, Grenfell Action Group, a member of Radical Housing Network, warned that failings in the estate management organisation’s health and safety practices were a “recipe for a future major disaster”. These warnings were dismissed by Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) council.
It’s been revealed that Gavin Barwell, Conservative Chief of Staff and ex-Minister for Housing, ‘sat on’ a report warning that tower blocks were vulnerable to fire. Last year, Barwell was one of 312 Tory MPs who voted against making properties ‘fit for human habitation’.
Radical Housing Network called the fire a horrendous example of the consequences of a combination of government cuts, local authority mismanagement, and sheer contempt for council tenants and the homes they live in – and an indictment of London’s stark housing inequality.
A spokesperson for the Radical Housing Network said:
“The fire at Grenfell is a horrific, preventable tragedy for which authorities and politicians must be held to account. Grenfell’s council tenants are not second class citizens – yet they are facing a disaster unimaginable in Kensington’s richer neighbourhoods.
“This Government, and many before it, have neglected council housing, and treated tenants as if they were second class. Nationally and locally, politicians have subjected public housing to decades of systematic disinvestment – leaving properties in a state of disrepair, and open to privatisation. Regeneration, when it has come, has been for the benefit of developers and buy-to-let landlords, who profit from luxury flats built in place of affordable homes. Across London, regeneration has meant evictions, poor quality building work, and has left tenants with little influence over the future of their estates.
“The chronic underinvestment in council housing and contempt for tenants must stop. It is an outrage that in 21st Britain, authorities cannot be trusted to provide safe housing, and that people in council properties cannot put children safely to bed at night.
“We support demands for a public inquiry into this disaster – there must be Justice for Grenfell. We call for the immediate resignation of Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s Chief of Staff, alongside anyone else whose negligence has contributed to this tragedy.
“All Grenfell Tower residents must be offered secure, long-term local housing by RBKC, and the estate must be fully rebuilt so that no social housing is lost – this should not be an opportunity for the council to privatise homes, or for someone to make a quick buck.”
Notes for editors:
Grenfell Action Group outlined concerns on their blog over a series of posts, but were ignored by authorities. The group repeatedly warned the estate landlord, Kensington & Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation (KCTMO) of serious issues with fire safety in the blocks, highlighting the absence of basic fire protection measures including fire extinguishers and a building-wide fire alarm system. The local council, Royal Borough of Kensington Chelsea (RBKC), dismissed residents’ concerns as it pushed through a £8.6 million regeneration scheme.
Radical Housing Network is a London-wide network of campaigns fighting for housing justice. Grenfell Action Group is a member group of RHN.
Joe Beswick – 07873557040
Harriet Vickers – 07817724556
Jayaben Desai, in August 1977, outside the Grunwick factory, where she led a walkout and a long-running strike
As one of the sacked women workers employed by Grunwick, a film-processing firm based in north London, Jayaben fought for better pay, conditions and dignity for workers in 1976 and 1977, on behalf of 137 sacked and poorly paid Asian women. At first she and her fellow workers were not in a trade union, but after a visit to the Trades Union Congress, she and her workmates joined Apex, which is now part of the GMB. Their struggle was supported by Brent Trades Council.
This was the beginning of a legendary battle for trade union rights, it was to become a watershed for British trade unionism and Jayaben Desai was to become an inspiration to a generation of trade unionists, and beyond. Famously, she told her factory manager, “What you are running is not a factory, it is a zoo. But in a zoo there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your fingertips. Others are lions who can bite your head off. We are those lions, Mr Manager”. Jayaben Desai, union activist was born 2 April 1933 and died 23 December 2010.
This Black History celebration event will feature Jayaben Desai’s struggle and will allow some prominent modern day trade unionists to describe how she helped to shape their views and working lives. Kamaljeet Jandu will explore lessons for unions from that struggle in meeting the ongoing challenge of ‘organising migrant workers’ today. There will be plenty of time allowed for contributions from the audience.
Tim Roache General Secretary, GMB
Betty Joseph Chair, SERTUC Race Relations Committee and NUT
Kamaljeet Jandu National Equality Officer, GMB (Theme: Organising of, and organising with, migrant workers)
Megan Dobney SERTUC Regional Secretary
2 October 2017: 5.30pm for 6pm start, concluding with a short drinks reception 8pm-8.30pm
Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
Congress House is a fully accessible building. There is no charge for attending this event
If you wish to attend you must register by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling 020 7467 1220, or register by post to SERTUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
See SERTUC Resources at http://sertucresources.wordpress.com/ for information about other SERTUC events or publications
This may include not doing the following:
- applying for any advertised jobs
- speaking at or organising academic or other conferences
- giving lectures
- accepting positions as visiting professors or researchers
- writing for any academic journal which is edited at or produced by the institution in question
- accepting new contracts as external examiners for taught courses
- collaborating on new research projects.
For the avoidance of doubt, where any of the above or other related activities forms part of your contractual duties you should only refrain from doing them after your head of department (or line manager) has given you prior permission to do so. UCU is not asking or encouraging academics to act in breach of their contracts of employment. In the event of any doubt, before acting advice should be sought from the union or clarification sought from your line manager.
Important UCU members employed by London Metropolitan University must not participate in the academic boycott in order to protect their contractual position.
Please also note: London Metropolitan University amended boycott advice
As part of a last push to get people to register to vote, friends of Barnet Trades Council are going to meet outside Middlesex University on the Borroughs at 4pm on Thursday the 18th. Come and join in!