Friday 18 August 2017

Grenfell Tower refurbishment project was 'disaster waiting to happen'

Former chairman of the tenancy organisation connected to Grenfell Tower, Reg Kerr-Bell
Former chairman of the tenancy organisation connected to Grenfell Tower, Reg Kerr-Bell

Jack Hardy

The former chairman of the tenancy organisation connected to Grenfell Tower has described recent refurbishment work as a "disaster waiting to happen".

Reg Kerr-Bell said he stood down from the Kensington and Chelsea Tenancy Management Organisation (TMO) several years ago over his concerns about the way it was run.

Just two days before the fatal blaze, he had spoken to a former colleague about their fears.

Mr Kerr-Bell said: "This is a scandal. This is one of the biggest scandals in the country - and it could have been avoided."

He added: "This refurbishment contract should never have been managed by TMO.

"It was too big for them. My great concern was about the viability of the project."

Firefighters spray water after a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block
Firefighters spray water after a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block

Read More: Baby ‘dropped from ninth or 10th floor’ caught by member of public as fire raged

He said he met a former director two days ago to discuss his concerns.

"We felt there was a disaster waiting to happen and we were going to have a meeting with the MP so that we could put these concerns to them.

"That was two days ago and today he phoned me and said: 'You will not believe what is going on'.

"It is not going to finish with this - this is just the start."

Read More: The missing: Worried relatives search for artist, her mum and 12-year-old girl after devastating London blaze

Bodies are removed from the scene after a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
Bodies are removed from the scene after a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower

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