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Grenfell Tower Enquiry

It looks to me like Corporate manslaughter charges will be coming for the manufacturer Celotex, (if Panorama claims are true).

They sold the cladding & insulation knowing it wasn't safe and lied in their marketing material.

How could they ? I mean seriously how could they ?

BBC1 tonight 8pm.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44200041
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Comments

  • Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!
  • edited May 21

    Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    The fire rated doors were also not as advertised either. These items will still have to get signed off by people and also installed by qualified tradesmen, to the manufacturers guidelines too (This part is the critical part) It will be interesting to see the final report and how the construction industry adapts.
  • Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    Grenfell Tower wasn't managed by Kensington & Chelsea Council and they did not commission, specify, procure or fund the project.


  • Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    The contractor was targeted and misled and was sold a product they were told had been tested and was safe.
    Absolute down right lies.

    One could argue that further tests should be carried out, but at this point in time to me that is debatable.

    If I bought let's say a fire retardant sofa I would 100% expect it to be fire retardant.

    I don't believe this is the time to be playing party politics.
    Asking these questions is not party politics - it is asking the questions that need asking. When is the right time? Never?
  • Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    The contractor was targeted and misled and was sold a product they were told had been tested and was safe.
    Absolute down right lies.

    One could argue that further tests should be carried out, but at this point in time to me that is debatable.

    If I bought let's say a fire retardant sofa I would 100% expect it to be fire retardant.

    I don't believe this is the time to be playing party politics.
    Asking these questions is not party politics - it is asking the questions that need asking. When is the right time? Never?
    Fair enough, sorry.
  • Amazing how times have changed. My first loves father was head surveyor for ICI Europe in the 70's & 80's. He told me that whenever i bought my first home to buy an ex council house as they were built to a better specification. Shows how greedy things have become since.
  • edited May 21
    cafc999 said:

    Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    The fire rated doors were also not as advertised either. These items will still have to get signed off by people and also installed by qualified tradesmen, to the manufacturers guidelines too (This part is the critical part) It will be interesting to see the final report and how the construction industry adapts.
    Every tower block I have been into the residents have replaced the flat doors, getting rid of the fire doors for something prettier. Firemen that I know who had the misfortune to go into Grenfell said the waste disposal chute area of each floor was untouched, these areas did not have windows but had their fire doors still in place.

    (EDIT) But people making uninformed decisions did not cause this fire, it may not have helped but somebody should pay for this disaster. Hopefully that will prevent it happening again. It does sound as though the producer of the cladding has misold a substandard product.
  • I know some leaseholders who pay maintenance on ex-council properties. They report that for the last 10 years or so, the quality of the work done has deteriorated greatly. Companies often don't come and do the work at all and tell the council they have done it and the council ignores or plays lip service to complaints. I have been told the companies not turning up to do maintanence is often good as these cowboys do more damage when they do show up! Somebody somewhere will have got a bonus for saving money without a care for the truth.

    Now this neglect is not dangerous like Grenfall, but in one case it was dangerous in that railings on a higher floor could have fallen down any minute and kids lived in the flats in question. The council had to be threatened to sort it out, the lease holders had to pay thousands for a job that if maintained properly wouldn't have needed doing.

    These are different cases and nobody has died, but this is how many councils - of all colours - work now.
  • Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    The contractor was targeted and misled and was sold a product they were told had been tested and was safe.
    Absolute down right lies.

    One could argue that further tests should be carried out, but at this point in time to me that is debatable.

    If I bought let's say a fire retardant sofa I would 100% expect it to be fire retardant.

    I don't believe this is the time to be playing party politics.
    If you think that, you haven't spent enough time on here...
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  • I know some leaseholders who pay maintenance on ex-council properties. They report that for the last 10 years or so, the quality of the work done has deteriorated greatly. Companies often don't come and do the work at all and tell the council they have done it and the council ignores or plays lip service to complaints. I have been told the companies not turning up to do maintanence is often good as these cowboys do more damage when they do show up! Somebody somewhere will have got a bonus for saving money without a care for the truth.

    Now this neglect is not dangerous like Grenfall, but in one case it was dangerous in that railings on a higher floor could have fallen down any minute and kids lived in the flats in question. The council had to be threatened to sort it out, the lease holders had to pay thousands for a job that if maintained properly wouldn't have needed doing.

    These are different cases and nobody has died, but this is how many councils - of all colours - work now.

    Major work projects on LA/HA blocks that have leaseholders have to go through a process (Section 20) which enables the leaseholders to query the works, specification, price and choice of Contractors, who carry out the works.

    95% of the time, the biggest issue the Leaseholders have is the cost - and therefore their share of that cost - and you'd be surprised at the alternatives they suggest should be used.
  • edited May 21
    I don't doubt that, but the leaseholders have busy lives and if they are told a contractor they don't know from Adam, how are they going to object. And I am saying that I know of people who have queried the works and have been bullshitted by the council. In one case the Council bloke came round and agreed the quality of the maintenance was a disgrace. Then during the e-mail follow up he went back on everything he said verbally ! Previously to that a different person came round and said the works were poor and that they would act on it and they did nothing and then denied they had promised to act on it!

    It was well documented that Grenfall tenants and leaseholders raised concerns about their safety and this is an area the inquiry has to go as well. Why were they not listened to?
  • Bit out of touch with this, but whatever happened to the questions regarding the source of the fire? And what happened to the occupier of the flat?
  • cfgs said:

    cafc999 said:

    Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    The fire rated doors were also not as advertised either. These items will still have to get signed off by people and also installed by qualified tradesmen, to the manufacturers guidelines too (This part is the critical part) It will be interesting to see the final report and how the construction industry adapts.
    Every tower block I have been into the residents have replaced the flat doors, getting rid of the fire doors for something prettier. Firemen that I know who had the misfortune to go into Grenfell said the waste disposal chute area of each floor was untouched, these areas did not have windows but had their fire doors still in place.

    (EDIT) But people making uninformed decisions did not cause this fire, it may not have helped but somebody should pay for this disaster. Hopefully that will prevent it happening again. It does sound as though the producer of the cladding has misold a substandard product.
    Possibly so but the enquiry will have to start with the facts on offer regarding the doors and the fire brigades report to see if they would last the specified time stated (all of the fire doors that i have installed in the last 5 years have had certificates)
  • It was a Hotpoint fridge/freezer that caught fire in a fourth floor flat.

    I understand the resident himself managed to escape.
  • This is another thing that needs looking at - there was a report recently saying many fridges are dangerous. Was there a design fault with that fridge? There are so many questions here. They need asking though.
  • This is another thing that needs looking at - there was a report recently saying many fridges are dangerous. Was there a design fault with that fridge? There are so many questions here. They need asking though.

    Which is why the enquiry is expected to last 2 years (I think).
  • And during that time, the questions have to be asked. And when conclusions have been come too before the end that have safety implications, they need to be released before the end of the inquiry IMO.
  • This is another thing that needs looking at - there was a report recently saying many fridges are dangerous. Was there a design fault with that fridge? There are so many questions here. They need asking though.

    It was a Hotpoint Fridge Freezer. The model was low risk and did not require any modifications - like, for instance, the recent issue with tumble driers. There will be more information coming out about the resident of this flat and his actions at the inquiry

    I also think it's probably best to leave the inquiry to come to it's conclusions rather make suppositions and posting nothing more than rumour and hearsay.
  • And during that time, the questions have to be asked. And when conclusions have been come too before the end that have safety implications, they need to be released before the end of the inquiry IMO.

    A lot of that has been dealt with in Dame Judith Hackitt's report which was released last week.
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  • Addickted said:

    This is another thing that needs looking at - there was a report recently saying many fridges are dangerous. Was there a design fault with that fridge? There are so many questions here. They need asking though.

    It was a Hotpoint Fridge Freezer. The model was low risk and did not require any modifications - like, for instance, the recent issue with tumble driers. There will be more information coming out about the resident of this flat and his actions at the inquiry

    I also think it's probably best to leave the inquiry to come to it's conclusions rather make suppositions and posting nothing more than rumour and hearsay.
    I heard Theresa May personally installed the cladding, not that I'm political point scoring or anything.

    Honestly, if it wasn't so tragic, it would be funny, rather than pathetic at best, and despicable at worst.
  • Addickted said:

    I know some leaseholders who pay maintenance on ex-council properties. They report that for the last 10 years or so, the quality of the work done has deteriorated greatly. Companies often don't come and do the work at all and tell the council they have done it and the council ignores or plays lip service to complaints. I have been told the companies not turning up to do maintanence is often good as these cowboys do more damage when they do show up! Somebody somewhere will have got a bonus for saving money without a care for the truth.

    Now this neglect is not dangerous like Grenfall, but in one case it was dangerous in that railings on a higher floor could have fallen down any minute and kids lived in the flats in question. The council had to be threatened to sort it out, the lease holders had to pay thousands for a job that if maintained properly wouldn't have needed doing.

    These are different cases and nobody has died, but this is how many councils - of all colours - work now.

    Major work projects on LA/HA blocks that have leaseholders have to go through a process (Section 20) which enables the leaseholders to query the works, specification, price and choice of Contractors, who carry out the works.

    95% of the time, the biggest issue the Leaseholders have is the cost - and therefore their share of that cost - and you'd be surprised at the alternatives they suggest should be used.
    I for one would say that if I was presented with 2 options, one that met the fire regulations plus a load of bells and whistles, and one that met fire regulations, with a cost implication, I would pick the one that met fire regulations. That's as someone who is a current leaseholder in a block of flats.

    The scandal here, as you say, is that people were lied to.
  • Bit out of touch with this, but whatever happened to the questions regarding the source of the fire? And what happened to the occupier of the flat?

    I heard that he hasn’t been seen since the day of the fire and that he’d packed his family away beforehand.

    Might be complete bollocks though.
  • He lived on his own
  • edited May 21
    Addickted said:

    Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    Grenfell Tower wasn't managed by Kensington & Chelsea Council and they did not commission, specify, procure or fund the project.


    I don’t think that’s true. Like many councils they had put an arm’s length management company in place, but senior councillors were all over the budget - as indeed they should have been.

    This wasn’t a housing association set-up, it was local authority housing managed by someone else on the council’s behalf. In my experience that means the council maintains a housing revenue account, legally distinct from its general fund, which is used to maintain the property. The council remains the owner of the buildings.

    This is what Wiki says:

    “The original contractor, Leadbitter, had been dropped by KCTMO because their price of £11.278 million was £1.6 million higher than the proposed budget for the refurbishment. The contract was put out to competitive tender. Rydon's bid was £2.5 million less than Leadbitter's.[36] An alternative cladding with better fire resistance was refused due to cost.[45] If the Leadbitter cladding had been used, fire experts maintain the fire would not have spread as it did and lives may not have been lost. The Conservative council rejected the bid for non combustible materials on cost grounds. The authority was in “robust” financial health, accounts for 2014 show. There were £235m in usable reserves and the budget for services was underspent by £23m.[46]
  • Addickted said:

    Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    Grenfell Tower wasn't managed by Kensington & Chelsea Council and they did not commission, specify, procure or fund the project.


    I don’t think that’s true. Like many councils they had put an arm’s length management company in place, but senior councillors were all over the budget - as indeed they should have been.

    This wasn’t a housing association set-up, it was local authority housing managed by someone else on the council’s behalf. In my experience that means the council maintains a housing revenue account, legally distinct from its general fund, which is used to maintain the property. The council remains the owner of the buildings.

    This is what Wiki says:

    “The original contractor, Leadbitter, had been dropped by KCTMO because their price of £11.278 million was £1.6 million higher than the proposed budget for the refurbishment. The contract was put out to competitive tender. Rydon's bid was £2.5 million less than Leadbitter's.[36] An alternative cladding with better fire resistance was refused due to cost.[45] If the Leadbitter cladding had been used, fire experts maintain the fire would not have spread as it did and lives may not have been lost. The Conservative council rejected the bid for non combustible materials on cost grounds. The authority was in “robust” financial health, accounts for 2014 show. There were £235m in usable reserves and the budget for services was underspent by £23m.[46]
    I've liked this not because it's nice but infuriatingly it is what I see happening daily. I've already said my piece on the Grenfell thread about how the sub it sub it approach and times that we live in, something horrible like this is always a gnats dick away.

    The fact that it seems the manufacturers and contractors seem likely to shoulder the blame is a whitewash. Those people didn't make the decisions, they are propelled by them and those decisions are made by elected councillors which is where the fucking buck has to stop. I guarantee it won't.

    Rich people with soft hands covered in a lot of poor people's blood. Again
  • Addickted said:

    Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    Grenfell Tower wasn't managed by Kensington & Chelsea Council and they did not commission, specify, procure or fund the project.


    I don’t think that’s true. Like many councils they had put an arm’s length management company in place, but senior councillors were all over the budget - as indeed they should have been.

    This wasn’t a housing association set-up, it was local authority housing managed by someone else on the council’s behalf. In my experience that means the council maintains a housing revenue account, legally distinct from its general fund, which is used to maintain the property. The council remains the owner of the buildings.

    This is what Wiki says:

    “The original contractor, Leadbitter, had been dropped by KCTMO because their price of £11.278 million was £1.6 million higher than the proposed budget for the refurbishment. The contract was put out to competitive tender. Rydon's bid was £2.5 million less than Leadbitter's.[36] An alternative cladding with better fire resistance was refused due to cost.[45] If the Leadbitter cladding had been used, fire experts maintain the fire would not have spread as it did and lives may not have been lost. The Conservative council rejected the bid for non combustible materials on cost grounds. The authority was in “robust” financial health, accounts for 2014 show. There were £235m in usable reserves and the budget for services was underspent by £23m.[46]
    OK - I accept that to an extent.

    Funding was controlled through K&C, but the majority of it was provided though additional funding from the CLG for the K&CTMO to achieve Decent Home Standards Plus. The financial health or otherwise of K&C Council is a red herring as the cost wasn't coming from their Capital budget directly.

    The proposed works were valued higher than that funding available and the TMO looked for alternatives to the Leadbitter bid.

    The Council were told that an alternative to the zinc composite cladding was available with similar characteristics, that complied with all the requirements of the Building Regulations and passed all relevant British Standards, but was it was £300k less.

    I'm not sure there would be a Council in the land of whatever colour who wouldn't chose that alternative at the time.
  • Carter said:

    Addickted said:

    Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    Grenfell Tower wasn't managed by Kensington & Chelsea Council and they did not commission, specify, procure or fund the project.


    I don’t think that’s true. Like many councils they had put an arm’s length management company in place, but senior councillors were all over the budget - as indeed they should have been.

    This wasn’t a housing association set-up, it was local authority housing managed by someone else on the council’s behalf. In my experience that means the council maintains a housing revenue account, legally distinct from its general fund, which is used to maintain the property. The council remains the owner of the buildings.

    This is what Wiki says:

    “The original contractor, Leadbitter, had been dropped by KCTMO because their price of £11.278 million was £1.6 million higher than the proposed budget for the refurbishment. The contract was put out to competitive tender. Rydon's bid was £2.5 million less than Leadbitter's.[36] An alternative cladding with better fire resistance was refused due to cost.[45] If the Leadbitter cladding had been used, fire experts maintain the fire would not have spread as it did and lives may not have been lost. The Conservative council rejected the bid for non combustible materials on cost grounds. The authority was in “robust” financial health, accounts for 2014 show. There were £235m in usable reserves and the budget for services was underspent by £23m.[46]
    I've liked this not because it's nice but infuriatingly it is what I see happening daily. I've already said my piece on the Grenfell thread about how the sub it sub it approach and times that we live in, something horrible like this is always a gnats dick away.

    The fact that it seems the manufacturers and contractors seem likely to shoulder the blame is a whitewash. Those people didn't make the decisions, they are propelled by them and those decisions are made by elected councillors which is where the fucking buck has to stop. I guarantee it won't.

    Rich people with soft hands covered in a lot of poor people's blood. Again
    I do think this is unfair. Councillors are not technical experts.

    This type of aluminium composite cladding has been used successfully for years on high rise buildings throughout Europe without any significant incidents. Indeed, I expect there are still dozens of buildings in London alone that are not deemed to be high rise but still have it.

    I know of a four year old, six storey building in Coulsdon with exactly the same ACM cladding as Grenfell. There was a fire on a balcony (believe it or not a resident was having a BBQ) which reached the cladding. Although badly scorched, it didn't actually ignite.

  • Addickted said:

    Carter said:

    Addickted said:

    Yes, but councils of all colours go for the lowest prices due to austerity forcing them to do so and they don't do the necessary checks or have the desire to ask the right questions. It is right the companies that play on this are punished but the blame goes beyond that. Having said that Kensington and Chelsea seemed to be much richer than most!

    Grenfell Tower wasn't managed by Kensington & Chelsea Council and they did not commission, specify, procure or fund the project.


    I don’t think that’s true. Like many councils they had put an arm’s length management company in place, but senior councillors were all over the budget - as indeed they should have been.

    This wasn’t a housing association set-up, it was local authority housing managed by someone else on the council’s behalf. In my experience that means the council maintains a housing revenue account, legally distinct from its general fund, which is used to maintain the property. The council remains the owner of the buildings.

    This is what Wiki says:

    “The original contractor, Leadbitter, had been dropped by KCTMO because their price of £11.278 million was £1.6 million higher than the proposed budget for the refurbishment. The contract was put out to competitive tender. Rydon's bid was £2.5 million less than Leadbitter's.[36] An alternative cladding with better fire resistance was refused due to cost.[45] If the Leadbitter cladding had been used, fire experts maintain the fire would not have spread as it did and lives may not have been lost. The Conservative council rejected the bid for non combustible materials on cost grounds. The authority was in “robust” financial health, accounts for 2014 show. There were £235m in usable reserves and the budget for services was underspent by £23m.[46]
    I've liked this not because it's nice but infuriatingly it is what I see happening daily. I've already said my piece on the Grenfell thread about how the sub it sub it approach and times that we live in, something horrible like this is always a gnats dick away.

    The fact that it seems the manufacturers and contractors seem likely to shoulder the blame is a whitewash. Those people didn't make the decisions, they are propelled by them and those decisions are made by elected councillors which is where the fucking buck has to stop. I guarantee it won't.

    Rich people with soft hands covered in a lot of poor people's blood. Again
    I do think this is unfair. Councillors are not technical experts.

    This type of aluminium composite cladding has been used successfully for years on high rise buildings throughout Europe without any significant incidents. Indeed, I expect there are still dozens of buildings in London alone that are not deemed to be high rise but still have it.

    I know of a four year old, six storey building in Coulsdon with exactly the same ACM cladding as Grenfell. There was a fire on a balcony (believe it or not a resident was having a BBQ) which reached the cladding. Although badly scorched, it didn't actually ignite.

    Maybe not, yet they make the decisions. It is It their job to be experts but it is absolutely their job to listen to experts.

    Replace Kensington and Chelsea councillors with board members at BT, Carillion, Enron. Same thing, soft, fat, gimlets making spreadsheet decisions that affect business longevity and human beings yet never held to account
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