Tag Archives: Fiona Woolf

GRENFELL TOWER

London Tory council to charge tower block residents £4,000 to fit sprinklers

Leaseholders hit out at Wandsworth bills for post-Grenfell fire safety measures
11 November 2017

Independent report: response to Grenfell ‘disjointed and rudderless’

The council’s response to the Grenfell Tower disaster was “disjointed and seemingly rudderless” and it failed to engage with tenants before and after the fire, a damning independent report has said. 

https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/independent-report-response-to-grenfell-disjointed-and-rudderless-53082

Grenfell: report criticised ‘inadequate’ management 12 years before fire

 

Highly critical independent report into emergency lighting system at tower made public after long campaign by residents

A negligent approach to residents’ safety by the body responsible for managing Grenfell Tower was highlighted in a highly critical independent report 12 years before the fire, according to a document that has finally been made public after a protracted campaign by residents.

The report, compiled by Capita Symonds, suggested that torches with rechargeable batteries should be installed in every flat, wired to the mains to recharge, so that residents could use torches to escape. Neither Kensington and Chelsea council nor Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) would say whether the recommendation was followed, but residents say the torches were never installed.

The independent report into problems with the emergency lighting system at the tower was commissioned by the KCTMO in 2005 after two-thirds of the tower’s emergency lighting units failed a routine inspection.

It criticised the KCTMO and the contractor responsible for the block’s fire escape lighting, documenting “inadequate management”, “inadequate installation standards”, a “failure to acknowledge the importance of undertaking urgent remedial works” and a “lack of communication” between the block’s management and residents.

Khalid Ahmed, who escaped from the eighth floor, said not all the stairwell lights were working on the night of the fire. Other residents’ accounts suggest darkness compounded by thick smoke made escape difficult.

Francis O’Connor, the co-author of the Grenfell Action Group blog, which repeatedly warned of fire safety issues before the fire in June, said the problems identified in this report indicated “that a culture of complacency, negligence and incompetence was rife within the TMO and was not confined to fire safety issues. Complaints from tenants were legion.”

He said he was shocked to read the report, which provided the “most authoritative and comprehensive forensic evidence I had seen of how pervasive the maladministration was at the TMO”.

The report noted that because the tower’s emergency staircase had no natural light, the emergency lighting system was vital. It criticised the KCTMO for failing to prepare risk assessments that recognised that “residents and members of the public were continuously at risk” when the lighting system was defective.

The KCTMO’s response to the ongoing problem with the broken system “unfortunately did not reflect any urgency”, the report stated.

The document is significant because it provides an independent third-party assessment of management failures by KCTMO, which residents claim were problematic in 2005 and still ongoing in 2017.

The campaign to have it released also reveals a longstanding refusal by the KCTMO to make public documents concerning their management of the tower. It states that as a private organisation, it is not obliged to make information public.

Campaigners are angry that the KCTMO, which was the country’s largest tenant management organisation, looking after all of Kensington and Chelsea’s social housing stock – 10,000 properties – should have been able to shield itself from public scrutiny. Repeated requests from residents to see minutes of meetings where plans for the tower’s refurbishment were discussed were rejected.

O’Connor, who until 2013 lived on the Lancaster West estate, which encompasses Grenfell, and continues to co-author the Grenfell Action Group blog, first made a formal request for the lighting report the day after the fire. His request was refused by the TMO, then granted in principle on appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, then appealed by the KCTMO on the grounds that it was not subject to the FoI rules, a decision later upheld by the ICO. He only received it at the end of October after turning to an official at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who released it under freedom of information legislation.

O’Connor points out that the KCTMO’s insistence that it was not required to release information meant that he and fellow Grenfell Action Group campaigners were unable to scrutinise minutes of critical meetings where plans for the refurbishment of the block were discussed.

A request to see minutes of one refurbishment meeting was rejected in 2014. The meeting would have “contained references to the decision to replace the approved cladding and insulation with cheaper alternatives. This would have caused us to research the qualities of the alternative products and to discover that they were highly flammable and highly toxic when burning,” O’Connor said. “We would have raised hell about this, and who knows what the outcome of that hellraising might have been? This bitter truth is hard to live with.”

The KCTMO’s contract to manage social housing in the borough was terminated last month. Kensington and Chelsea council said: “This is a matter for the public inquiry and for the TMO. The council has recently taken responsibility for the Lancaster West estate following the Grenfell fire.

“We are working with residents and independent experts to ensure that we are making necessary improvements, and that all homes are safe and secure.”

A KCTMO spokesperson said: “Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation is a private company limited by guarantee and is therefore not a body which is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/01/grenfell-report-criticised-inadequate-management-12-years-before-fire?CMP=share_btn_tw

Rachael‏ @Rachael_Swindon

The hypocrisy of the Daily Mail for all to see for themselves.


 

£370 Million to restore a Palace

“essential”

Making Citizens houses fit for habitation,

no Money

Tory supporter says people on benefits shouldn’t live in the most desirable parts of London.

Scott Nelson‏ @SocialistVoice

The Queen has £10m stashed away in offshore accounts. Only this year she was given an £8m rise because £74m a year isn’t enough to live on.

Woman wearing a £1m hat with £10m stashed away in offshore accounts tells Britain to live within its means

Queen’s estate invested $13 million in offshore tax havens

Leaked documents published on Sunday suggest that the private estate of Queen Elizabeth II invested in offshore funds.

Revelations from the leak, which has been dubbed the Paradise Papers, were reported by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and outlets including The New York Times.

In Britain, the BBC said it had seen documents that show the Duchy of Lancaster, which provides the Queen with an income, had invested £10 million ($13.1 million) into funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

The documents have not been reviewed by CNN.

The Queen has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But the investments are potentially embarrassing for a royal family that closely guards its reputation.

“We operate a number of investments and a few of these are with overseas funds. All of our investments are fully audited and legitimate,” the Duchy of Lancaster said in a statement.

The Duchy added that the Queen, who is officially exempt from U.K. tax laws, “voluntarily pays tax” on income she receives from the estate.

The £519 million ($680 million) Duchy, which provides the Queen with an income to cover official expenses, says it invests primarily in commercial, agricultural and residential properties.

In the most recent fiscal year, the Duchy generated £19.2 million ($25 million) in net income according to its website.

Related: What you need to know about the Paradise Papers

One of the Duchy’s offshore investments has generated some controversy.

The BBC reported that the Duchy invested $7.5 million in Dover Street VI Cayman Fund LP in 2005. The fund, which invested in medical and tech companies, later put money into U.K. retailer BrightHouse.

The Duchy said its investment in the company is worth £3,208 ($4,200).

BrightHouse, which gave customers credit so they could buy its home furniture and appliances, was later forced to compensate consumers after the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority found it was not a responsible lender.

“We sincerely apologize to those customers who were affected,” the company said in October. “We’re absolutely determined that this doesn’t happen again and have made significant improvements over the last 18 months.”

The Duchy said in a statement that the investment in BrightHouse was made “through a third party,” and equates to just 0.0006% of the Duchy’s value.

The ICIJ noted in its report that “there are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts,” and it was not suggesting that any people or companies it named either broke the law or acted improperly.

David Pitt Watson, an executive fellow at the London Business School who focuses on responsible investments, said he “very much” doubts that the Queen knew where her money was invested.

Instead, she’s like “so many others who have a pension, or an investment account,” he said. “We just don’t know what is being done with it.”

The Paradise Papers reporting is similar to the Panama Papers, which in 2016 exposed cases involving celebrities and business executives who reportedly moved large chunks of their wealth into offshore tax havens.

The new project, which is based on more than 13.4 million documents dated from 1950 to 2016, covers a large number of global corporations and prominent people and their use of offshore accounts.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/06/news/queen-offshore-investments-paradise-papers/index.html

The London Economic‏ @LondonEconomic Nov 10

James Melville‏ @JamesMelville

Lost revenue in offshore tax havens is costing over £100bn a year – enough to eliminate extreme global poverty twice over.

Theresa May says no Government cash for sprinklers in tower blocks despite promises made after Grenfell

18 Oct 2017

‘How safe would she feel living on the 20th floor in my constituency with one staircase and no sprinklers?’ Prime Minister asked

Theresa May has confirmed there will be no Government cash to fit sprinklers in tower blocks, triggering accusations she has broken a promise made after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

It is “up to the council to make decisions”, the Prime Minister told MPs – amid a growing furore over the multi-million pound bills that town halls face.

Nottingham, Croydon and Wandsworth have all had multi-million pound requests turned – even after being advised to carry out works by their local fire brigades.

Nevertheless, until now, ministers had said they would consider help “where works are essential”, even as they resisted applications.

However, during Prime Minister’s Questions, Ms May gave a firm no after a plea for assistance from a Labour MP in Nottingham

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-sprinklers-money-grenfell-promise-broken-accusations-a8007501.html


Grenfell Tower fire was a ‘crime’ that should bring down the government declares head of the firefighters’ union

26 Sept 2017

Matt Wrack said ministers should have to give evidence to the public inquiry into the “atrocity” – and warned his members could boycott it

 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/grenfell-tower-fire-crime-should-11237179

Kensington and Chelsea council terminates contract with Grenfell Tower landlord

28 Sept 2017

Body ‘no longer has the trust of residents,’ says deputy council leader

The decision came on the same day it emerged that at least 18 children died in the fire, many of whom were siblings.

The Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) manages 9,760 homes in the borough, including the Lancaster West Estate, of which Grenfell is part.

The council has faced fierce criticism over the speed of its response to the fire and there was growing concern that only a small proportion of the residents had been rehoused.

The most recent victims of the fire to be identified include two sisters, two three-year-old girls, a boy aged six, a teenager and a woman in her 30s.

A number of the dead were siblings, with the fire wiping out complete families.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-council-ends-contract-landlord-chelsea-tenant-management-a7971001.html

Grenfell Tower Survivors Accuse Authorities Of ‘Serious Concerted Cover-Up’ 100 Days After Tragedy

22/09/2017

Death toll debate rages on.

Grenfell Inquiry: Experts Fear ‘Broken’ Fire Safety Laws Put Millions At Risk

One hundred days has done nothing to quell the anger felt by Grenfell Tower survivors who on Friday accused authorities of being engaged in a “serious, concerted cover-up” over the death toll. 

As residents prepared to mark the milestone with a candle lit gathering this afternoon, the group fighting for their rights, Justice4Grenfell, issued a strongly worded statement taking aim at authorities for “doing everything in their power to downplay the scale of the disaster and to dehumanise the victims and the survivors”.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/grenfell-tower-100-days-on_uk_59c4e2c9e4b06ddf45f71687?

Austerity and slashing red tape has rendered self-regulation ‘useless’,

11/9/2017

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/grenfell-inquiry-fire-safety-legislation_uk_599df3f1e4b06d67e33506d0

 

One day in… and Grenfell judge sparks ‘respect’ row

Discontent had begun brewing when the retired judge rejected calls for residents to be included as one of his team of assessors, telling the hearing it would ‘risk undermining my impartiality’.

…survivors branded the process a ‘whitewash’ and some stormed out of a community building near the tower in north Kensington, where the opening address was being live-streamed.

Where are the Grenfell donations? HSBC

Just 30% of Grenfell tower fire funds have reached victims

18 Aug 2017

Those entitled to payments include next-of-kin of those missing or dead and people who required hospital treatment

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/18/just-30-per-cent-of-grenfell-tower-fire-funds-have-reached-victims?CMP=twt_gu

It should not have required a calamity like Grenfell for people to start calling foul on this re-engineering of the city’s demography. Long before the country found itself discussing Grenfell’s dereliction — and of the contemptuous council response to a catastrophe of its own making, and the continuing imbroglio over the rehousing of survivors despite their borough’s surfeit of empty homes — the ramifications of London’s trajectory should have been the animating subject of its politics for the last decade.

Names of wealthy empty-home owners in Grenfell borough revealed

Kensington and Chelsea council list shows foreign royalty, financiers and offshore firms leaving London properties vacant

Duke’s Lodge mansion block, which used to house 26 flats, is owned by an offshore firm that is part of Christian Candy’s luxury property business

1 August 2017

Owners of the 1,652 properties listed as unoccupied by Kensington and Chelsea council include a Ukrainian billionaire fighting extradition to the US, a former mayor of New York, a high-profile luxury property developer and a senior television executive.

They include the distinctive former Brompton Road tube station building, once used as a top secret command centre for Winston Churchill, but which has been vacant since it was bought for £53m by the Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash in 2014.

The list of owners of vacant properties includes the former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who bought a seven-bedroom grade II*-listed mansion for £16m in 2015. Once home to the writer George Eliot, it boasts a baroque ceiling mural of Venus by James Thornhill, who painted the interior of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The names were revealed in a list that appears to have been accidentally sent by the council to multiple recipients, including the Guardian, and details the council tax information of the vacant homes and their 1,197 owners.

More than a third of the vacant homes (603) are recorded as having been empty for more than two years, with the owners paying a 50% premium on their council tax. A further 1,010 are classified as unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, while the other 39 have been unoccupied for less than a year, with building work in progress.

Some of the luxury properties identified as long-term empty are just a few hundred metres from the charred remains of Grenfell Tower, where at least 80 people died in June. Of the survivors only 12 households have been re-accommodated, with dozens still in temporary housing.

Other unoccupied properties are owned by offshore companies, including Dukes Lodge London Ltd, part of Christian Candy’s luxury property business, which is listed as owning 26 homes in a 1930s mansion block valued at £85m in 2015; and Smech Properties Ltd, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice-president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.

Some of the information in the council’s records appeared to be wrong.

“There is a clear public interest in better understanding the issue of empty homes in London’s over-heated property market, why they are being bought and left empty, and where the money is coming from.”

An additional council tax payment, worth 50% of the normal rate, is levied on homes left empty for more than two years. But for most properties this amounts to an extra few hundred pounds a year, and no more than £1,500, according to the council data, despite some of the properties being worth tens of millions of pounds.

Anna Powell-Smith, of Who Owns England, who analysed the data, said: “This is about our broken housing system. Many of these people are leaving their homes empty because they don’t need the rent, and in that situation we could reasonably ask them to contribute more. But we can only have a proper debate about fair levels of council tax with full transparent data on ownership and housing use.”

There are 64 homes listed as vacant in Notting Dale, the ward where Grenfell Tower stood. Of those, six are recorded as having been vacant for more than two years, and the remainder fall in the category of unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

The ward listed as having the highest number of long-term empty properties is Brompton and Hans Town, the area around Sloane Street, whose local councillors include the former council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown, who resigned after the Grenfell disaster. The ward has 100 homes listed as empty for more than two years and another 128 recorded as unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

To date, Kensington and Chelsea has made 169 offers of accommodation to the survivors of Grenfell, 46 of which have been accepted. Only twelve households have so far been rehoused.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/01/names-of-wealthy-empty-home-owners-in-grenfell-borough-revealed?CMP=twt_gu


Grenfell fire: Terms of reference published

15 Aug 2017

The actions of Kensington and Chelsea Council are to be considered in the Grenfell Tower fire inquiry, the government has announced.

The inquiry will also look at the adequacy of regulations, the tower’s recent refurbishment, and the response of authorities in the aftermath.

The judge heading the inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, previously said its scope could be much more limited.

Broader questions on social housing will not be in its terms of reference.

At least 80 people are thought to have died in the fire in North Kensington, west London, on 14 June.

Justice ‘vital’

Sir Martin suggested in a letter that wider consideration of social housing policy should not be included, despite the protestation of survivors.

The full terms of reference for the public inquiry, which have been accepted in full by the prime minister, are:

  • The cause and spread of the fire
  • The design, construction and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower
  • The scope and adequacy of the relevant regulations relating to high-rise buildings
  • Whether the relevant legislation and guidance were complied with in the case of Grenfell Tower
  • The actions of the local authority and other bodies before the tragedy
  • The response of the London Fire Brigade to the fire and the response of central and local government in the aftermath

Sir Martin had faced calls to step down as head of the Grenfell Tower inquiry

Residents and campaigners previously called for Sir Martin to resign from the inquiry, with the area’s MP, Emma Dent Coad, saying those affected needed “somebody we can trust”.

Shadow housing minister John Healey tweeted: “Deeply unsatisfactory for PM to set Grenfell Inquiry terms of ref to exclude housing policy failings – closing off criticism of govt policy.”

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham whose friend was among the dead, said he was “deeply disappointed” that the “narrow” terms of reference did not include the provision and management of social housing in the UK.

The inquiry has now officially begun and will hold its first hearing on 14 September, with an initial report by Easter.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40935955?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_breaking&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=news_central

Peter Apps‏ @PeteApps

Judge decided ‘after careful reflection’ not to include questions on broader social housing policy in Grenfell Inquiry

27 July 2017

David Lammy‏@DavidLammy


28 July 2017

Jail anyone found guilty of causing Grenfell Tower blaze, say survivors

 

Grenfell survivors and relatives of victims today welcomed a corporate manslaughter investigation but called for jail sentences for anyone found guilty of causing the blaze

Campaigners have urged police to also consider gross negligence manslaughter charges against individuals, which can carry prison sentences if convicted. The maximum sentence for corporate manslaughter is a fine.

“We want to see individuals who took the decisions which led to so many dying to face justice. We want individuals in the dock and for them to go to prison.”

Yvette Williams, of the Justice 4 Grenfell campaign group, said: “We welcome that there is enough information and evidence to go down the corporate prosecution route.

“However, what we would like to see running alongside that is individuals being prosecuted. We want individuals named and prosecuted.”

The Metropolitan Police said its letter to those affected outlining the investigation was “simply an update” and “should not be taken to conclude that the identified offences and organisations are the only offences, organisations or individuals that are being investigated”.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/jail-anyone-found-guilty-of-causing-grenfell-tower-blaze-say-survivors-a3598501.html


 

A statement circulated to those involved said an “initial assessment” of seized material and witness statements had allowed police to conclude that each organisation may have committed the offence.

Both organisations will be questioned under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

“We have seized a huge amount of material and taken a large number of witness statements,” the letter to those affected by the disaster said.

“After an initial assessment of that information, the officer leading the investigation has today notified Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea TMO that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organisation may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

“In due course, a senior representative fo each corporation will be formally interviewed by police in relation to the potential offence.”

It was unclear which senior figures will be interviewed by police and the legislation does not allow for the arrest of any individual.

A Met Police spokesperson told The Independent:  This is a complex and far reaching investigation that by its very nature will take a considerable time to complete.

“As is routine, we will not give a running commentary on this investigation.”

Samia Badani, residents association chair for Bramley House – a block that overlooks the tower – told The Independent the move was a positive step forward for the community.

“I’m very pleased, I think over the years we have had a very good relationship with local police and the relationship with the council is the opposite,” she said.

“We are so bruised in the community that we needed some reassurances so it’s a step forward.”

It comes after a number of stakeholders from both RBKC and the TMO resigned in the wake of the tragedy over accusations they ignored a catalogue of warnings over fire safety.

RBKC chief executive Nicholas Holgate was the first to step down in the aftermath over the borough’s handling of the fire.

“Despite my wish to have continued, in very challenging circumstances, to lead on the executive responsibilities of the council, I have decided that it is better to step down from my role, once an appropriate successor has been appointed,” he said in a statement on 21 June.

A week later, TMO leader Robert Black stepped aside to “concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry”, followed by RBKC leader Nick Paget-Brown and deputy leader Rock Feilding-Mellen just hours later.

Council leader Elizabeth Campbell said she would fully support the Met’s investigation.

“Our residents deserve answers about the Grenfell Tower fire and the police investigation will provide these. We fully support the Metropolitan Police investigation and we will cooperate in every way we can,” she said.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further on matters subject to the police investigation.”

The news comes after family and friends of five of those killed in the blaze, including two child victims, gathered to remember their loved ones.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, joined a congregation in north Kensington, little more than half a mile from the scene of the disaster.

The lives of artist Khadija Saye, her mother Mary Mendy, Berkti Haftom and her 12-year-old son Beruk, as well as five-year-old Isaac Paulos were being celebrated at the ecumenical service in St Helen’s Church.

The service opened with a recording of Michael Jackson’s “Heal The World”, and the Gospel For Grenfell choir later sang a number of well-known songs including “Something Inside So Strong”.

Ms Saye’s cousin Adelaide Mendy recalled the fear and panic on the night of the fire, and her desperate hope that her relatives would not be caught up in it.

She told those gathered: “I felt an excruciating and an almost unbearable pain. I felt powerless at the thought that there was nothing else that I could’ve done.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/grenfell-tower-fire-latest-news-corporate-manslaughter-kensington-council-kctmo-met-police-a7863616.html

Combustible Cladding – Early Warnings Ignored!

There has been a good deal of controversy lately over the proposed public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire which claimed an as yet undetermined number of lives and left many hundreds more homeless and traumatised. The controversy began with the appointment, despite widespread resistance in the Lancaster West community, of a retired judge, Martin Moore-Bick as head of the inquiry, an establishment figure whose previous actions revealed him to be seriously lacking in the empathy necessary to earn the trust of the local community.

The Moore-Bick controversy was further fed by statements he made (reported in the Independent on 29th June) that the inquiry would be “…limited to the problems surrounding the start of the fire and its rapid development in order to make recommendations about how this sort of thing can be prevented in future.” Judge Moore-Bick added that he was aware that local residents were demanding much wider terms of reference and expressed doubts that the the planned inquiry could satisfy those demands.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-judge-sir-martin-moore-bick-public-inquiry-residents-satisfy-victims-families-a7815056.html

The controversy deepened with the appointment of a new panel of technical experts to advise the government on fire safety issues. Half of the members of this panel are tainted by their links to a company called BRE Ltd which, for many years, has been paid by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to provide advice on fire safety. The Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE) was formerly a British Government research body, but was privatised in 1997.  It appears that BRE Global has since been paid at least £250,000 by the DCLG for fire safety advice.

Dr Peter Bonfield, Chief Executive of BRE Global, will sit on the expert panel alongside Sir Ken Knight, who is a trustee of BRE’s charitable parent company, the BRE Trust. According to Sky News and the Mail online BRE raised concerns in April 2016 that the use of combustible cladding on buildings was increasing, but they considered the current regulations to be adequate.

http://news.sky.com/story/grenfell-lawyer-questions-role-of-two-experts-10938353

We wanted to see this report for ourselves so we searched for it and found it online. The report was in two parts, the second more technical part of which described only limited controlled testing of single components of a cladding system but not of the entire system. Not exactly the rigorous and fully comprehensive testing one might expect given the risks involved in the widespread use of highly combustible cladding systems. The conclusions were presented in part 1 of the report and stated that:

“There is currently no evidence to suggest that the current recommendations, to limit vertical fire spread up the exterior of high-rise buildings, are failing in their purpose.”

FI—External-Fire-Spread-Part-1

FI—External-Fire-Spread-Part-2

However, to our great surprise, while searching for the 2016 BRE report, we stumbled upon another much earlier report, also commissioned from BRE by the Blair government in 1999/2000. The conclusions of that report were as follows:

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmenvtra/109/10907.htm

Clearly the advice to government from BRE Ltd in 2016 had changed markedly from that offered in 2000, perhaps because the ‘worst case scenario’ had failed to materialise by that time, but as the whole world now knows, it  did materialise, just a year later on 14th June 2017, in the worst fire disaster to strike the UK in living memory, with an undetermined number of fatalities, widely believed in the community to be in excess of 100 souls.

Alternatively, this latest BRE guidance may have been designed to accommodate a notorious policy of the current government commonly referred to as the ‘Bonfire of the Regulations’ – a policy of deliberate widespread deregulation designed to cut costs for business and industry regardless of its negative impact on public health and safety.

As reported in the Guardian on 14th June:

“A 2015 survey by the Fire Sector Federation, a forum for fire and rescue organisations, found that 92% of its members believed the UK Building Regulations were ‘long overdue an overhaul’, claiming that they do not reflect today’s design and construction methods and that research underpinning the guidance is out of date.”

The coroner in the Lakanal House case in 2009, in which six people died, including three children, also called for a thorough review as the evidence pointed to a risk of further deaths in the future unless changes were made, with about 4,000 tower blocks in the UK remaining subject to outdated regulations.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/14/disaster-waiting-to-happen-fire-expert-slams-uk-tower-blocks

It seems from the above that BRE Ltd have been too closely associated with central government, both Labour and Tory, for far too long while calls from other interested parties for reform of the building regulationse have been ignored. Indeed BRE clearly became part of the problem, rather than the solution, when they declared in 2016 that the regulations were fit for purpose.

In our opinion BRE are not fit to advise the government on fire safety issues and neither Peter Bonfield, the CEO of BRE Ltd, nor Ken Knight of the BRE Trust, should have been appointed to the technical panel convened after the Grenfell Tower fire. Perhaps the Fire Sector Federation, which appears to have far more integrity, might be willing to volunteer some of its more highly experienced  members to sit on the new panel. We believe the Lancaster West community would be more inclined to trust a reformed panel to provide the kind of competent technical advice that is so urgently needed.

http://firesectorfederation.co.uk/about/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/combustible-cladding-early-warnings-ignored/

Tower block owners can conceal failed safety tests

29 July 2017

The government revealed that 82 buildings used the same cladding and insulation as Grenfell Tower

Residents of dozens of unsafe tower blocks could be kept in the dark about failed fire safety tests because commercial interests mean that housing associations will not be forced to reveal which buildings are dangerous.

The government revealed yesterday that 82 buildings had been found to use the same combination of cladding and insulation as Grenfell Tower, which failed the fire safety test used under present guidelines.

The latest tests were more rigorous than those carried out previously, looking at the whole system rather than just cladding, which has been widely blamed for spreading the fire that killed at least 80 people. Cladding panels on 149 tower blocks had already been found to be combustible.

A review of building regulations and fire safety was launched…


Firefighters speak for the first time about the Grenfell Tower blaze in documentary


About Grenfell Tower A Report by Architects for Social Housing

July 2017

https://architectsforsocialhousing.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/the-truth-about-grenfell-tower4.pdf


In one of the richest boroughs in the country, in one of the richest countries in the world – children, fathers and grandmothers were crammed into a death trap.

link

Britain remains a country that murders its poor. When four separate government ministers are warned that Grenfell and other high rises are a serious fire risk, then an inferno isn’t unfortunate. It is inevitable.

What happened wasn’t a “terrible tragedy” or some other studio-sofa platitude: it was social murder.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/engels-britain-murders-poor-grenfell-tower

Photo published for People are comparing the Grenfell victims fund with the £369m Buckingham Palace refurbishment

 

Sam WolfsonVerified account @samwolfson

The richest borough in the UK let residents burn to death to save £5000. Michael Gove claimed £7000 in expenses to furnish his home.

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC‏ @IanKerr

The Royal Borough Of Kensington and Chelsea. Grenfell


Grenfell Tower fire: Government’s safety advisers ‘are not neutral’, says academic

A fire science expert says the company testing cladding and insulation after the Grenfell Tower fire has a conflict of interest.

18 July 2017

The company testing cladding and insulation for the Government after the Grenfell Tower fire has a conflict of interest and is not neutral, according to a respected academic.

Professor Richard Hull, a chemistry and fire science expert from the University of Central Lancashire, has accused the Building Research Establishment (BRE) of having an “unhealthy” mixture of commercial and advisory roles.

He made the claim after Sky News established that the BRE wrote a report saying there was no case for regulating toxic smoke from plastic insulation, at the same time as being paid by plastic insulation companies.

Sky News revealed last month that the insulation on Grenfell Tower gave off deadly hydrogen cyanide gas, and at least three victims had been treated for cyanide poisoning.

There are currently no regulations on the volume of smoke produced by insulation or the danger it can pose.

BRE was recruited by the European Commission “to evaluate the need to regulate… on the toxicity of smoke produced by construction products in fires”.

Its final draft report says “there would be limited benefits” from any new regulations, which could “increase costs”.

It concludes that its study found no agreed case for regulating toxic smoke, which could “potentially remove some products from the market”.

BRE, a UK charity with a £48m turnover, is paid for fire testing by some of the biggest foam insulation manufacturers.

concerns from a lawyer acting for some of the Grenfell Tower victims about key BRE figures appointed by the Government to give building safety advice since the disaster.

Jolyon Maugham QC said BRE trustee Sir Ken Knight and chief executive Peter Bonfield were “tainted by association” through their links to advice given to ministers last year that combustible material on tower blocks was acceptable because building controls were “adequate”.

BRE also sells access to an improved set of fire safety standards that could have prevented the Grenfell Tower disaster while advising the Government on building regulations.

The head of the Fire Protection Association, Jonathan O’Neill, told Sky News that the improved standards address shortcomings in the statutory regulations that Grenfell Tower relied on.

http://news.sky.com/story/grenfell-tower-fire-governments-safety-advisers-are-not-neutral-says-academic-10953192

Grenfell Tower Fire Victims
“You’ve let the dead down, now you want to come for the living?” Grenfell Tower victims call for council leader to stand down, minutes after she took up the position
HRH Crafty Muvva‏ @craftymuvva
Well, well, well.. New leader of RBKC council was warned of a potential disaster whilst councillor & rolled her eyes in response.#Grenfell
Image result for RBKC leader Elizabeth Campbell

Truth Miner‏ @truth_miner

New leader Elizabeth Campbell was a member of the Kirkhope Commission. for

Rachael Vebables@rachaelvenables

Nicolai‏ @nickh1877

Grenfell Disaster Supremo’s long association with Virgin Islands Tax-Haven.

Grenfell Residents suffer on.

@OwenJones84 @jeremycorby @RBKC

Latest victim of the Grenfell Tower fire to be officially identified by police named as Majorie Vital

Police considering manslaughter charges over Grenfell Tower fire

The investigation

This is one of the largest and most complex investigations that the Metropolitan police has ever undertaken. There are currently over 250 specialist investigators working on all aspects of this investigation. It will establish how the fire started and the speed and spread that it took hold of that building.

There are two points of priority for me: the speed that it spread through the building but also the internal safety aspects of that building. On the first point: we are examining with experts the aluminium cladding and the insulation behind the cladding; how the tiles were fixed to the building; and how it was installed.

Cladding failed test

Preliminary tests on the insulation samples collected from

Grenfell Tower show that they combusted soon after the test started. The initial test on the cladding tiles also failed the safety tests. Such are our safety concerns on the outcome of those tests, we have shared our data with the department of communities and local government, and we have ensured that that information data has been shared with every council.

Every organisation involved in refurbishment being investigated

In terms of seizing relevant material from a number of organisations I can confirm that that has already started.

If I find out that individuals or organisations have committed offences then I must be in a position to prosecute without prejudice to any proceedings. We are looking at every criminal offence from manslaughter onwards. We are looking at every health and safety and fire safety offences and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

We are not raiding. We have seized documents.

Here’s audio of the Scotland Yard press conference on the Grenfell Tower fire.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2017/jun/23/merkel-says-mays-offer-on-eu-citizens-is-a-good-start-live-updates?CMP=twt_gu


Rachael @Rachael_Swindon

Theresa May’s refusal to suspend Gavin Barwell is an insult to the victims of Grenfell. Unforgivable behaviour. #BarwellMustGo

https://youtu.be/AKg0OheeyN0

Leigh Pickett @Leigh_Pickett

Not even a glimmer of remorse Gavin Barwell

Tracy  @WinnieWoos

He could have just stopped and talked to reporter, he could have showed some empathy surely? His lack of words speak volumes.

Ronnie King said requests for urgent meetings were repeatedly turned down by former housing minister Gavin Barwell (pictured) 

Ronnie King, who was chief fire officer for 20 years and is now secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on fire safety,

said requests for urgent meetings were repeatedly turned down by former housing minister Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s top aide.

Glyn Evans, a Fire Brigades Union Official, warned MPs that the fire will ‘spread vertically’ when cladding is on the exterior of a building.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4614944/Gavin-Barwell-IGNORED-fire-safety-fears-Grenfell.html

Action group calls for urgent arrest of Barwell over Grenfell fire

Hard-hitting report calls for transparent investigation among the ‘links in the chain of culpability’, as it alleges a cover-up has already begun

Gavin Barwell: has questions to answer over the Grenfell Tower

Gavin Barwell, who until last month was the Conservative MP for Croydon Central, should be arrested immediately and his documents and computer records from his time as housing minister seized and investigated for any evidence of a role in the Grenfell Tower fire.

And “where necessary”, a hard-hitting report published today states, Barwell should be  “put on trial in a criminal court”.

ASH – Architects for Social Housing – has campaigned long and hard against the social cleansing of council estates in Southwark, Lambeth and across the country. Today, they  published their report, The Truth About Grenfell Tower, which includes a list of around 60 politicians, civil servants, local authority officials and private contractors and consultants, who it believes should be thoroughly and transparently investigated, or the country risks another disaster with another high death toll.

Barwell was housing minister for a year, during which time he gave an undertaking to “look at” recommendations from a coroner’s inquest, after a previous tower block fire in London, which in 2011 said that the retro-fitting of sprinklers in all tall residential towers could save lives. Barwell never did get round to acting on the sprinkler recommendation.

Despite such failure, since losing his parliamentary seat at the General Election Barwell has been handed another political job, as the chief of staff to the interim Prime Minister.

Now, his name is on the ASH arrest list, together with a predecessor as housing minister, Brandon Lewis, plus Eric Pickles, the former local government secretary, and three directors of Rydon, the company responsible for the cladding work conducted at Grenfell Tower, as well as Richard Blakeway, formerly the deputy mayor for housing under Boris Johnson, and most of the members of the housing committee at Kensington and Chelsea over the past six years.

ASH is particularly concerned that the public inquiry ordered by the government into the Grenfell tragedy will only serve as a cover-up operation. “The first thing the announcement of a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has done… is to have removed all transparency and accountability for the investigation from public scrutiny and placed it in the hands of the very people who are responsible for this crime.”

Grenfell Tower in Kensington. ASH suggests a cover-up has already begun

ASH says that the cover-up has already begun. “As we have indicated throughout this report, much of the information gathered here is no longer available on the websites of the private companies and public bodies involved. The same chain of corruption that led to hundreds of residents burning to death because rich people didn’t want to acknowledge their existence is being repeated in the chain of secrecy that will… absolve the links in that chain of all responsibility for those deaths.”

They draw a comparison with the inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster; it took more than a quarter of a century before those responsible for the 96 deaths at a football match in Sheffield were charged with their crimes.

“We believe that one of the ways we can honour the memory of the dead is to identify and change the system that caused their deaths. If we don’t, this will not be the last loss of life we see on London’s council estates,” ASH warns.

Like many of the Grenfell survivors, ASH wants a coroner’s inquest, as happened after the Lakanal fire in Southwark.

“It seems that, whether by public inquiry or coroner’s inquest, the truth about Grenfell Tower is unlikely to be revealed soon, if ever,” ASH states in its conclusions.

“While the public inquiry to which the public is barred deliberates on what terms of reference it feels inclined to investigate, now might be the time to set up a ‘People’s Inquiry’ in order to address in public the question so many people are demanding be answered: who is responsible for the Grenfell Tower fire?”

Warnings about the risks and dangers of a fire in Grenfell Tower, from residents, the parliamentary fire advisory group and the London Fire Brigade have all “fallen on the deaf ears of politicians and civil servants who have shown neither morality nor responsibility, each and every one of whom should be investigated and questioned about their role in this disaster”.

The ASH report is particularly damning of the regeneration policies of many local authorities – Labour as well as Tory – and how such policies tend to see private contractors constantly seeking to drive down costs in search of ever greater profit margins, all the while potentially compromising on safety measures. In the case of Grenfell Tower, that regeneration policy took on a particularly perverse form: “The appearance of the tower from the outside that had been identified as artificially depressing the potential residual land values in the area received nearly £8.7million for a face lift.”

What they call “the links in the chain of culpability” lead all the way to the Department of Communities and Local Government, where Barwell worked as housing minister.

ASH accuses the DCLG and its ministers of placing “the deregulation of fire safety standards – which in their eyes represented an unnecessary obstacle to the profits to be made from the UK housing boom – above the safety of residents”.

ASH describes this as “systemic corruption that threatens the homes and lives of hundreds of thousands of estate residents across the UK”, and they call for “every individual culpable in this lethal chain of greed and criminal negligence should be arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced – rather than, as is currently happening, being allowed to resign on a severance package”, as has already happened at Kensington and Chelsea.

https://insidecroydon.com/2017/07/21/action-group-calls-for-urgent-arrest-of-barwell-over-grenfell-fire/

From May 11 2017

A stark warning

Coroner Frances Kirkham wrote to then Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, flagging up several areas of concern.

  @ericpickles

Why did you ignore the tower block fire risks report? 

Tory minister Eric Pickles spends £500,000 on luxury limos in three years

The Communities Secretary spent £247,775 on two ministerial cars in 2012, £185,935 in 2013, and £103,091 in the first six months of this year

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-minister-eric-pickles-spends-4600153

skuttlebucket‏ @AgeWait

This Inquiry ‘MUST’ place the following at the centre of its investigations: Eric Pickles Part 1

Eric Pickles Part2


Sky News Newsdesk

The Fire Brigades Union has called for a full judicial inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire


Another safe pair of hands for the establishment...

Grenfell fire inquiry to be led by retired appeal court judge

Thursday 29 June 2017

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster will be led by retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

The appointment of Sir Martin, who was a commercial lawyer before becoming a judge, was officially confirmed on Thursday morning.

Theresa May insists residents will be given a say over the direction of the Grenfell inquiry.

http://news.sky.com/story/grenfell-fire-inquiry-to-be-led-by-retired-appeal-court-judge-10930620

Sir Martin Moore-Bick will head the inquiry. Pic: Pegasus Scholarship Trust

 

Sir Martin Moore-Bick is a father of four who has held several high-profile positions over a career spanning five decades

Born in December 1946 and educated at Christ’s College, Cambridge, he was called to the bar in 1969.

Sir Martin began his legal career specialising in commercial contracts and went on to be appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1986.

He sat as a Deputy High Court judge before he was appointed to the High Court in October 1995.

The father-of-four had served in the Commercial Court of the High Court before he joined the Court of Appeal in April 2005.

There, he was an adviser to two Lord Chancellors: Lord Falconer and Jack Straw.

Sir Martin has handled prominent cases in the past – one of which saw him rule on a challenge brought by the family of Mark Duggan over police procedures following fatal shootings by officers.

He most recently held the title of Lord Justice of Appeal, retiring last December.

http://news.sky.com/story/who-is-sir-martin-moore-bick-the-top-judge-leading-the-grenfell-inquiry-10930893

May picks controversial judge for Grenfell inquiry The Times 29-06-17, p1

Grenfell Tower inquiry judge has controversial history in housing cases

Former court of appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, 70, chosen to preside over public inquiry into tower block fire

 Sir Martin Moore-Bick, a judge accused of supporting the social cleansing of London, to head inquiry into the GrenfellTower fire.
Sir Martin Moore-Bick

Among his more controversial cases was a decision allowing Westminster council to rehouse a tenant 50 miles away in Milton Keynes. It was later overturned by the supreme court.

The former senior judge has in the past been praised by the justice minister, Dominic Raab.

There were reports that there had been a delay in announcing his appointment because of concerns in Downing Street over his record on the bench.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/28/grenfell-tower-inquiry-judge-retired-martin-moore-bick

HRH Crafty Muvva‏ @craftymuvva

Some would say it’s almost as if they’ve gone out of their way to appoint the most unsuitable person for the job.

Rhianydd‏ @dryducks

Just as she did as Home Sec with the CSAinquiry – how many times does she get it wrong!? Must be deliberate, wants to scupper inquiry!


This is about something much, much bigger… And the reason for this is that it’s the government which is allowed to set the terms of the inquiry.

It is the government which is allowed to vet the chair of the inquiry.

We don’t allow defendants in a criminal trial to determine which charges they’re going to be tried on. We don’t allow them to vet the judge.

The government should have no role whatsoever in these decisions, because basically it is then being asked to judge its own failures. And that, it will never do.

The crack team tasked with ripping up public protections

what happened at Grenfell Tower as “mass murder”, caused by stripping away “public protections, which prevent lots of people from being incinerated”.

And he says there are journalists, organisations, and government officials whose job it is to strip them away. Monbiot points to those sitting on the Red Tape Initiative (RTI) project as an example. This is a cross-party group with considerable Tory influence and dubious conflicts of interest:

  • Sir Oliver Letwin, Conservative MP who set up the RTI.
  • Charles Moore, former editor of The Telegraph and former chair of Policy Exchange. Also Letwin’s best man.
  • Archie Norman, former Conservative MP and co-founder of Policy Exchange.
  • Greg Clark, Conservative MP, Business Secretary and former Communities Secretary.
  • Michael Gove sat on the panel prior to becoming Secretary of State for the Environment. And he was the first chairman of Policy Exchange.

Policy Exchange has on several occasions promoted deregulation.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/07/12/george-monbiot-pulls-apart-entire-tory-culture-led-grenfell-fire-video/


HRH Crafty Muvva‏ @craftymuvva


Residents of #GrenfellTower chose fire-resistant cladding during the initial stages. An alternative was fitted instead. WHY! @RBKC?


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4xRoROVYAAdlTe.jpg

Grenfell cladding boss is a government adviser

01 July 2017

A senior executive from the company that made the insulation boards fitted to Grenfell Tower is an adviser to the government on building regulations.

Image result for Mark Allen, technical director of Saint Gobain U

Mark Allen, technical director of Saint Gobain UK, which makes Celotex insulation, is on the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC), which advises Sajid Javid, the communities and local government secretary.

Scotland Yard said last week that its investigation into the fire, which claimed at least 80 lives, had found that the Celotex RS 5000 insulation boards fitted in a large refurbishment project had proved highly flammable. Although classified as “low risk” in terms of fire, police said “the insulation samples collected from Grenfell Tower combusted soon after the test started”.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/grenfell-cladding-boss-is-a-government-adviser-8595vlh2t


Don’t tell anyone about the fire risks: Safety consultant hired to inspect Grenfell Tower urged council to hide failings – and he’s an ex-firefighter

  • Carl Stokes was paid £250,000 to inspect Grenfell Tower for any risks of fire
  • But former Oxfordshire Fire Service worker plotted with council to hide failings
  • Fire safety expert Arnold Tarling said attitude of Stokes ‘absolutely stinks’

Pictured: Carl Stokes, the fire consultant paid £250,000 to inspect Grenfell Tower 

Carl Stokes, the fire consultant paid £250,000 to inspect Grenfell Tower 

The fire risk assessor responsible for Grenfell Tower conspired with council housing chiefs to hide safety failings at the building in which at least 80 people died, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Fire consultant Carl Stokes, who was paid £250,000 to inspect the high-rise block, plotted with Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) to hide the failings from both residents and London Fire Brigade.

Remarkably, his advice not to disclose life-threatening fire risks was backed by housing chiefs, who were looking to avoid safety improvements which they considered unnecessary.

The Mail on Sunday has obtained a copy of a Fire Risk Assessment for Grenfell Tower, submitted by Mr Stokes to KCTMO in November 2012, in which he advises officials to exploit a legal loophole.

Under the heading ‘Legal Statement’, he wrote: ‘You do not have to give a copy of your fire risk assessment to anybody, not even the fire authority, if you do give them a copy this could be used against you at a later date.’

Mr Stokes, who served for many years with Oxfordshire Fire Service, then explained that withholding his report from London Fire Brigade was important because they ‘have the power to undertake an audit of the fire risk assessment to determine if it is suitable and sufficient or not’.

Remarkably, his advice not to disclose life-threatening fire risks was backed by housing chiefs, who were looking to avoid safety improvements which they considered unnecessary.

The Mail on Sunday has obtained a copy of a Fire Risk Assessment for Grenfell Tower, submitted by Mr Stokes to KCTMO in November 2012, in which he advises officials to exploit a legal loophole.

Under the heading ‘Legal Statement’, he wrote: ‘You do not have to give a copy of your fire risk assessment to anybody, not even the fire authority, if you do give them a copy this could be used against you at a later date.’

Mr Stokes, who served for many years with Oxfordshire Fire Service, then explained that withholding his report from London Fire Brigade was important because they ‘have the power to undertake an audit of the fire risk assessment to determine if it is suitable and sufficient or not’.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4657984/Grenfell-safety-consultant-urged-council-hide-failings.html

Mr Stokes was recommended to KCTMO directors by housing official Janice Wray as “willing to challenge the fire brigade on our behalf if he considered their [safety] requirements to be excessive.”

Mr Stokes is the director and sole shareholder of C S Stokes and Associates Ltd.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-risk-assessor-carl-stokes-buried-fire-risk-report-kensington-and-chelsea-tenant-a7819386.html

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

February 2016

Grenfell Tower

The TMO’s clerk of works will sign off Rydon’s work

Grenfell Tower The external cladding and window frames were passed on 15 May by the Council’s building control officer.

Grenfell Tower Tony Batty & Jon White monitored progress & ensured quality of work


 

The Government was told last year by its own fire investigators that tower blocks were covered in flammable material

June 26 2017

The Government was told last year by its own fire investigators that tower blocks were covered in flammable material – but were also told building regulations were “adequate”.

The advice was given by the same fire risk experts who are currently testing the cladding on 600 tower blocks – and so far failing every one of them.

The reports were sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in April 2016 by BRE Global, formerly the Government’s Building Research Establishment, which went on to reassure ministers that building controls, which BRE has influenced since 1948, were “adequate”.

The documents seen by Sky News show that in last year’s study of tower block fire safety it concluded: “With the exception of one or two unfortunate cases, there is currently no evidence from BRE Global’s fire investigations for DCLG to suggest that current building regulation recommendations, to limit vertical fire spread up the exterior of high rise buildings, are failing in their purpose.”

The documents go on to warn of “an increase in the volume of potential combustible materials being applied. A number of significant fires… have demonstrated the potential risks”.

BRE is now being paid to test cladding being removed from high rise buildings across the country in response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, in which 79 people are thought to have died after fire spread rapidly up cladding containing combustible insulation and plastic panels.

BRE has been paid by DCLG since at least 2007 to “investigate issues that may have implications for building regulations”.

Last week, DCLG said councils and housing associations must “immediately” take action if they have tower blocks with flammable polyethelyne (PE) panelling like that used on Grenfell Tower, which is “unlikely to be compliant with the requirements of the current Building Regulations”.

http://news.sky.com/story/government-fire-investigators-reported-cladding-risks-in-2016-10928193?dcmp=snt-sf-twitter

Krishnan Guru-MurthyVerified account @krishgm

Grenfell Tower was done without a Full Plans approval but was certified under Building Notice. Huge difference in scrutiny involved



CORRUPTION

One tower, 16 failed council inspections – then 79 died’

Grenfell Tower: 16 council inspections failed to stop use of flammable cladding

Exclusive: Officials tasked with enforcing strict fire regulations didn’t prevent use of material effectively banned on tall buildings

Four ministers were warned about tower block fire risks

Four separate government ministers were warned that fire regulations were not keeping people safe, in letters that have subsequently been seen by the BBC.

In the leaked letters, experts warn that those living in tower blocks like Grenfell Tower were “at risk”.

At least 79 people are dead or missing presumed dead after the fire at the London high-rise last week.

The department that received the letters said work to improve regulation and safety had already been under way.

Leaked letters

The letters show experts have been worried about fire safety in tower blocks for years.

Following a fatal fire in Lakanal House in south London in 2009, a series of recommendations were made to keep people safe.

They were ignored. The government promised a review of fire regulations in 2013, but it still has not happened.

BBC One’s Panorama has obtained a dozen letters sent by the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group.

Informed by experts, it warned the government it “could not afford to wait for another tragedy”.

Four ministers – all from the Department for Communities and Local Government – received letters but did not strengthen the regulations.

Ronnie King, a former chief fire officer who sits on the group, says the government has ignored repeated warnings about tower block safety.

“We have spent four years saying ‘Listen, we have got the evidence, we’ve provided you with the evidence, there is clear public opinion towards this, you ought to move on this’,” said Mr King.

The government department promised a review in 2013, but it was soon delayed.

In March 2014, the parliamentary group wrote: “Surely… when you already have credible evidence to justify updating… the guidance… which will lead to saving of lives, you don’t need to wait another three years in addition to the two already spent since the research findings were updated, in order to take action?

“As there are estimated to be another 4,000 older tower blocks in the UK, without automatic sprinkler protection, can we really afford to wait for another tragedy to occur before we amend this weakness?”

After further correspondence, Liberal Democrat MP Steven Williams – who was then a minister in the department – replied: “I have neither seen nor heard anything that would suggest that consideration of these specific potential changes is urgent and I am not willing to disrupt the work of this department by asking that these matters are brought forward.”

The group replied to say they “were at a loss to understand, how you had concluded that credible and independent evidence, which had life safety implications, was NOT considered to be urgent”.

“As a consequence the group wishes to point out to you that should a major fire tragedy, with loss of life, occur between now and 2017 in, for example, a residential care facility or a purpose built block of flats, where the matters which had been raised here, were found to be contributory to the outcome, then the group would be bound to bring this to others’ attention.”

The letters were written before the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

One went to the-then Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, who received a letter about fire regulations from the parliamentary group in February 2014.

He had also been asked to look at fire safety in February 2013 and March 2013 by two separate coroners, investigating two tower block fires.

In December 2015, the all-party group wrote to Conservative MP James Wharton, another minister in the department at the time, and warned about the risk of fires spreading on the outside of buildings with cladding.

“Today’s buildings have a much higher content of readily available combustible material. Examples are timber and polystyrene mixes in structure, cladding and insulation.

“This fire hazard results in many fires because adequate recommendations to developers simply do not exist. There is little or no requirement to mitigate external fire spread.”

The last of the four ministers in the department to receive a letter was Gavin Barwell, who has since moved on to become Theresa May’s top aide. He received his letter from the parliamentary group in September last year.

In November, Mr Barwell replied to say his department had been looking at the regulations, and would make a statement “in due course”.

In April this year, Mr Barwell wrote to say he did “acknowledge that producing a statement on building regulations has taken longer than I had envisaged”.

The fire safety group pointed out that it had been “given a similar response by three successive ministers since 2010” and it “is now time to listen to what the Fire Sector is saying”.

The government has said there is still no timetable for a review.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said that a police investigation into the Grenfell Fire is already under way “but it will be some time before it is fully understood how the fire started or why it took hold in the way it did.”

In a statement, it added: “The government has acted to improve fire regulation and safety, including the recommendations made by the Coroner following the Lakanal House Fire.

“The final recommendation concerned simplification of fire safety guidance, and this work was under way, with a consultation due to be published this summer.

“Fire safety requirements are complex issues and our priority has been that we have high standards. A great deal of work has been completed, including commissioning and undertaking research to support the planned consultation. Clearly, in light of this tragic event, we need to reflect on whether this consultation is the correct next step to take. We will confirm our approach shortly.”

In a separate development, Panorama has discovered that firefighters put out the first fire at Grenfell Tower.

They were called to a fridge fire, and within minutes told residents the fire was out in the flat.

The crew was leaving the building when firefighters outside spotted flames rising up the side of the building.

The Fire Brigades Union say firefighters were left facing an unprecedented fire, and officers broke their own safety protocol to rescue people.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40330789

Labour demands answers after ministers ‘ignore’ 12 letters warning high-rise blocks at risk of fire


ZED 🤐 @ZedTrafficker

What kind of sick experiment is this? When on fire the cladding released cyanide

Fire Safety Experts warned about the dangers of Hydrogen Cyanide used in cladding in 2011 report ~ but were ignored

link

Grenfell Tower victims ‘poisoned by cyanide released by burning insulation boards used for cladding’

Three of those injured in the fire are known to have been treated with an antidote for hydrogen cyanide poisoning and fire toxicity experts say the thermal lining was an ‘accident waiting to happen’

Fire toxicity experts claim their positioning – between the new cladding facade and the existing ‘70s brickwork of the building – meant every flat could have been filled with enough gas to kill those inside.

Professor Hull, who co-authored a peer-reviewed study in 2011 which established that PIR was the most toxic six insulation materials added: “It’s been an accident waiting to happen and unfortunately we’ve got to the stage now where the accident has happened and we’re standing here saying ‘I told you so’.

“It would have been much better if people had listened to us earlier on when we published the report.”

The insulation board was manufactured by Celotex, who say if fitted correctly it meets regulations for use on buildings above 18m (59ft) tall.

Celotex is yet to comment on the cyanide claims.

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-tower-victims-poisoned-cyanide-10664183#ICID=ios_TMNewsApp_AppShare_Click_Twitter

Grenfell contractor confirms that polyethylene-core cladding has also been installed on housing estate in Camden.

http://www.itv.com/news/2017-06-21/grenfell-cladding-used-on-nearby-north-london-estate/

An estimated 600 buildings in England have similar cladding to #GrenfellTower, Theresa May’s spokeswoman says

Company that did Grenfell renovation about to get £65,000,000 London housing contract

Rydon, the company behind the controversial refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, is about to get a £65million construction contract in west London.

According to industry publication Construction News, the contractor has been approved by Ealing Council’s cabinet as the development partner for the regeneration of High Line Estates in the borough.

Ealing is the neighbouring borough to Kensington and Chelsea, where Grenfell Tower near Latimer Road tragically went up in flames.

The lucrative deal will see the contractor finance, develop and submit a planning application for the new development, which will be situated just miles from where last week’s atrocity unfolded.

They will then demolish the area’s existing estate, before replacing it with mixed-tenure housing. The majority of homes in the development will apparently be ‘affordable’.

Rydon was the main contractor on the Grenfell Tower works that were completed last summer, at a cost of £8.7million.

One of the main changes to the building involved the addition of external cladding, which it has been claimed caused the fire to spread much quicker than it would have otherwise.

At least 79 people have been confirmed dead after the tragedy last week, but police warn that the death toll is set to rise.

Rydon has since insisted all of its work on Grenfell Tower met the required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards.

Ealing Council added that although Rydon had been chosen as its preferred partner for the development of the estate, they hadn’t yet signed a deal.

A spokesperson for Ealing Council told Metro.co.uk: ‘The High Lane estate scheme is in a very early stage. All designs will be fully consulted on with residents and partners and will meet all fire safety standards.

‘The current outdated housing blocks will be replaced by new mixed-tenure blocks that meet all modern fire safety standards. There can be no comparison made with the construction methods or materials at Grenfell Tower.’


ben goldacreVerified account @bengoldacre

One thing conspicuously missing: TV footage of police carrying boxes of documents and computers out of Grenfell’s management offices…

I am truly staggered by the lack of competent response to Grenfell, inadequate immediate support..

For victims, a PM so afraid to meet the public that there is no public reassurance, and a fair impression that accountability is lacking

https://youtu.be/aNNNzPSmnQQ

 

The horror blaze struck in the early hours of Wednesday morning

Landlord spent £10million to put cladding to make building look pretty (for surrounding rich) for 300k they could have sprinkler system.

https://twitter.com/akalamusic/status/874924962045472768

 Image result for grenfell tower block 70 dead

 

https://wikispooks.com/w/images/thumb/8/81/Grenfell_Tower_view.jpg/800px-Grenfell_Tower_view.jpg

Westfield Shopping Centre viewed (March 2013) from the Grenfell Tower

Simon @york_englishman

way this is going it’s like a setup – land expensive around there by any chance ?

 

 

Frank Lowy/Westfield Centre/ 911 Trade Centre 7

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Westfield_Shopping_Centre

Rydon has been working with the MoD for several years.

http://www.rydon.co.uk/what-we-do/ministry-of-defence

It struck me as odd that the police ruled out arson very early on, before they had made any other official comment on almost any aspect of this fire. Also that the guy with the allegedly faulty fridge was identified so quickly. Perhaps the authorities want to reassure people… or perhaps something more sinister is going on.

http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/06/london-fire.html#comment-form

 

Mr Lee Jasper‏ @LeeJasper

Dear @theresa_may @AmberRuddHR

Can you clarify if the #GrenfellTower residents/supporters are subject to undercover police surveillance?

Dear @metpoliceuk @SadiqKhan

Can you clarify whether or not #GrenfellTower families/supporters are under covert police surveillance ?

Did undercover police target Grenfell residents who raised fears about safety?

June 18

Spycops have a long and baneful history of infiltrating health and safety groups.

AMID the protests and non-stop press coverage of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there are some big questions that are still to be asked.

Specifically: were undercover police infiltrating the Grenfell Action Group? Do the names of the residents who warned about the safety deficiencies at Grenfell Tower (or other council housing projects) appear on the Met Police’s domestic extremism database?

To many, this may seem an odd question, but to community and trade union activists who have campaigned on safety issues for decades, being ignored by those in authority while at the same time being victimised and spied on by them is par for the course.

Last year the High Court heard how a corporate spy called Rob Moore posed as a journalist to infiltrate various anti-asbestos groups and spy on campaigners, including relatives of those who had died from the deadly fibres.

Construction workers who raised concerns about safety on building sites have been repeatedly dismissed, kept under surveillance and blacklisted by multinational companies who saw them as a threat to their profits.

Blacklist files record such activities as workers organising a petition on social housing, participating in the Construction Safety Campaign or complaining about the unsafe electrical equipment and disposal of asbestos.

But it was not only big business that targeted those who raised safety concerns: the police were implicated too.

The Special Demonstration Squad, National Public Order Intelligence Unit and the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit all spied on activists who were vocal on health and safety issues.

The undercover police officer Mark Jenner posed as a carpenter while infiltrating a campaign by building workers to reduce deaths on building sites and targeted the well-respected London Hazards Centre.

Activists who campaigned on safety issues have found themselves placed on the Met’s domestic extremism database and a “two-way exchange of information” existed between the police and the blacklisting companies.

Following disclosure at the Pitchford public inquiry, it is now known that around 250 undercover officers have infiltrated more than 1,000 campaign groups since the late 1960s.

This included not just trade unions but environmental campaigns, anti-racist groups, peace activists and even the grieving parents of murder victims.

Progressive housing campaigns and squatters’ rights groups have been kept under surveillance by these political policing units too.

In the overwhelming number of cases, those spied upon have committed no crime. The purpose of the state intrusion into their lives was not to detect criminality but to keep tabs on anyone considered a troublemaker.

Often that simply meant participating in a perfectly lawful campaign that asked difficult questions — the very same questions about how the rich get rich at the expense of working-class communities that the whole of the country is now asking in the wake of Grenfell.

In many cases the undercover police are accused of acting as agents provocateurs or deliberately disrupting and destabilising the campaigns they targeted.

The Grenfell Action Group is part of a wider coalition of community groups called the Radical Housing Network, which has campaigned for many years against gentrification and the underfunding of working-class housing stock.

Repeated attempts by the Grenfell Action Group to alert those in authority to serious risks fell upon deaf ears.

But have these housing activists, who have been proved right in such a catastrophic and tragic manner, been targeted by undercover spycops?

Because of the police refusal to answer any questions about the operation of their political undercover police officers, I do not know the answer to that question. But given what we know about how these anti-democratic units operate, it’s one worth asking.

If this turns out to be true, then why are the resources of the British state being used to spy on perfectly legal residents’ groups with genuine concerns rather than investigate the real criminals?

How many lives might have been saved if the police had investigated the legitimate concerns raised by activists rather than continuing to spy on them?

To answer these questions might pose real difficulties for Theresa May and the entire British secret state apparatus.

Tottenham MP David Lammy has sensibly called for all the documents relating to the Grenfell Tower refurbishment to be seized by the Met Police to stop potential evidence being destroyed.

I just hope documents don’t get accidently shredded by the Met themselves.

http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-fcb3-Did-undercover-police-target-Grenfell-residents-who-raised-fears-about-safety#.WUhmkty1uM-

LoneYogi @LoneYogi

Lancaster Green residents below left without hot water, gas. At risk if Grenfell collapses. Asbestos

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/grenfell-tower-fire-the-forgotten-forgotten-victims/


Peter F @PFurmo

Daily Mail: The man ‘whose faulty fridge started Grenfell Tower inferno’

First rule of the Establishment blame game; dehumanise the victims. We lived through it after Hillsborough. We won’t allow it with #Grenfell


thetrollmaiden @Zeddeee

Electrical Surges since 2013! Fridge Blowing up my eye!


Nick Pettigrew @Nick_Pettigrew

Hillsborough tactics, Day 4: As spokespeople emerge, assassinate their character to try & devalue the protest.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/16/mustafa-almansur-organiser-grenfell-tower-protest-movement/

Start fight for justice now, Hillsborough mum urges Grenfell Tower campaigners

Margaret Aspinall calls for openness and transparency in London inferno investigation

“I told him you’ve got to start demanding answers and have transparency and openness about everything as the authorities will try and palm you off…

Residents of the west London flats had predicted a ‘catastrophic event’ in a blog post just seven months ago.

The Grenfell Tower Action Group on their blog said: “The many who lost their lives in this catastrophe were our friends and neighbours.

“We tried to speak for them in life and we will continue to speak for them now.

“We share the pain of the homeless, the injured and the bereaved to whom we offer our heartfelt sympathy, condolences and solidarity.

“We also share the sense of anger and injustice that has troubled this community for years.

“That is why we started this blog and that is why we will continue as we started, speaking truth to power whether or not they choose to listen.”
Kensington & Chelsea Tory leader walks out of council meeting after judge orders it can’t be held in private without media
Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo
By cancelling council meeting, Paget-Brown stuck two fingers up to Grenfell survivors and undermined judges ruling that press should attend.
GrenfellTower council meeting decends in to chaos. Council leader scraps meeting due to media presence.
Tom London‏ @TomLondon6
How can Paget-Brown still be in post? How can anyone trust him? Grenfell survivors barred from council meeting

Judge orders council to allow media into Grenfell Tower meeting

Court overturns Kensington and Chelsea council’s attempt to hold meeting in private, after challenge from Guardian and other media

A judge has ordered a London council to lift a ban on the media reporting on the first meeting of councillors to discuss the Grenfell Tower disaster, after a legal challenge by the Guardian and other media groups.

Downing Street had expressed concern after survivors of the fire and members of the media were barred from the Kensington and Chelsea council cabinet meeting on Thursday evening which was to hear a report about the blaze.

The council had opted to hold a private cabinet meeting to hear an oral report about the fire, citing the potential for disorder, and previous threats against staff. Such meetings are usually open to the public.

The meeting was to be led by the council’s Conservative leader, Nicholas Paget-Brown, who has been widely criticised in the wake of the fire.

However, a court application by the Guardian and five other media groups saw the high court order the council to admit members of the media with press cards.

Downing Street had said it wanted all parties involved in the fire aftermath “to be as open and transparent as possible, both with residents and the wider public, to ensure full confidence in the response effort”.

A spokeswoman said: “We would encourage everyone involved to respect this wherever possible.”

Labour’s Andrew Gwynne, the shadow communities secretary, had also urged the council to reconsider. “In order to deliver a response that survivors, residents and the wider public can trust, there is no room for anything less than complete transparency,” he said.

The decision to bar survivors and the wider public from the meeting followed protests two days after the fire, in which at least 79 people died, when angry residents stormed the town hall.

The council said the decision to exclude the public was made in accordance with its own standing orders “which are confirmed in common law”.

A notice of the private meeting on the Grenfell Tower fire.
A notice of the private meeting on the Grenfell Tower fire. Photograph: Kensington and Chelsea council

The council has come under intense criticism for its response to the disaster, with many residents claiming they were left to fend for themselves.

Its chief executive, Nicholas Holgate, resigned last week, after pressure from the communities secretary, Sajid Javid.

Calls have been made for Paget-Brown to follow, with London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, demanding the resignation of the entire council leadership.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/29/grenfell-survivors-barred-from-council-meeting-about-fire?CMP=share_btn_tw

Just watch the COVERUP unfold….

EL4C‏ @EL4JC

Theresa May promised Grenfell survivors they would have a say in who chaired the inquiry and it’s scope. Today, she broke that promise.

Kensington Council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown resigns after fatal Grenfell tower fire

Move follows criticism of the council’s response to the disaster

June 30 2017

Moments after Mr Paget-Brown’s resignation, deputy council leader and the cabinet member responsible for housing, Rock Feilding-Mellen, also announced he was stepping down.

In a separate development, the organisation which manages Grenfell Tower in west London announced it had agreed its chief executive would “step aside” so he can “concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry”.

A statement from the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) confirmed Robert Black’s position, two days after retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick was appointed to lead the public inquiry into the deaths of at least 80 people.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/kensington-council-leader-nicholas-paget-brown-resigns-grenfell-tower-fire-residents-survivors-tory-a7817396.html

HRH Crafty Muvva

“…perceived failings”. Incredible… Don’t worry Nick, your Tory mates from Bow Group will assist.

#DontLetTheDoorHitYourArseOnTheWayOut

Dave Russell‏ @daverussell

How can a inquiry be INDEPENDENT Judge is appointed by Mrs May! What is the terms of reference? To absolve Tories at any cost.
Madeleine Noor Baker‏ @MadNBaker
No 10 have said “we wish the residents to be consulted on the terms of reference of the inquiry” – then 2 days later publish unconsulted TOR

Journalists barred from first Kensington Council meeting since Grenfell

Journalists have been barred from tonight’s meeting of Kensington Council’s cabinet – the first to be held since the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea says tonight’s meeting will be held entirely in private session, putting the decision down to the “risk of disruption.”

The council has cited an incident on Friday 16 June, two days after the fatal fire, which saw survivors and other residents attempt to enter Kensington Town Hall before returning to a demonstration outside, as an example of the supposed risk.

At least 80 people are now known to have died in the blaze, although a final figure may not be produced until 2018.

A notice of meeting on the council’s website reads: “Please note this meeting will be held entirely in private session, pursuant to Standing Order 31.01*, in the light of the risk of disruption (as witnessed on Friday 16 June) and consequently security and public safety concerns.

“As such it will be open only to cabinet members, support officers and invited guests (if any).  The public minutes of this meeting will be published, in due course, on the council website.”

The Standing Order referred to states that under common law and statute, the chairman of the meeting, who in this case is council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown, has the power to exclude the public if he or she is of the opinion that there shall be a disruption to the business.

The fire is listed as the only item of business other than apologies for absence and declarations of interest.

Following the decision, local news website Get West London offered to live stream the meeting via its Facebook page, but has yet to hear back from the council.

In a piece on the decision, content editor Charlotte Neal wrote: “We understand that the lack of distinction between public and press in the order and zero evidence that one of our reporters would disrupt proceedings, coupled with the undeniable public interest of the meeting, gives the council not even a matchstick sized legal leg to stand on. If the ban remains, the press could likely demand a (costly) judicial review.

“Head of governance services at the council, Robert Sheppard, responsible for giving advice to the cabinet, told Get West London ‘council lawyers are satisfied on the legal basis’ and that the press is welcome to challenge it. When asked if we could speak to the council’s lawyers, he redirected us to the press office.

“If the council’s not going to let the public into the meeting, once again insulting their capability to handle themselves, at least let “the eyes and ears of the public” do what it does best and report on the damn thing. We repeat, these people deserve at worst the whole truth.

“We stress, the press are the eyes and ears of the public; we’re not here to play lip service to the council and publish its carefully crafted ‘available shared content’ – where’s the accountability in that?”

The site will be live blogging from outside the meeting this evening.

Séamus Dooley, NUJ acting general secretary, said: “We are deeply disturbed at the news that the Kensington and Chelsea council cabinet meeting tonight will be held in private. The ban on media attendance should be lifted immediately and we call on all council members to ensure that this matter of the utmost public interest is discussed in public.

“The horrific fire is a matter of grave public interest. The public has a right to know if public policy failures contributed to this disaster. There is no justification for behind closed doors discussions. This can only contribute to further alienation of residents who feel their voice has not been listened to.

“Members of the public, especially those affected by the fire, and broader public must have their rights respected. The right to freedom of expression includes the right to information. Ultimately elected representatives make decisions on behalf of their constituents and the local community.

“Decisions of the council should be open to scrutiny and conveyed to the public via the independent media. Secrecy is the default position of those who seek to avoid accountability for their actions and on this occasion there is no room for anything less than complete transparency.”

The council declined to comment further when contacted by HTFP.

http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2017/news/journalists-barred-from-first-kensington-council-meeting-since-grenfell/


 

Grenfell Tower

Outside of Grenfell Tower

2014 from The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

 

Building Control » Building Control Summary

DEM/14/02401 | Demolition | Grenfell Tower, Grenfell Road, LONDON, W11 1TH

 

Description Of Works Demolition
Site Address Grenfell Tower, Grenfell Road, LONDON, W11 1TH
Application Reference Number DEM/14/02401
Valid Date Thu 22 May 2014
Decision Date Not Available
Status Deposited

There are 0 documents associated with this application.

There are 0 cases associated with this application.

There is 1 property associated with this application.

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/bconline/buildingControlDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=_RBKC_BCAPR_123520

 

 

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/877259254016741377

Anne Murphy @DrAnneMurphy

That £5,500. It’s a statutory payment.


Why Didn’t the Grenfell Towers Collapse After Burning for Over 12 Hours?

https://youtu.be/kjZDDfxL1Kw

 

Aug 20, 2008

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released its long-awaited report on the collapse of World Trade 7 following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Our take-home message today is that the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery,” NIST lead investigator Shyam Sunder told journalists at this morning’s press conference in Gaithersburg, Md. “WTC 7 collapsed because of fires fueled by office furnishings.It did not collapse from explosives or from diesel fuel fires.”

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/a3524/4278874/


 

“Where was this when people were screaming at windows?” New Grenfell Tower fire engine with 137ft ladder explained

Residents ask on Facebook why a fire service appliance with much longer reach than those which initially responded to the devastating blaze can be seen at the scene ‘only now’?

…someone trapped high up in the building – desperately waving for help from a window.

In other images shot that morning, it’s clear firefighters on the ground – who rushed to the scene just six minutes after the first 999 call – had ladders which couldn’t reach anywhere near that high.

The frustration for those who were first on the scene is unimaginable.

Residents were told to stay in their flats – advised before that night as the protocol to follow in case of fire and, it’s been claimed, by operators when they dialled 999.

At the time it was said – although not confirmed – London Fire Service appliances only had ladders which could reach as high as the 12th floor of what’s described as a 24-storey building.

But residents have reacted with shock and consternation when crews in a fire appliance extended a ladder at the scene yesterday which clearly reached much higher.

Some four to five days after the blaze, the appliance with the longer ladder is being used to search the site for the bodies of victims trapped in the blaze high up.

A spokesman for Surrey Fire & Rescue confirmed to MirrorOnline that they were called at 6.50am on Wednesday morning – some six hours after the blaze started at around 12.50am.

He said he was unable to say how long it took for the for the Aerial Ladder Platform to arrive at the scene, travelling from Leatherhead.

Its Surrey-based crew – five men on the appliance in rotation – have been working round the clock to support their London colleagues at the scene ever since.

The question remains why London Fire Brigade don’t own one – especially with such a concentration of high rises in the capital.

Questions over whether they had access to the best resources available are a matter that the public inquiry MUST look into.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-tower-fire-ladder-engine-10648677

 

Teacher says ‘nothing was done’ to help Grenfell victims

 

A teacher who says she witnessed some of her students run back in to the burning Grenfell Tower block to try and help a friend has expressed her anger that “nothing was done” to help.

“The army barracks are in Knightsbridge, why did the army not come? Are we not good enough?”

http://www.itv.com/news/story/2017-06-17/grenfell-tower-fire-pm-says-support-for-victims-wasnt-good-enough-as-protests-and-anger-continue/


Dr Lauren Gavaghan@DancingTheMind

@theresa_maywhy was the army not sent in immediately to help people of #Grenfell ?

Grenfell fire: Theresa May attacked by fire safety expert for not treating disaster as national emergency

24 June 2017

‘This is turning into a PR disaster for the local authorities,’ says Stephen Mackensie

A fire safety expert has criticised Theresa May for not convening a Cobra meeting to support local authorities in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Stephen MacKenzie said he thought Camden council “had done the sensible thing” by evacuating hundreds of people from five tower blocks.

But he told Sky News he was “at a loss as to why Theresa May has not convened Cobra over this to actually get emergency arrangements, led by central government, to support the local authorities and to give the residents the necessity reassurance and address this issue.

“This is turning into a PR disaster for the local authorities,” he said, adding that a group of fire experts should be convened “urgently” over the weekend together with private and social housing to find solutions to the issue.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-fire-theresa-may-cladding-response-expert-cobra-meeting-criticism-a7805861.html


Fears grow over ’15 tots from same nursery missing’ in Grenfell Tower fire

A childcare worker at Grenfell Nursery reportedly told a relative ‘at least 15 of the children aged between six months and four-years-old were still missing last night’

The childcare centre, based on the ground floor of the building, is reportedly said to be ‘preparing for the worst’.

Authorities are yet to issue a list of the missing more than 72 hours after the disaster.

The Daily Star reports that Ish Murray’s pregnant sister works at Grenfell Nursery and has told him ‘at least 15 of the children aged between six months and four-years-old were still missing last night’.

The 35-year-old told the paper: “Lots of kids live in the block with their parents.

“My sister told me that 15 are missing.”

The information is yet to be officially verified.

Nursery manager Shirley Sylvester has confirmed that young children are missing but hasn’t publicly stated a number to the media.

“Lots of children who go here live in the block,” she said.

“We are not coping very well to be honest. They are our local families”.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-tower-fire-nursery-15-10637730#ICID=sharebar_twitter

She will be missed by us all forever’: Family pay heart-wrenching tribute to ‘loving mother and partner’ Berkti Hafton, 29, killed in Grenfell Tower fire

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/she-missed-forever-family-pay-13317100


Kensington and Chelsea Council have yet to respond to over 130 offers to rehouse Grenfell Tower victims

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-latest-kensington-chelsea-council-displaced-residents-protests-grenfell-tower-a7795171.html

Sajid Javid


Tories Who Voted Against Making Rented Properties ‘Fit’ for Human Habitation

David Cameron, Chris Grayling, Dominic Grieve, Nick Hurd, Julian Lewis, Jacob Rees-Mogg, John Whittingdale to name a few

The bosses of the company that installed Grenfell Tower’s allegedly deadly cladding were accused by HMRC of pumping £2.5million into tax avoidance schemes. 

A spokeswoman for the mayor of London has told the Guardian that the British Red Cross is now leading the volunteer effort on the ground around Grenfall Tower. A spokeswoman for the Red Cross, however, said she was not aware of the news.
skuttlebucket‏ @AgeWait

A Matter of Interest ? Barely 1 month after the Grenfell Tower Fire…

Trent‏ @RandolphTrent

in contrast this is the house when its for a 10% pay rise for them!

for further contrast!

Angry Grenfell residents demand arrests and resignations at meeting

Kensington and Chelsea council meeting sees people express rage and contempt for officialdom at investigation’s slow progress

12 July 2017


How many people lived in Grenfell? How many people got out and are accounted for? How many are still missing?

 

Where are the survivors?!

“We are sending boxes and food… to who? None of the people I grew up with, I can’t find anyone! Where are they?” asks a distressed resident on PressTv. Haven’t most residents in that building died? We don’t even know how many people were in that building! It could easily be 440-660 people assuming 2-3 persons per 220 bedrooms (Claire OT- tweeter user on my network). Those on the missing list have not been checked against the bodies lying in the body bags in the tents! (Jane interviewed by Ashish Joshi -Sky News) Who is identifying the dead? When will the relatives, if they have survived be contacted? When will these people who government failed to give dignity in life, allow them dignity in death? Why is the media not asking these questions repeatedly until we find the answers?

No one has communicated! No one has owned the aftermath of the tragedy! No one has even apologised! No one has resigned. Pages have been removed from Council websites. Why are they all in hiding &/or being non-transparent? Is this seen as a price perhaps worth paying .. the eye-sore… the expendables.. the inevitable casualties of their greed, selfish life styles and corruption? How did we get to a situation when ordinary law abiding citizens who have lost loved ones, family and friends, neighbours felt the need to storm the council offices?

https://satyagrahamedia.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/grenfell-towers-when-will-we-learn/

http://skruff.co.uk/vid1.mp4

^ Grenfell – Must watch   – Powerful video


Tent full of body bags, no one accounting for…

https://twitter.com/Rachael_Swindon/status/875817825339924481

 

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

Surely the number of bodies found in the building is known, even if they haven’t been identified. So what’s the body count?

Heroic Grenfell Tower firefighters gagged from talking about horrors amid fears death toll could rise above 100

The order from bosses has been revealed by several Fire Brigade sources who grimly insisted the official figure of 80 dead will soar

1 JUL 2017

Heroic firefighters have been gagged from talking about the full horror at Grenfell Tower amid fears the true death toll will top 100.

The order from bosses has been revealed by several Fire Brigade sources who grimly insisted the official figure of 80 dead will soar.

They spoke as authorities were accused of masking the total of those who perished in the inferno.

One firefighter, who did not want to be named, told the Sunday Mirror: “We’ve been told by our management don’t speak, ideally. The coroner has said it could obstruct the investigation. I don’t know how it can – what’s happened has happened, but that’s what we’re being told.”

A union rep for the Fire Brigades Union said: “We know the death toll will be higher than the official figure – and we’re not talking about one or two higher. There’s a strong possibility we are talking about three figures.”

17 days after the fire we have no list of survivors, the police have said we will have to wait until the end of the year for numbers.

“It’s causing huge anxiety for people who want closure as they wait for news of their loved-ones and it feeds deep mistrust amongst the victims and survivors themselves.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/heroic-grenfell-tower-firefighters-gagged-10722903


Police say the final Grenfell Tower death toll won’t be known until next year

Jun. 28, 2017

The final death toll of the Grenfell Tower disaster will not be known until next year, the Metropolitan Police has said.

At least 80 people are now known to have died in the catastrophic blaze on June 14. This has risen from 79, with the latest victim being identified as five-year-old boy Isaac Paulous.

But a final figure will not become clear until 2018.

Residents’ groups and Labour MP David Lammy have criticised the fatalities number for being unrealistically low, and have even suggested that the true scale of destruction has been suppressed to avoid civil unrest.

Officers said they believe the majority of those who died came from 23 flats in the upper half of the building, which had a total of 129 apartments. Police have yet to make contact with anybody from the 23 flats, leading them to believe there were no survivors. They were distributed between the 11th and 23rd floors.

Officers have contacted at least one survivor in each of the other 106 flats.

Fiona McCormack, a detective chief superintendent orientating the investigation, said a conclusive death toll will be available “only after we have completed the search and recovery operation, which will take until the end of the year.”

McCormack said officers have now been in every single flat, and on the building’s roof.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/metropolitan-police-grenfell-tower-death-toll-not-known-until-next-year-2017-6?r=UK&IR=T

The man, Sir Ken Knight, overseeing the Grenfell fire panel advised ministers to cut fire funding by £200m

The Queen awarded Sir Ken the Queens’ Fire Service Medal in 1991 and the CBE in 2001. He was appointed as Her Majesty’s Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Richmond upon Thames in 2007. Sir Ken was Knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2006 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the fire and rescue service.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Knight

28 June 2017

Fire safety independent panel chair advised against retrofitting sprinklers and authored report advocating £200m fire service cuts

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II  glances over to her husband Prince Philip  beside Fire Commissioner Sir Ken Knight  during a visit to Millwall Fire Station in London’s Docklands, 16 February 2007. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh received a briefing on operations and watched participants in the ‘LIFE Program‘. The program is an intensive course in which young people learn firefighting skills alongside real firefighters. The youngsters are aged between 13-18.

 

Sir Ken Knight will now advise the Government on its response to the Grenfell Tower fire 

Sir Ken Knight will head the group which has been appointed to “advise on any immediate measures that can be put in place to make buildings safe.”

But in his report the Lakanal House fire in Camberwell, which killed three women and three children in 2009, the former London fire commissioner wrote: “It is not considered as practical or economically viable to make a requirement for the retrospective fitting of fire suppression systems to all current high-rise residential buildings.

Sir Ken was also the author of a 2013 report which recommended £200m worth of cuts to the fire service, according to the Political Scrapbook website.

panel he now heads, will be made up of building and fire safety experts, including the chief executive of the Building Research Establishment, Peter Bonfield, the chairman of the National Fire Chiefs Council, Roy Wilsher, and president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Amanda Clack.

They are due to have their first meeting this week.

http://www.independent.co.uk/property/house-and-home/pets/news/fire-safety-measures-grenfell-tower-sprinklers-retrofitting-fire-service-cuts-independent-panel-a7812646.html

Mahboubeh Jamalvatan is still troubled by what she saw on night of fire and unsettled by the protracted dislocation that has followed.

She is finding it hard to sleep or eat because she is still so troubled by what she saw. “What bothers me a lot is it was mainly children and women who died, because the men were out. I saw them with my eyes, the people behind the windows, the children. Downstairs, people were screaming ‘come down’ but they couldn’t, they were trapped there. The police were asking us to move back but I could see the faces at the windows as the fire was spreading around the building,” she says. “I think about it all the time.”

She told the police she was surprised by how few firefighters she saw to begin with. In her statement she said she was concerned that the fire brigade were slow to appreciate the seriousness of the fire. “They thought they could handle it,” she says, speaking with the help of an interpreter. She was also disturbed by the difficulty fire teams seemed to have in getting to the building. “The way that the building was designed, there wasn’t full access around it, there was no access for the fire engines to get there,” she said. Residents had lodged formal complaints over several years about the difficulty of emergency access to the building.

 

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

I, too, believe the fatality count is being micro-managed to contain the fallout for the government.

survivor ‘only passed 8 people on stairs all the way from upper floor’

Reading eye-witness reports like this makes my blood boil. Why isn’t the media and government telling the truth?

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

Mining accident…accurate numbers. Passenger ship capsize…accurate numbers. Plane crash….the same. The council fucking know how many.


https://twitter.com/charlotteh71/status/876430609463300097

DamningListen to this ^

Fatalities into the 160s – authorities delaying publishing the numbers, hoping interest will die down.


i newspaperVerified account @theipaper

Grenfell survivors tell me the death toll is far higher than police say. I believe them


Good Morning BritainVerified account @GMB

‘There is no way that the death toll is the figure that is currently being given as 79’ – Local councillor Eartha Pond


Hana @akacairo

They can identify a suicide bomber and know his full name and nationality after being completely blown up.. But not people in this tower?


https://www.facebook.com/MajidFreeman650/videos/790183781141008/


Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

@RSOE_EDIS

Hi….

was your ‘missing’ figure of 538 at #GrenfellTowerFire changed to 0 for a reason ?



Gathrer collects statuses of former Grenfell Tower residents

Add, edit and view the surviving, missing and deceased here

http://gathrer.com/



17 June 2017

Police update. Local residents ask questions about public inquiry & materials used in refurbishment

Grenfell Tower refurbishment was ‘not approved’, according to council

http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/21/grenfell-tower-refurbishment-was-never-formally-signed-off-6723671/


Grenfell fire victims can’t access funds raised for them and council only giving them a tenner, volunteer claims

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-victims-given-a-tenner-hotels-no-access-funds-kensington-chelsea-borough-a7795771.html

Grenfell Tower residents offered rooms – in ‘carbon copy’ hotel. With cladding

Government staff have been drafted in to bolster the official response to the Grenfell Tower disaster in west London.

The move follows widespread criticism of the local council’s performance.

Residents condemned the relief effort as “absolute chaos” and complained that Kensington and Chelsea Council had provided little support or information.

Councils across London are now involved in the operation, with humanitarian assistance being provided by the west London borough of Ealing.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40316812

 May admits her Govt and Tory K&C council’s Grenfell Tower responses failed survivors: “That was a failure of the state local and national.”

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/theresa-may-admits-grenfell-tower-response-was-failure-1627275

lily #labourtine🎈Verified account @lilyallen


Ealing are now running the show since RBKC stood down. This doesn’t fill me with confidence. Grenfell

The people tasked with looking after the survivors and families are developing with the same firm that clad Grenfell.

#chaos@guardian@DailyMirror

Grenfell victims are sleeping in cars and parks, says Kensington MP

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/20/grenfell-victims-sleeping-cars-parks-says-kensington-mp/

Janey GodleyVerified account @JaneyGodley

As the #GrenfellTowerFire victims sleep in cars.

Grenfell residents say SCO-19 armed police on estate. Why?

riot pol 1

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/06/18/grenfell-residents-say-sco-19-armed-police-on-estate-why/

Trent @RandolphTrent

its almost like they are doing everything they can to force riots on the streets! maybe to make examples when they TRY to crack down on it!


Police say 58 people are now ‘assumed to be dead’ in the Grenfell Tower inferno as fire investigators use dogs to continue their grim hunt for bodies

Commander Cundy said police had received more than 6,000 calls and that the search is set to take weeks or ‘longer’.

He said that the force has confirmed 30 people are dead and has established that another 28 are missing. He added that he has to ‘assume’ these people had died.

The commander stressed that this information was based only on the number of people they believe were in the tower when it caught fire in the early hours of Wednesday morning and the actual loss may be greater.

Firefighters have said they believe no one on the top floors of the building survived.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4613094/DOGS-help-grim-hunt-bodies-Grenfell-Tower.html?ito=social-twitter_dailymailUK


 


Stuart Syvret @StuartSyvret

Gavin Barwell

Former housing minister Gavin Barwell refuses to comment on fire report

 

Westfield Shopping Centre viewed (March 2013) from the Grenfell Tower

Westfield Police Station

In March 2013, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced that the Metropolitan Police were to set up a new base in Westfield Shopping Centre following the closure of Shepherd’s Bush Police Station front counter. In his Police and Crime Plan, designed to save £500 million by 2015, some 2,600 officers were to be redeployed in Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the Met – including 92 more in the borough taking the total up to 139.

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Westfield_Shopping_Centre

 David Mortimer @ukfathers

Last year was a bumper year for Rydon, which saw profits leap nearly 40% to £10.3m and a payout of £8.4m to shareholders.

Image result for tory donor jeremy coller

 

Tory donor owned stake in refurb company accused of using cheap cladding on Grenfell Tower

 

Coller Capital – founded by Tory donor Jeremy Coller – owned a fifth of Rydon Construction, via a partnership based offshore in Jersey

A Tory donor’s private equity firm was a big investor in the construction company accused of saving £5,000 with cheaper, more flammable cladding at Grenfell Tower .

Mayfair-based Coller Capital owned a fifth of Rydon Construction, via a partnership based offshore in Jersey, when the work started on the £8.6 million refurbishment at the block in 2014.

Coller boss and founder Jeremy Coller donated £15,000 to the Tory party in July 2015.

Omnis, which supplied Reynobond panels for the project, confirmed it sold the version that cost £2 a square metre less than the more fire–resistant option.

It is just this type of choice that was covered by Part B of the review of fire regulations Theresa May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell promised the Commons in October.

Coller, who had no operational control, bought a stake in Rydon in 2010 as part of a £332 million deal with Lloyds.

It became the major 70% partner in Jersey-based Cavendish Square Partners, which in turn owned a 30% stake in Rydon Holdings, the parent firm of Rydon Construction. Last year Rydon’s profits leapt nearly 40% to £10.3million and £8.4million went to shareholders, says CorporateWatch. Rydon bought back shares owned by Cavendish for £6.2million in December 2015.

It is believed more than £4 million of this went to Coller Capital.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-donor-owned-stake-refurb-10637010

https://alchetron.com/Jeremy-Coller-469171-W

Image result for jeremy coller and lord janner

Jeremy Coller is a British financial executive. He is CEO and CIO of Coller Capital, a British private equity firm.

For 20 years, Jeremy Coller has played a key role in the evolution of the secondary market for private equity. He founded Coller Capital, a secondaries firm, in 1990, and has appeared in media lists of the most influential people in private equity.[1] In 2008, the Daily Telegraph of London listed him as number 21 in a list of the most powerful people in British hedge funds, private equity and fund management.[2]

Jeremy’s early career was spent as Head of Research at Fidelity International and as a sector fund manager at ICI Pension Plan, where he was an early investor in Dayton Carr’s Venture Capital Fund of America, an early secondaries firm.

Jeremy attended Carmel College. He holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Sussex, and a Bachelor’s degree from Manchester University School of Management. He also took the Diplome Cours de Civilisation at the Sorbonne.

Jeremy is married with two children and lives in London.

https://web.archive.org/web/20080501202936/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Coller

As well as being Chairman of the Jeremy Coller Foundation, his vehicle for philanthropic activities, he sits on the Boards of the Coller Institute for Private Equity at London Business School and the Coller Institute for Venture at Tel Aviv University.

He is a member of the Advisory Council of The Elders.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Coller

The Elders (organization)

The group was initiated by Richard Branson[5] and musician and human rights activist Peter Gabriel, together with anti-apartheid activist and former South African President Nelson Mandela. Mandela announced the formation of the group on his eighty-ninth birthday on 18 July 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elders_(organization)

Jeremy Coller’s financial background

In 1995, the firm created a US secondaries fund, and in 1996 it bought all Rothschild Inc’s 12-year-old venture assets in the first secondaries direct deal – in which a fund buys a portfolio of stakes in companies.

https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/jeremy-coller-profile-20100726

Britons invest in Rawabi, Palestinian city of dreams

…the project, whose initial funding came from Mr Masri and the Qatari government, is attracting high-profile Jewish investors. These include America’s Michael Steinhardt, George Soros, and the British businessman Jeremy Coller.

https://www.thejc.com/news/world/britons-invest-in-rawabi-palestinian-city-of-dreams-1.55516

Jeremy Coller’s uncle, Julian Scott,  is a liveryman  in the Worshipful Company of Turners of London, and Fiona Woolf is an honorary member.

http://www.turnersco.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/The-Turner-issue-38-June-2013.pdf

MichaelH14

Jon StoneVerified account @joncstone

Kensington and Chelsea, one of the richest places in the country, also has one of the lowest council tax rates

Cladding ‘fitted on Grenfell Tower’ is BANNED in US and Germany


Image result for SIR RODNEY ALDRIDGE and grenfell tower

Simon Cowell to raise money via a charity single…

cathyfoxblog @CathyCathyFox

so it’s really the people who buy the single helping, not Simon who could easily afford to ……

Hannah. G. @comeasbundy

Instead of making a ‘charity’ single people buy, how about Simon and other celebrities use their own money to donate


Simon Cowell net worth: Simon Cowell is a British music executive and television producer who has a net worth of $550 million.

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/actors/simon-cowell-net-worth/


Paul Walters @Pauljwalters

How about just donating cold hard cash, it’s all about ‘how good am I’ self promoting wanker.


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

The Scum & The Scum Simon Cowell, who was quick to get £50,000 cash for his friend and convicted paedophile Jonathan King.

Simon Cowell paid bail for convicted paedophile Jonathan King and had convicted paedophile abuser Max Clifford as his PR

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/columnists/article-332299/Simons-shame.html


Trent @RandolphTrent

#PissOffCowell

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Why is Pete Townshend who was on the sex offenders register for downloading CHILD PORN part of Artists for Grenfell?

Paedophile Pete Townshend’s police interview

https://youtu.be/G5CWqSPNPnc

Image result for peter townshend and rolf harris

Image result for peter townshend and gary glitter

 

Gary Glitter and Pete TownshendPrinces Trust Concert

The Who’s Pete Townshend knew four Grenfell Tower families and has “written some cheques” for the victims

He revealed he even replaced a piano for a family that lost theirs last week.

“A little Spanish girl in there studied the piano – they got a piano up 10 flights and of course it’s gone now, so I managed to get her a piano.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/whos-pete-townshend-knew-four-10649517

The rock star Pete Townshend was cautioned by police and placed on the sex offenders register for five years following his admission that he accessed child pornography on the internet.

Townshend, 57, received the caution at Kingston police station in south-west London for “accessing a website containing child abuse images”.

He was arrested in January as part of Operation Ore, the largest investigation into child pornography in the UK. He admitted using his credit card to access images but claimed they were for “research” for a book.

“People who pay to access these sites are injecting cash into a criminal and manipulative industry that sexually exploits and seriously damages children.”

The children’s charity NCH said Townshend’s crime was “not a small matter”.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/may/08/arts.ukcrime

Related image

Nick Pettigrew @Nick_Pettigrew

The Queen has issued a statement of condolence to the Grenfell Tower victims from her largely-empty 775-room palace that you pay for.

Magic money tree.

Context: Buckingham Palace to undergo ‘essential’ £370m refurbishment

f4a01f1b0fa1

Wentworth Woodhouse, the huge stately home owned by Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg’s in-laws

Oh yes, the Establishment can always find that Magic Money Tree when it suits them.


Yes Highland @yhWildfire

About four miles and a whole world apart.

KrushBrother Ⓥ @OriginalKrush

Massive coverage of the Downing Street protests on the BBC Website!!! Nah, only kidding. No mention of it at all! #MayMustGo #ToriesOut

 



Justice4Grenfell @Justice4GF

Why is mainstream press talking up rioting? Has there been any violence? All looks peaceful to me. Calling May a coward doesn’t = violence.

Laura Hankinson @JustLaurahhh

“They just want a riot” No they spent years writing letters and going through official channels being ignored.


scarlett stuff 🌹 @scarlettstuff

You know why. Paint people fighting for justice as a mob to discredit them


Kerry-Anne Mendoza @TheMendozaWoman

It took the Guardian less than a week after #Grenfell to start patronising & demonising survivors & their allies

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/17/grenfell-tower-anger-homes-proeprty-rage#comment-100540478

Bobby Palmer @thebobpalmer

You: Grenfell was a tragedy in which 79 innocent people died The Daily Mail: Haha poor people can’t spell


Sundancin’ Paul @Sundancer_UK

Are you aware of the lies that he’s spreading about ?



Weiss @w_nicht

This is what Murdoch’s so called journalist say about it:

Iain MartinVerified account @iainmartin1

Word of praise for the cops tonight in London, policing demos. Stretched by terror threat. Now handling Socialist Worker middle class twats


 

Phil @PhiIIip_Thomas

#MSMsilent on the report into the Shepherd’s Court fire was kept a secret, wonder why?


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Tory Councillor Ken Hawkins insulting grieving Grenfell relatives


cathyfoxblog @CathyCathyFox

Mob rule was what got us into this mess. Mob rule by greedy neoliberal profiteers who dont care about people

There have been protests calling for justice over the tragedy.


Police open criminal investigation into Grenfell Tower fire <Tory outsourcing, profit, landlordism in the dock

Paul Lewis @paullewismoney

Criminal enquiry into fire. So why have documents and computers not been seized?

 


Alasdair Lord @Alasdair_Lord

Corporate manslaughter is not a crime. Blair to break corporate killing pledge

October 27, 2004

Tony Blair is set to break Labour’s manifesto promise to create a law before the next general election that punishes companies for fatal accidents.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ebbf322a-2845-11d9-9308-00000e2511c8.html?ft_site=falcon&desktop=true#axzz4kAan8RIZ

 

 

Dave’s New Year resolution, January 2012!

BBC reporting that, during her visit, Theresa May did not meet any of the survivors of for “security reasons”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/16/theresa-may-scared-grenfell-survivors-finished-austerity-cameron-osborne
Not So Strong @StrongerStabler

Theresa May’s priorities. 15m trip to see fire chiefs, not residents then to Savoy for Champagne & dinner with donors!

#DayOfRage #ToriesOut

On same day homeless survivors of Grenfell were stopped from claiming emergency payments.May’s smoozing with millionaires at Tory fundraiser


Eva Nova @jammyspoons

Theresa May responded quicker & more compassionately to Tory MPs who lost their seats than she did to victims.
Mr Malky @MrMalky

Quick rustle me up some survivors for a tea party at Downing St


17 June 2017
May hand picking #GrenfellTowerFire to visit her in PRIVATE at Downing Street.

Theresa May meets Grenfell Tower fire victims at Downing Street as protests over handling of tragedy continue

The PM invite residents to No 10 following her disastrous visit to a local church in Kensington which prompted a huge protest

Mrs May returned to the site of the blaze in North Kensington on Friday where she met with community leaders organising the relief effort at a local church.

But shortly before 5pm, while the MP was inside the St Clements Church in Notting Hill, a group of protesters arrived shouting “shame on you” and “coward”.

The council allegedly opted for cheaper cladding on the outside of the building – reportedly to make the 1970s block look nicer for its wealthier neighbours – instead of a non-flammable mineral based variant which only cost £2 more per panel.

A short while later, Mrs May reportedly fled from a side door

The handful of residents walked into No 10 as protesters shouted “May Out” from the gates.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-meets-grenfell-tower-fire-10639402

Hundreds march through Bristol for Grenfell Tower fire victims

21 June 2017

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/hundreds-people-march-through-bristol-127989


Cassandra Cogno @CassandraCogno

Inquests,police investigation, criminal prosecutions for #GrenfellTower May cannot be trusted to set up “swift” inquiry look at @InquiryCSA

 

Lady Black Cat @Lady_Black_Cat

Public Inquiry=govt choose judge & set Terms of Ref etc. Theresa May has history of killing issues via Public Inq route


Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

Why should I trust May to run an honest public inquiry into #grenfell when she lost dozens of files to protect friends in CSA inquiry?

Don’t put another inquiry into the hands of control freak who lost CSA files and delayed IICSA by putting forward 3 tainted partisan chairs!


₮ḥɛ Ƀɛåʈ₪ᴉ₭ ₣цƶżɃѳʍɃ @Sixgun77

Image result for savile and queen

Can’t think why the inquiry keeps ‘stalling’.


Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

I’m confident Theresa May will give the London fire the same treatment as CSA, Orgreave, Hillsborough, CoE sexual abuse, Edward Heath.


P J @Pamper48

The Establishment: safe in her hands!


 

Justice4Grenfell @Justice4GF

 

Andreas Baader @stop1984

Photo published for People are sharing this video of Boris Johnson telling opponent to 'get stuffed' in response to...

People are sharing this video of Boris Johnson telling opponent to ‘get stuffed’ in response to fire cuts

https://www.indy100.com/article/boris-johnson-london-tower-fire-grenfell-assembly-cuts-fire-service-7790971

 

Rachael @Rachael_Swindon@BorisJohnson When you did this you caused the abandonment of safety checks at . How do you feel?


Andreas Baader @stop1984

Boris Johnson accused over sales of London fire stations 2014

I’ve been thinking about the fire brigade because Boris Johnson is shutting down stations for luxury hotels 2014

Fire station shut by Boris Johnson to be turned into luxury flats by company run by Tory donor

Thursday 22 June

One of 10 fire stations shut by Boris Johnson while he was Mayor of London is to be converted into luxury flats – by a company whose directors include a Tory donor.

Belsize fire station, which was closed in 2014 after 100 years of service to the local community, will be turned into 16 apartments, the Camden New Journal have reported.

Vulcan Property Ltd, which bought the grade II listed building from the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) for £7.8 million, was given planning permission for the flats this week.

Scrapbook has found that Electoral Commission records show one of the company’s three directors, William Richard Woodward-Fisher, made a £2000 donation to a Conservative association in 2005.

Camden Council’s planning committee gave the scheme the go ahead this week, but at a previous meeting local councillor Flick Rea said: “It is patently clear that we did actually need this fire station.”

 

  • Firefighters at the station rescued a man from a fire in a block of flats on the same morning that the station was closed.

  • Last year a house just a 20 second drive away from the station was destroyed by a blaze. The owner of the house told the Camden New Journal“If Belsize was open, the response time would have been quicker. There is not even a conversation about that. It’s a 20-second drive away…I want to praise the firefighters but criticise the politicians that closed Belsize.”

  • And the closure of the fire station was blamed for the death of a pensioner who died after jumping from his burning flat. Here’s the ITV news report from the time…

 

The fact that two flats in the new development are allocated for social housing will be of little comfort to those paying the price for Johnson’s closures.

Especially given that Tory supporters are now profiting as a consequence of his deadly cuts…

https://politicalscrapbook.net/2017/06/fire-station-shut-by-boris-johnson-to-be-turned-into-luxury-flats-by-company-owned-run-tory-donor/


Chancellor Philip Hammond denies that public cuts are impacting emergency services


A Firefighter’s blog

http://michaelrosenblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/a-firefighter-who-attended-grenfell.html?spref=tw

 

We’ve been investigating the evidence about the Grenfell fire. And what we’ve found is numbing.

On 23 June, the police announced that they were considering charges of “manslaughter, as well as criminal offences and breaches of legislation and regulations” over the Grenfell Tower fire. And they issued a statement confirming that both the cladding and insulation installed at Grenfell have failed safety tests. Investigators are now trying to establish whether those materials were used illegally.

The Canary has been examining available and leaked documents relating to the Grenfell refurbishment. And the results are numbing.

Crime scenes

The day after the Grenfell fire, the Metropolitan Police Service announced it had begun a criminal investigation into the causes of the tragedy. This meant that the tower block and the premises of all parties connected to its refurbishment are now crime scenes. Since that announcement, many have been pushing for strident action.

MP David Lammy, for example, had asked Prime Minister Theresa May for an update on the criminal investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire in a House of Commons session. She was not able to oblige him. He demanded that all relevant documents relating to the refurbishment be seized; and that corporate manslaughter charges be considered.

He said: “Most people see this as a crime and they know that rich and powerful organisations get away with crime”.

And in an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stressed:

I would seek an assurance that if the Inquiry or police investigation finds any individual or organisation to have been negligent in their duties, then they will be prosecuted. This issue is not limited to the type of cladding fitted; the material it is attached to and how this has been achieved are also critical factors.

The key players

By all accounts, the cladding used during the refurbishment is likely to be key to the investigation.

A planning application [pdf] for the Grenfell Tower refurbishment project was made in October 2012. In that application, there appears to be no mention of the type of cladding eventually used, just “zinc rainscreen cladding“. This may be significant. Planning permission was granted in January 2014. And in the decision document [pdf p2, point 3], it was a requirement that “Materials to be used on the external faces of the building” be approved by the Local Planning Authority.

There were a number of key players involved in the project:

Other key players organised the cladding:

The wrong cladding?

In Arconic’s Reynobond PE brochure [pdf], a diagram clearly shows that panels with a fire retardant core, which applies only to the Reynobond FR model, can be used for buildings up to 30 metres tall. And above that, the A2 (non-combustible) model should only be used:

cladding diagram

Indeed, the Building Control Alliance 2014 recommendations agree; and they are quoted on the Omnis Exteriors website:

Where the building exceeds 18m in height, the BCA recommends…the use of materials of limited combustibility for all elements of the cladding system both above and below 18m.

However, Grenfell Tower is over 60 metres tall and only Reynobond PE (the combustible variety) was installed.

Costs

So why was Reynobond PE chosen instead of Reynobond FR? Simple: Omnis director John Cowley told The Guardian that the product is £2 cheaper per square metre than the fire-resistant variety. But costs should not have been a factor, as Kensington & Chelsea Council holds reserves of £274m.

The view of the Grenfell Action Group (GAG) on this aspect is unequivocal:

The cladding on Grenfell Tower was intended to pimp it up so that it wouldn’t spoil the image of creeping gentrification that the Council are intent on creating, here and throughout the rest of North Kensington.

Omnis director John Cowley told The Guardian: “We supplied components for a system created by the design and build team on that project.” The company put a more detailed statement on its website.

Is the cladding banned?

Cowley, who is also the managing director of CEP Architectural Facades, which produced rainscreen panels and windows for Grenfell Tower, is clear on this:

Reynobond PE is not banned in the UK. Current building regulations allow its use in both low-rise and high-rise structures. The key question now is whether the overall design of the building’s complete exterior was properly tested and subsequently signed off by the relevant authorities including the fire officer, building compliance officer and architect before commencement of the project.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, however, said the cladding (Reynobond PE) on the building was illegal in the UK. And the Department for Communities and Local Government later clarified:

Cladding using a composite aluminium panel with a polythene core should not be used for cladding on a building taller than 18 metres.

But in Germany, construction companies are banned from using Reynobond PE on towers more than 22 metres high. And in the US, the product is banned above 15 metres. Britain’s Fire Protection Association now wants the government to make it a statutory requirement for local authorities and companies to use only fire-retardant material, such as Reynobond FR.

What do the building regulations say?

The potential for fire to break out of a multi-storey building and rapidly spread up external cladding is addressed in Part B (last updated in 2006) of the building regulations:

The external envelope of a building should not provide a medium for fire spread if it is likely to be a risk to health and safety. The use of combustible materials in the cladding system and extensive cavities may present such a risk in tall buildings.

Limited combustibility can be demonstrated by testing a cladding system as a whole and by satisfying the performance requirements set out in BR 135 Fire Performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi-storey buildings. This would allow the inclusion of firebreaks within the cladding. However, contractors are provided some leeway in that, under Appendix A of the Building Regulations 2010 fire safety document [pdf], only the outward-facing surface needs to be fire-resistant.

Or as fire expert Arnold Tarling dramatically commented:

Since the Grenfell fire cladding installer Harley Facades (formerly Harley Curtain Wall) has removed details from its website of its work on Grenfell Tower “as a mark of respect” (though an archived copy of that page has been recovered).

Interestingly, according [paywall] to The Times, in 2016 a Harley customer tried to claim £428,000 for disputed work undertaken by Harley Curtain Wall. The company then went into liquidation. However, Harley’s owner Ron Bailey was allowed to purchase his old business for just under £25,000, even though it owed creditors £1.18m and was being pursued by HMRC for tax avoidance.

Soon after the fire, The Times [paywall] reported:

Harley said that the panels it supplied were a ‘commonly used product’ in the refurbishment industry. ‘We will fully support and co-operate with the investigations into this fire,’ Ray Bailey, 58, its managing director, said. ‘At this time, we are not aware of any link between the fire and the exterior cladding.’

Other considerations

There were other factors that could have contributed to the Grenfell tragedy.

The KCTMO was repeatedly warned about fire dangers in tower blocks, but did nothing. Residents also raised concerns about the gas pipes in the main stairwell, as it appears they were not boxed in with “fire-rated” protection. And there were four years of warnings over fire hazards by the Grenfell Action Group (GAG). But these were also ignored. Indeed, in 2013 the council threatened legal action against GAG.

The KCTMO has published a statement saying:

We understand the growing demand for answers. Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) continues to play an important role in gathering all relevant information that will enable us to assist fully with investigations.

At present, however, our focus remains firmly supporting our residents, staff and local agencies throughout this incredibly distressing time.

The government’s role

A dozen letters by the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group, warning that the government “could not afford to wait for another tragedy”, were leaked to BBC Panorama. They were sent to four ministers with the Department for Communities and Local Government. One of the recommendations was that sprinkler systems should be installed in 4,000 blocks of flats. But according to a leaked letter [pdf], nothing further was done about that. The ministers who were warned of fire dangers included: then Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, Conservative MP James Wharton, Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Williams, and Conservative MP Gavin Barwell (now Theresa May’s Chief of Staff).

Barwell promised a review into safety in 2016. And he was warned again about fire safety in March 2017. A review was eventually announced. But nothing was done, and the review was kicked into the long grass.

Other sites

Immediate action is now needed to identify which other properties have been clad with Reynobond PE. A cursory search of the Omnis Exteriors website shows that two properties – Granville Road and City West (Manchester) – were clad with Reynobond, though it is unclear which kind. Other cladding projects carried out by Harley may also have been clad with Reynobond.

And there could be more properties – not just high-rise flats – that are clad in Reynobond PE by other contractors. Indeed, already seven high-rise blocks, including three in Plymouth and one in Tottenham, have been identified. And a further nine high-rise blocks in Salford are currently under investigation.

Meanwhile, cladding installed on tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate, Camden, is currently being replaced after tests were carried out. Camden Council stated that the cladding was “not to the standard” expected. As with the Grenfell site, the main contractors were Rydon and Harley. The council is now seeking legal advice.

Truth comes out

Regardless of the ambiguities in the building regulations, the guidance from the product manufacturer should have raised questions about the choice of cladding.

Or as the Grenfell Action Group puts it:

We believe the dangers of cladding must have been known by the Council and TMO technical staff involved in planning the Grenfell Tower ‘improvement works’ and by the contractor Rydon and sub-contractor who carried out the works and seems to have opted for cheaper highly flammable cladding.

Rydon insists it met “all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards”.

Everyone who signed off the project has questions to answer.

Lammy again:

When the truth comes out about this tragedy, we may find there is blood on the hands of a number of organisations. It is my grave concern that the families of Grenfell Tower will not get justice if documents are being quietly destroyed and shredded, and emails are being deleted.

Hopefully, further evidence will be found to explain more fully why the fire happened; and why so many people tragically lost their lives.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/23/weve-been-investigating-evidence-grenfell-found-numbing/



 

Grenfell Tower gas pipes left exposed, despite fire safety expert’s orders

June 28 2017

Council expert said pipes serving flats must be protected with fire-retardant boxing but, by time of fire, two-thirds were still bare

Dozens of exposed gas pipes in Grenfell Tower that caused residents to fear for their safety were left bare despite a council safety expert ordering them to be protected by fire-retardant boxing.

The National Grid agreed to protect the pipes serving individual flats, which had been installed over the winter, but had only added a third of the boxing by the time the deadly blaze killed at least 79 people.

In March, three months before the blaze, residents told the London fire brigade (LFB) that people living in the 24-storey tower were so scared by the pipes “that they are having a panic attack”.

They requested an urgent safety report to show the building is “safe from fire hazard”, according to correspondence seen by the Guardian.

A fire safety consultant for Kensington and Chelsea council, which owns the tower, had approved the location of new gas risers and pipes in landings and stairways, but only if they were clad in “fire-rated” boxing, according to an email to leaseholders from Sacha Jevans, director of operations at the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation.

Jevans said that the National Grid assured the council on 27 March that the pipes would be protected, but two-thirds of the lateral pipes were still exposed when the disaster happened on 14 June.

The works were originally undertaken by the National Grid’s gas distribution arm following a leak. In March, the firm was sold to investors, including the Qatari government, and renamed Cadent Gas.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/27/grenfell-tower-gas-pipes-left-exposed-despite-fire-safety-experts-orders?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Alex AndreouVerified account @sturdyAlex

Mr EthicalVerified account @nw_nicholas

From Boris Johnson’s sister

.thinks Theresa May is a victim of the fire as well.#GrenfellTower

@soundpolitic @soundpolitic


It’s a good job there isn’t a column where @BorisJohnson mocks health and safety
Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

I wonder whether his mates likely to profit from laxer regulations wrote his script?

Health and safety fears are making Britain a safe place for extremely stupid people

Health and safety concerns are reducing life to mindless mayhem, complains Boris Johnson.

Witt UK Group
PSB UK Ltd recently handed over this prestigious project to J S Wright & Co Ltd for the new lobby smoke ventilation system.
Two other company names in relation to Grenfell

CFb9iW3UgAETiTd.jpg

Nick Paget-Brown with Princess Anne

Tory council leader reaches an all-time low and blames residents for the Grenfell fire [VIDEO]

 

It’s difficult to see how the Tories could sink much lower in their response to the Grenfell Tower disaster. The top of government failed to act on a safety review. The landlord ignored tenants’ warnings. Theresa May couldn’t even bring herself to meet residents. And now, the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council,  Nick Paget-Brown, has managed to hit a new low, blaming residents for a sprinkler system not being installed.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/16/tory-council-leader-reaches-an-all-time-low-and-blames-residents-for-the-grenfell-fire/

20 June 2017

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea offered to resign after the council was heavily criticised for its response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Standard has been told.

The town hall is also at the centre of a police investigation into the devastating inferno which is feared to have claimed the lives of at least 79 people.

Nicholas Paget-Brown is believed to have offered his resignation at a meeting of the council cabinet yesterday but it was unanimously rejected by fellow councillors.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/council-leader-nicholas-pagetbrown-offers-to-quit-after-criticism-over-grenfell-tower-fire-a3569101.html

HannahJane Parkinson@ladyhaja

If K&C council is doing such a great job then why has Ealing council had to step in? Paget-Brown here, & fresh from blaming residents too

https://twitter.com/lilyallen/status/876442976351924224

Kensington council leader refuses to say if he will resign over Grenfell Tower fire, insisting response was ‘effective’

Nick Paget-Brown is told some people view Kensington and Chelsea as a ‘rich borough, represented by rich people who don’t care about the poor, have contempt for poor people’

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council has refused to say whether he will resign amid criticism of the local authority’s response to the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Nicholas Paget-Brown, a Conservative, also insisted there had been an “effective” relief effort to help those made homeless by the fire which swept through the block of flats, killing at least 58 people.

He made the claim despite Theresa May saying the “support on the ground for families who needed help or basic information … was not good enough” and criticism from Jeremy Corbyn that the “wealthiest borough in the country” appeared to lack the necessary resources to deal with the crisis.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme if he was going to resign, Mr Paget-Brown said this was “not a matter for now”.

Kensington and Chelsea Council has faced criticism over its decision to build up a reserve fund of £274m. The shadow Communities Secretary, Andrew Gwynne, told The Independent the council needed to “immediately explain itself” over why the funds were not used to ensure safe housing.

But Mr Paget-Brown told World at One that this money was used to “invest in new facilities” in the area, such as a new academy for local children, new leisure centres and upgraded housing

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-kensington-chelsea-council-leader-nick-paget-brown-resign-effective-response-a7796236.html

Grenfell figures reveal social housing shortage amid glut of empty luxury property

Kensington housing crisis revealed by Grenfell fire deaths 

THE WEALTHY BOROUGH of Kensington and Chelsea, where the disastrous Grenfell Tower fire disaster took place, represents the extreme segregation of UK housing policy, according to new figures released by researchers. 

There are 1,399 vacant dwellings are in the borough according to Kensington and Chelsea council research, with many properties linked to offshore tax haven ownership – the mechanism of the property speculation industry. 

While many of these buildings have been left empty, accruing value for their corporate owners, the public housing stock has been left to deteriorate or be sold off. Ben Kentish, journalist at the Independent, said: “Kensington and Chelsea Council cares so much about social homes that it’s built just 10 – yes 10 – of them in the last 28 years.

“To those saying there’s no room to build, in the same period private property developers built 4060 homes in the borough. The council built 10.”

Yet despite being one of the wealthiest areas in the world, the council has been unable to confirm that surviving victims of the Grenfell Tower fire will be rehoused locally.

Residents and tenant’s groups had been warning of the possibility of such a tragedy for years, but it appears that not only were these warnings ignored, but steps were taken to actively silence the tenants calling for action regarding the safety of the building.

Housing is a human right and last night’s tragic event further highlights the need for housing to be run for the benefit of all, rather than for private profit. We call for tenants to no longer be silenced and to be actively involved in decisions about the safety and maintenance of their homes.”

https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/11198/grenfell-figures-reveal-social-housing-shortage-amid-glut-empty-luxury-property

The UK has some of the highest levels of hunger and deprivation among the world’s richest nations. One in three children in the country is in what Unicef calls “multi-dimensional poverty”: that’s deprivation in housing but also in clothes, social activities and food. This is the reality told by countless organisations on the ground: social workers, nurses, welfare rights advisers and debt charities.

Austerity is more than simply citizens in hardship: it’s the wilful abandonment of the government’s duty to help. Kensington and Chelsea council – the Conservative council responsible for Grenfell – for its part is sitting on £274m in reserves, according to the latest accounts.

While poor children in the borough fell below the breadline – and Grenfell residents slept in a tower without sprinklers – the council handed £100 council tax rebates to millionaires.

Tenants are said to be being told they will be rehoused as far away as Preston and threatened with being declared “intentionally homeless” if they refuse – meaning that Kensington and Chelsea council will have no duty to house them.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/22/grenfell-people-die-housing-inequality-austerity?CMP=share_btn_tw

Tory councillor who oversaw Grenfell Tower refurb

rock.jpeg

Rock Feilding-Mellen

24 JUN 2017

Rock Feilding-Mellen, Cabinet Member for Housing and deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council

Tory councillor for Housing in Kensington & Chelsea + private property developer Rock Fielding-Mellen is where the buck stops with Grenfell Tower. He ignored complaints and cut corners when signing off the redevelopment. He has personal interests in gentrifying the borough.

link

Rocky’s lack of experience in ‘matters housing.’

Image result for Rock Feilding-Mellen

For some years, he and his two partners have struggled to make a go of pretentiously named development company, Socially Conscious Capital.
Though it pretends to be something ethical it is, by any other name, a developer.

It has just two failing projects:

Longniddry, East Lothian
Racecourse Plantations

The Socially Conscious Capital website spouts a lot of nonsense about ‘working with the community’.
Sadly, it seems not to be working. Read the waffle HERE
Longniddy is owned by Rocky’s stepfather, the affable and kind-hearted Earl of Wemyss & March, so you would think getting the yokels to ‘engage’ with Rocky would be a cinch….not so!
With one voice they told Rocky they needed him like a hole in the head telling him to take himself back south.
Local reports suggest that Rocky flew into a major tantrum.

So what about Racecourse Plantations?
Sadly, Rocky seems again to have evoked the wrath of the local bumpkins. Though not mentioned on the website, it seems his attempt to build 390 socially conscious housing units on ancient woodlands got kicked into touch.
You can  read about it HERE
So not much of a record for persuading local and yokels to take him seriously!

And this leads us on to the PROBLEM.

Image result for Rock Feilding-Mellen

Rocky has Borough responsibility for housing and regeneration.
There are two solid reasons why he is ill-equipped for the role.
1. He pisses off those he is supposed to be persuading by constantly losing his temper when thwarted or challenged
2. His private business track record to date is risible.

Oddly, the website says this about Rocky’s local government expertise. Frankly, he should not be mixing up his roles in this way: it looks as if he is using his council job to aid his private business.

Political: local planning authorities – who set the planning policies and ultimately make the decisions – are political organisations. It’s therefore necessary to understand the local political climate when putting together a proposal. 
Rock Feilding-Mellen, who has over eight years’ experience as a local government Councillor, applies his knowledge of local politics to guiding the planning strategy for our sites.

A casual read suggests Rocky’s local government housing experience is an advantage…
Based on the record, not for Socially Conscious Capital……

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.com/2015/12/rock-feilding-mellen-two-jobssame.html

Will RBKC Investigate Rock Feilding-Mellen?

Image result for Rock Feilding-Mellen

It is the belief of many in our community that Cllr Rock Feilding-Mellen may be inappropriately using his position of power on the Council for his personal benefit. In the Grenfell Action Group we share those concerns. We believe that Cllr Feilding-Mellen had prior knowledge of the detail of the Council’s forward planning for the regeneration of the Latimer area, and we believe his decision to purchase his current residence in Bramley Road may have been made in anticipation of the likely increase in the value of that property as a direct consequence of the Council’s regeneration policy, over which he now exercises considerable power and influence as Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration.

We believe that the the purchase price of the property bought by Cllr Feilding-Mellen would have reflected the fact that this area of North Kensington has long suffered from under-investment and, as a result, house prices at the time of his decision to buy would have been considerably lower than in other more affluent areas of the borough. We therefore believe that Cllr Feilding-Mellen has a strong personal motive to push forward with plans for the regeneration of the social housing estates that surround his property, as the ‘gentrification’ of the area will inevitably lead to a steep rise in property prices, and a significant increase in the value of his own property.

We do not believe that Cllr Feilding-Mellen will be incentivised to properly consider the objections of local residents of social housing estates who oppose plans to demolish their homes and we believe that he has a direct and significant conflict of interest as he seeks to apply RBKC legislation that would see the destruction of the social housing estates surrounding his property, the displacement of working class communities resulting from the increased ‘gentrification’ of the area, and a consequent significant increase in the value of his own property in Bramley Road.

We also have concerns about the several small companies declared by Cllr Feilding-Mellen on the RBKC register of members interests. Two of these companies are registered at his address in Bramley Road. Neither appears to be profitable or to be engaged in any actual business worthy of note. One of the companies in question, VIMV2 LLP, has existed as a small company  for several years but appears never to have declared a profit, and despite having assets of nearly £6million, it appears currently to be £122,000 in the red. The very existence of these companies therefore raises questions as to their possible purpose. Might they exist primarily in anticipation of emerging opportunities for property speculation in the Latimer area, or perhaps in other parts of the borough, the redevelopment of which Cllr Feilding-Mellen will oversee as Cabinet Member for Housing Property and Regeneration? We simply don’t know, but we believe we have a right to be concerned, and to raise those concerns with the Council.

We believe that residents are entitled to be reassured by RBKC that Cllr Feilding-Mellen will be recused from any decision making process involving housing regeneration from which he stands to profit personally. We are also seeking reassurances that neither he nor the companies in which he has an interest will be permitted to buy or sell property in areas of the Royal Borough subject to regeneration or likely to become so.

On 23rd March we made a formal complaint to the RBKC Chief Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, LeVerne Parker, requesting that the issues detailed above be investigated as a matter of urgency and seeking reassurances that Cllr Feilding-Mellen’s personal and business interests would not be allowed to influence decisions concerning plans to ‘regenerate’ RBKC social housing estates. We received the following initial response from Ms Parker;

“I acknowledge receipt of your complaint of today’s date.

Although your complaint does not expressly refer to it being a complaint alleging that Cllr Feilding-Mellen has breached the Members’ Code of Conduct, as your complaint is about an elected councillor, I will deal with it as such and I attach a copy of the Council’s procedures for dealing with code of conduct complaints.

As the first step I am required to consider whether your complaint merits formal investigation and the attached document sets out the criteria I will take into account in coming to my decision. I will also consult the Independent Person and the Chairman of the Audit and Transparency Committee.

I will advise you of my decision on or before 3 May 2016 but, if you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely…”

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/will-rbkc-investigate-rock-feilding-mellen/

RBKC Declines to Investigate Rock Feilding-Mellen

 Rock Basil Hugo Feilding Mellen (born 1979)

Londoner’s Diary: K&C’s deputy Rock Feilding-Mellen avoids bash at his family estate

Kensington and Chelsea council deputy avoids step-sister’s aristo party

KENSINGTON and Chelsea council’s Rock Feilding-Mellen has made one correct call since the Grenfell Tower fire. He decided not to head to his family home, Stanway House in Gloucestershire, for a wild weekend of partying with the aristo-boho set.

Feilding-Mellen is deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for housing, property and regeneration, with a brief covering the Grenfell Tower but he’s also part of a social set a world apart.

This weekend was the 30th birthday of his step-sister Mary Charteris, model and member of the band The Big Pink with her husband Robbie Furze, held at Stanway.

19-june-insta-1.jpg
Party time: birthday girl Mary Charteris and friends. @georgianahuddart

He had been expected to go home at the weekend to party but, after Wednesday, he told his friends that is just wouldn’t be right. One friend tells us he was “shattered” by what happened.

It would have made “bad optics”, as they say, had Rocky been seen knocking back champagne with his family and friends. Those who did go to Mary’s party included Cara Delevingne, actor Jaime Winstone and aristos including Scarlett Spencer-Churchill.

19-june-insta-3.jpg
A dawn walk, with Cara Delevingne in yellow. @felixradford

There is a video online of Cara driving to Gloucestershire in a Range Rover. Pictures of the all-night garden party appeared on Instagram this weekend.

19-june-insa-2.jpg
The morning after. @jonte0

Rocky’s mother Amanda is married to James Charteris, the Earl of Wemyss and March. Mary is the daughter of James from his first marriage to Catherine Guinness. Stanway is the family house, set in 5,000 acres with a 300ft single jet fountain, the tallest gravity fountain in the world.

A rather different sort of estate to those in North Kensington.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/londoners-diary/londoners-diary-kc-s-deputy-rock-feildingmellen-avoids-bash-at-his-family-estate-a3568101.html

Rockn Feilding-Mellen’s mother:

The Feilding family is descended from the House of Habsburg

The crackpot countess (who drills holes in her head to get high) using £550,000 of YOUR cash to prove magic mushrooms are healthy

  • Countess of Wemyss and March – aka ‘Lady Mindbender’ – is best known for her belief in the health benefits of magic mushrooms
  • She set up Beckley foundation in 1998 to campaign for legalisation of drugs
  • On committee is Prof David Nutt, who was sacked as Government’s drug tsar in 2009 for claiming Ecstasy was less dangerous than horse riding

 

Eccentricity seems to run in the family.

Amanda’s father, an art and antiques-loving country squire called Basil, married his own cousin, Peggy. Together, they inherited Beckley from his parents. And into this rose pink home in January 1943, Amanda was born.

Old Etonian and Oxford graduate, Joe Mellen — who also swore by trepanning, and he became Amanda’s next lover, as well as father of her two sons Rock and Cosmo.

Wemyss, an Oxford don who once taught Bill Clinton, was known for hosting amazing parties at Stanway, his Jacobean stately home in Gloucestershire, which made boho-aristo groupies like Mick Jagger go weak at the knees.

There were plenty with his first wife Catherine Guinness and he continued the pattern with his new countess. The most memorable of these parties took place last year when Neidpath’s bombshell daughter Mary Charteris, married a pop musician called Robbie Furze.

The event, described as ‘the maddest wedding of the year’, was attended by Jerry Hall and her daughter Georgia May Jagger, and the supermodel Delevingne sisters. The bride wore a very revealing dress; the ring bearer was a dog.

Yet despite this decadence, since setting up her foundation she has travelled the world enlisting the support of presidents, made depositions to the House of Lords, and collected big-name scientists around her.

Even proof that this theory was bunkum hasn’t put Amanda or her circle off — hence the £550,000 grant to investigate magic mushrooms.

It is clear, too, that her interest in drugs has been handed down the generations. In 2011, Amanda’s younger son Cosmo, 28, made a film, Breaking The Taboo, which was financed by Sam Branson, son of Richard, and argues that criminalisation of drugs isn’t working.

Nor was the family’s fervent belief in the legalisation of drugs dented by a tragic reminder of the dangers of drugs that came in 2004.

Robert Hesketh, who Catherine Guinness had married after her divorce from Lord Neidpath, died at the age of 48, with a cocktail of alcohol, heroin and cocaine in his blood.

Nothing, not even tragedy, could put off the Countess of Wemyss from espousing the benefits of illegal substances and mind-bending mushrooms.

Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March, is an English artist, scientist, and drug policy reformer. In 1998, she founded the Beckley Foundation, a charitable trust that promotes a rational, evidence-based approach to global drug policy policies and initiates, directs and supports pioneering neuroscientific and clinical research into the effects of psychoactive substances on the brain and cognition. The central aims of her research are to investigate new avenues of treatment for mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and addiction, as well as to explore methods of enhancing well-being and creativity.

London fire: It could take two years to rehouse Grenfell Tower victims, councillor says

The deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, Rock Feilding-Mellen has admitted to the BBC that it could take up to two years to rehouse all the victims of Grenfell Tower.

Mr Feilding-Mellen said the first priority was to get the families out of hotels and into temporary accommodation before trying to find them a more permanent home.

The council said it had provided hotel accommodation for all those families that had lived in Grenfell Tower that had contacted it.

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-london-40300517/london-fire-it-could-take-two-years-to-rehouse-grenfell-tower-victims-councillor-says

Paul Mason‏ @paulmasonnews

Why is RBKC Tory housing chief Rock Feilding-Mellen still in post? Clear evidence from TMO email: cost pressures led to cladding switch


Insurance – follow the money:

some more background

http://www.insuranceinsider.com/search?term=grenfell

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

RBKC switched insurance providers about three months before the fire

Zurich had been charging an annual premium of £680,000 according to The Times

Anthony John Wixted‏ @TrojanManifesto

Are you suggesting the Swiss company Zurich might have pulled out of the deal due to safety fears???

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

It believe it was due to the type of policy that they covered, whereby Zurich did not.

How many other local council buildings in the uk are insured by Protector Forsikring???

Zurich Insurance Group employ some of the best researchers in the world…

..and if we found out so much about Grenfell Tower within 24 hours then ZIG knew it months ago…

Am I right in assuming that Protector Forsikring wont have to pay a penny because landlords,contractors and councils acted negligently???

 

ZED 🤐 @ZedTrafficker

 

The Council changed their Insurance – Set to gain the biggest payout of £1 Billion

And *uck all mention of Grenfell Tower in the queens speech…. Forgotten already

SilverLining @Ev3ryCloud

Said it all before, it covers re-housing & council will be profiteers, not the residents. More than shocking!

#Justice4Grenfell

Norwegian insurer Protector Forsikring initially revealed that last week’s Grenfell Tower fire could lead to an insurance bill of more than £25 million – but now the total payout is estimated to be as high as £1 billion.   

This could be Europe’s single biggest building insurance payout, according to a report by Sputnik. It said The Times estimated the total bill, with eventual cost depending on the number of fatalities, the price of demolishing and rebuilding the property, and the litigation.

Protector Forsikring’s chief executive Sverre Bjerkeli previously said the firm expects its Munich Re-handled reinsurance program to pick up “almost the entire cost” from the blaze. According to a Reuters report, the Norwegian insurer, which has a presence in Manchester, wrote the policy for the Grenfell Tower for about £20 million.

Kensington and Chelsea Council, which owns the freehold of the tower, reportedly switched insurance providers about three months before the fire that the Metropolitan Police said has left 79 people missing as of June 19.

Swiss company Zurich was named as the original insurer of Grenfell Tower, with Kensington and other boroughs picking Protector Forsikring supposedly to save money. The Norwegian firm was said to be charging a much lower annual premium, according to Sputnik.

Meanwhile, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) is being blamed for having used cladding with a polyethylene core – a factor cited in the spread of flames.

KCTMO, which managed the Grenfell Tower on behalf of the local government, allegedly ignored fire safety concerns raised by residents and experts as early as 2004.

http://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/uk/news/breaking-news/grenfell-tower-insurance-bill-could-be-europes-biggest-ever–reports-71072.aspx

Swiss company Zurich was named as the original insurer of Grenfell Tower, with Kensington and other boroughs picking Protector Forsikring supposedly to save money. The Norwegian firm was said to be charging a much lower annual premium, according to Sputnik.

Larry Silverstein/Zurich : in a crowning touch of irony, Zurich American Insurance Companies, one of the insurers that fought Silverstein tooth-and-nail over his 9/11 claims, wound up taking three floors at 4 WTC this August.

https://www.wtc.com/media/news/15-years-after-911-larry-silverstein-finally-recreated-wtc

Silverstein angled for an even larger payout from the insurance companies but was unsuccessful. It is known that the insurers conducted their own investigations of the culprits behind 9/11, which may have yielded different conclusions than those reached by the U.S. 9/11 Commission.

https://www.wtc.com/media/news/15-years-after-911-larry-silverstein-finally-recreated-wtc


Amid renewed public interest in determining the identities of all the culprits behind the 9/11 attacks, comes word that a second executive with one of the World Trade Center’s insurers has died from “suicide.”

Zurich Insurance Group’s former CEO Martin Senn was reported to have shot himself at his vacation home near Davos in Switzerland. No suicide note was found by police. Senn resigned as CEO of the insurance giant last December after the company experienced losses from the still-unexplained large explosions in Tianjin, China, last August.

In August 2013, Zurich Insurance’s then-chief financial officer, Pierre Wauthier, was found hanging at his home in Walchwil, in the canton of Zug, Switzerland, not far from Zurich. Wauthier previously worked for JPMorgan Chase. Police said the hanging “pointed to” a suicide. The insurance company conducted an investigation and determined that Wauthier was not suffering from stress as Swiss police contended.

In January 2014, Tim Dickenson, the communications director for Swiss Re, another World Trade Center insurer, died from unexplained causes in London. Swiss Re was one of the firms that experienced suspicious put options on its stock prior to 9/11 and which went toe-to-toe with World Trade Center lessee Larry Silverstein on settling insurance claims. Swiss Re, like Zurich Insurance, conducted its own investigation of 9/11 and both companies indicated that Silverstein was using the attacks and destruction of the WTC to bilk the insurance companies and make a handsome profit.

http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/18295


David LammyVerified account @DavidLammy

Hearing that Grenfell Tower survivors not wanting to be rehoused elsewhere eg in Preston (over 200 miles away) are being threatened

with being declared “intentionally homeless”, which in reality means the council won’t help them get rehoused. Absolutely despicable.

Intentionally homeless = the council does not have legal duty to rehouse you. How can your home burning down = intentionally homeless


Andrea Davison @beforethestars

That was always the Tory rich intention get them out of prime land and put in Tory voters


Kabir Ali CTA @KabirAli_KBR

Social cleansing of London been happening for a while now. It’s now under the spotlight due to Grenfell. Community means nothing to Tories


Scott Nelson @SocialistVoice


London is being socially cleansed of working class people to make way for the likes of the toffee-nosed snobs in Kensington #GrenfellTower



TM @cedawnow

Has Jeremy Corbyn struck a Faustian pact with Labour’s gentrification-happy local councillors?

In his conference speech in Liverpool, the Labour leader railed against the housing crisis. “Look what’s happening to housing under the Tories… council homes are sold off without being replaced,” he said. But weirdly, he didn’t find time in his speech to criticise Labour councils such as Lambeth, Hackney and Southwark for doing just that.

Quite the opposite. In a gambit aimed at stopping his party’s desperate civil war, he said: “Across the country, Labour councils are putting Labour values into action, in a way that makes a real difference to millions of people, despite cynical government funding cuts that have hit Labour councils five times as hard as Tory-run areas. It is a proud Labour record, and each and every Labour councillor deserves our heartfelt thanks for the work they do.”


OFFICIAL – RBKC ADMITS ‘SOCIAL CLEANSING’ PLANS

press-release-banner

press-release

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/press-release/royal-borough-assigns-£10m-purchase-homes-temporary-accommodation

The Grenfell Action Group has repeatedly accused the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea of despising the unemployed and the low-paid as an underclass which it would rather see removed completely from the Rotten Borough. The above press statement from Kensington and Chelsea Council may well be the first concrete evidence that our accusations have been well founded, and it confirms that ‘social cleansing’ is now an active policy which will soon be implemented by the Neo-Con Monsters in Hornton Street.

Back in early 2013 the Hornet”s Nest website revealed that Derek Myers (RBKC Chief Executive at the time) and Laura Johnson (Director of Housing) had been meeting with senior Councillors and Officers from Peterborough Borough Council to explore the possibility of RBKC shipping homeless families from the RBKC waiting list out to Peterborough.

This shameful plan involved RBKC buying land to build ‘barracks for the poor’ in Peterborough to which RBKC could move anyone on their housing register to a ‘Cockell New Town’ in Cambridgeshire.

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/a-dangerous-pairing.html
http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/mr-myers-mixes-it-in-peterborough.html

At the time, these discussions apparently failed, partly due, no doubt, to the storm of adverse publicity created when the Hornet, and the Peterborough local press, both blew the whistle on it. However it has now become clear that RBKC have since continued to actively pursue this approach to solving the local social housing ‘problem’, and have now implemented the first stage of what is effectively a ‘social cleansing’ policy. This brings the nightmare scenario of largescale ‘social cleansing’ a step closer to reality.

The latest RBKC plan to use Council funds to purchase property outside London is evidence that ‘social cleansing’ is an active policy of RBKC and that our Councillors have a will to displace the poor and vulnerable out of the Rotten Borough to make way for spiv property developers and ‘buy to leave’ speculators. The references in the press release to ‘temporary accomodation’ are, of course, effectively meaningless as the Council has no intention of ever increasing the stock of social rented housing.

So far they have only allocated £10 million for this nefarious scheme, which appears to be targetted at homeless families on the housing waiting list. We all know, and the Council admits, that such a meagre budget will buy only a very limited number of properties, so we must assume that this is just a pilot scheme which is likely to be expanded if it proves successful from the perspective of the councillors and council officers responsible. We should also be mindful that what they now represent as an opportunity to house those in greatest need, may well be expanded to later include those targetted for decanting to make way for the mass regeneration projects that we now know are in the pipeline.

We have already seen social cleansing in operation elsewhere in London, notably in Brent, Southwark. Hackney, and Haringey. Make no mistake, your home and your tenancy are no longer safe, and we advise all social housing tenants, in this most rotten of boroughs, to treat all statements, reassurances or promises made by councillors or officers of RBKC with extreme caution. We call on all social housing residents to wake up to the likely implications of this new policy. Spread the word to your neighbours. There is no time to waste and we need to start organising and taking action now to protect our homes, our communities and our tenancies.

N.B. This story has been picked up by the Guardian this weekend in an article that indicts both RBKC and Westminster, which has implemented a virtually identical ‘social cleansing’ policy. Read more here:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/02/london-social-housing-kensington-chelsea-rising-prices

Grenfell Tower residents condemn ‘invisible’ estate managers

Group of victims, residents, community leaders and volunteers has criticised the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation.

June 18 2017

Residents who met the Prime Minister in Downing Street following the Grenfell Tower fire have criticised estate managers of the building as having been “invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy”.

“With the exception of very few junior officers, the estate managers have been invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy.”

The group, which spent two-and-a-half hours with Mrs May on Friday and Saturday, hit out at the “longstanding neglect” of council buildings in the area.



This letter sent by Kensington and Chelsea’s council leader, Nick Paget-Brown, to residents in 2014 will absolutely infuriate you.

James O’Brien was absolutely horrified at the discovery of a letter sent by Kensington and Chelsea’s Tory Council Leader, Nick Paget-Brown in 2014 to rich local residents. 

On his LBC show, James shared with his listeners the letter sent by Mr Paget-Brown, to residents living in the borough where the Grenfell Tower took place.

He said: “OK are you ready for this? In 2014, the leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, Nicholas Paget-Brown, wrote to all residents to pay their council tax in full.

“I think everybody in Kensington and Chelsea are going to be in the top band, aren’t they, for council tax nationally speaking? I can’t imagine there are many properties in that area that don’t fall into the top council tax band, so low is it, it has never been raised since it was introduced.

“Anyone who had paid their council tax in full, I think in the top band, received a letter from the leader of the Kensington and Chelsea council explaining that they would all receive, you might want to sit down for this…I suspect this letter dropped through the letter boxes of Kensington and Chelsea residents, residents of the richest borough in the country, the richest residents, of the richest country, received this letter at about the time catastrophic cladding was being attached to the side of a tower block.”

The letter said that theses residents would receive a one-off payment of £100 to be deducted from their council tax bill. 

James went on: “The bonus was due to the council’s ‘careful management of its finances’ over the years. This, while…catastrophic cladding was being stuck to the side of the building in order to save five grand. Wow.”

http://www.lbc.co.uk/news/london/west/kensington-chelsea/grenfell-tower-fire/letter-sent-by-kensington-council-leader-infuriate/

bpanews_266f00e6-ffe6-48c0-9881-7e128bbbed15_embedded655210

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/grenfell-tower-residents-condemn-invisible-estate-managers-35839173.html


Pilgrim Tucker @PilgrimTucker

Its time the media started applying some scrutiny to senior councillors and their relationships with property developers


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Glenn Woodhead Innovations and Solutions Manager at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea


SilverLining @Ev3ryCloud

How MANY involved?


 

THERESA May has ordered a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster as the Government vowed that “no stone will be left unturned” to get to the truth about what happened.

 

Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

 

Is ‘No stone will be left unturned’ secret code for ‘Let the coverup begin’?


 Grenfell Towers

Rachael @Rachael_Swindon

This afternoon Theresa May is making time to meet with the DUP. She didn’t have time for the residents of though. Disgusted.

David Lammy@DavidLammy

Joel Benjamin @Gian_TCatt

Appears #GrenfellTower residents complained TIMBER battens were used to fix cladding to the building exterior. Who inspected the works..?!

 

CharlieBoab @VanCharleston

 Will there be a 27 year #GrenfellTower cover up “advanced in the committee rooms of the Hse of Commons & the press rooms of 10 Downing St?”
Dame Alun Roberts
Glad to see so many people on social media researching background to London fire. I do not trust public inquiries by the likes of PM May.
 If CSA inquiry is anything to go by, inquiry is just another word for slow, gradual coverup.
 
Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr
Chilcot….Taylor Report…Lord Saville and Bloody Sunday.
The Royal Borough will be granted Core Participant Status, and we know what that means.

The Grenfell Tower residents saw this tragedy coming, but were repeatedly ignored. Was it because they were poor?

June 14 2017

In a frighteningly prescient post titled Playing With Fire, the Grenfell residents’ association wrote in 2016 that ‘a serious fire in the tower block’ with a catastrophic loss of life would be the only way they could bring the company managing the building ‘to justice’

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/grenfell-tower-fire-kensington-london-residents-kctmo-council-contract-ignored-poor-a7789276.html

Labour Insider @Labour_Insider

Robert Black is the Chief Executive of . He is reported to earn £160,000 a year and lives in a £1 million house.

Photo published for Answers needed over Grenfell Tower fire

 

Two #GrenfellTower women -now feared dead- were ‘threatened with legal action’ for raising alarm about fire safety

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-london-dead-legal-action-campaign-fire-safety-mariem-elgwahry-nadia-choucair-a7795586.html

Two women feared dead in Grenfell Tower tragedy were threatened with legal action – after raising alarm about fire safety

Mariem Elgwahry and Nadia Choucair were branded ‘troublemakers’ because they campaigned to make their homes safer

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/two-women-feared-dead-grenfell-10640944

gag BANNER

The Grenfell Action Group was formed in 2010 to oppose the KALC project and defend the rights of the residents of Lancaster West Estate, a sprawling inner-city housing estate of nearly a thousand dwellings, mostly working class, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic.

History – From Core Strategy to Kensington Academy

Image result for lancaster green london

The people of Lancaster West stood to lose a great deal to this massive over-development at the heart of our estate, not least the well-loved and well-used open-space of Lancaster Green, the defence and protection of which was one of our primary aims.

Chapter 23 of the Core Strategy deals with the site allocation for the Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre development (Policy CA 4). The site is comprised of two land parcels, the first of which already hosts the Kensington Leisure Centre. This area is earmarked in the Core Strategy for a rebuilt or redeveloped leisure centre on the same footprint, more or less, as the existing structure. The second adjoining land parcel is earmarked for a new secondary school, the proposed Kensington Aldridge Academy.

The Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre (KALC) project was destined to become one of the biggest and most ambitious development projects sponsored by Kensington and Chelsea Council in recent times. An application for planning permission was submitted in May 2012 and was duly approved. Demolition and excavation to prepare the site for development began as soon as planning permission was granted.

Lancaster Green. Approximately 40% of the proposed academy site was composed of open green space which included footpaths, grassed areas, flowering shrubs, and a significant number of mature trees. Lancaster Green, as it was called, had been designated, for a number of years, as one of the Council’s local parks. It was listed as a park on the Council’s website and was marked as a park by an official Council signnpost. It was listed in the Council’s ‘Open Space Audit’ (2004), as the ‘Grenfell Tower Amenity Space’ (4350 sq metres), and was listed in the ‘Parks Strategy’ (2010) as the ‘Lancaster West Secondary Park’.

Although managed by the Council’s Parks Department the legal status of Lancaster Green was actually more complicated than this would suggest. A Title Review of the proposed KALC site, carried out by the Council’s Legal Services Department in June 2010, revealed that both Lancaster Green and the Grenfell Tower Playground area were covered by the same title deed as the adjoining part of Lancaster West Estate, and therefore properly belonged to Lancaster West Estate, rather than the Sports Centre. This was a clear indication that both Lancaster Green and the playground area were originally created as essential amenity space for Lancaster West residents. These amenity spaces were particularly important to Grenfell Tower residents, who have no balconies or private amenity space, and whose public areas receive no natural light. It is noteworthy also that Lancaster West Estate is generally deficient in playspace, and the open space in the western part of the proposed KALC site, including the sports pitches, had always served to mitigate that deficiency.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/beginnings-3/

Image result for lancaster green london

Site of former Lancaster Green – Kensington Aldridge Academy

https://companycheck.co.uk/company/07702460/KENSINGTON-ALDRIDGE-ACADEMY/companies-house-data?cct_source=192&cct_medium=website&action=buyReport

Grenfell Tower fire

The flammable cladding encasing the exterior of Grenfell Tower played a major part in spreading and accelerating what began as a single dwelling fire with such rapidity that the entire interior of the 24 storey building became a raging inferno in less than an hour. It is incumbent on us also to state our firmly held belief that the cladding in question was not introduced for the benefit of the residents of Grenfell Tower but because Kensington and Chelsea Council had redeveloped the surounding area, building another of their flagship academy schools right next to Grenfell Tower, and a new sports and leisure centre next to that.

 

The cladding on Grenfell Tower was intended to pimp it up so that it wouldn’t spoil the image of creeping gentrification that the Council are intent on creating, here and throughout the rest of North Kensington.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/

One of Grenfell’s Tower’s two escape routes was blocked up because of academy

Residents of the Grenfell Tower area have alleged that one of Grenfell Tower’s two escape routes had been permanently closed after the construction of the Kensington Aldridge Academy. The academy, which opened in the autumn of 2014, is currently closed because of its proximity to the scene of Wednesday’s terrible fire.

Photo published for “One of #Grenfell’s two escape routes was blocked up because of academy”

Local people told the SKWAWKBOX on Sunday that there were two exits from the block, but that one had been shut up – and that older residents of the Tower may have died because they went to the blocked exit in the confusion of the blaze, instead of the one that remained usable.

Residents of the area also alleged that the academy has the same type of exterior cladding that was used on Grenfell Tower and that the decision to use it on the high-rise may have been driven by a desire to bring the appearance of the tower block more into line with that of the new academy.

The cladding on the academy can be seen in the image below:

 

Kensington-Academy1.jpg

There appears to be no ill-will or blame toward the academy on the part of local residents and indeed staff from the school, which remains closed, have been participating in the relief effort. However, there is considerably anger about the planning decisions that led to it being sited so close to Grenfell Tower and to the closure of the exit.

One resident told this blog,

How can you put a building so close that you have to close one of only two ways out? It’s bad enough that there was only one staircase for 600 people in that building, but closing one of the exit doors as well? They were treated like cattle.

Some of the older people still got confused and tried to use the old door sometimes. Can you imagine if that happened on Wednesday?

If the assertions of local people are correct, they must raise serious concerns about the council’s planning decisions and their contribution to last Wednesday’s terrible events.

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/06/19/one-of-grenfells-two-escape-routes-was-blocked-up-because-of-academy/amp/

Rod Aldridge, founder of the Aldridge Foundation and Capita

Sir Rodney Aldridge –  Dedicated to helping disadvantaged young people

Rod Aldridge is also a trustee of the Prince’s Trust, chairing a scheme to help children who have dropped out of school.

Leaving school at 16 with a handful of O-levels, Aldridge got a job in the post room at his local county council.

Sir Rod Aldridge speaking at the Topping Out

Kensington Aldridge Academy Reaches Major Milestone

28 January 2014

Bouygues UK celebrated the construction of the Kensington Aldridge Academy in west London reaching its highest point recently, with an official “Topping out” ceremony.

The event was attended by Chairman of the Academy’s lead sponsor the Aldridge Foundation, Sir Rod Aldridge, the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor Charles Williams, and Leader of the Council, Councillor Nicholas Paget-Brown.

http://b4ed.com/Article/aldridge_academy_reaches_milestone

link

The government’s controversial academy programme is not universally welcomed by parents concerned that their children’s education is being transferred from state to philanthropist.

As a public figure associated with the Labour government – he retired after negative publicity surrounding a £1m loan he made to the party, and chairs a youth volunteering programme launched by Gordon Brown

Education Portslade county school for boys; qualified as a chartered public accountant, 1970

Career 2006-present: founder and chair, the Aldridge Foundation; 1984-July 2006: founder and chair, The Capita Group plc; 1974-84: technical director, Chartered Institute of Public Finance; 1972-74: assistant treasurer, Crawley council; 1969-72: senior accountant, Brighton council; 1963-69: postboy and then junior posts in payroll section and audit department, East Sussex county council

Public life Chair of dance working group, Department of Health; youth volunteering charity, v; The Lowry and User Voice

Interests Family, golf, Sussex county cricket club, Chelsea FC and Brighton and Hove Albion FC

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2009/aug/05/rod-aldridge-entrepreneurship-mobility-capita

01 Feb 2003

Capita is the biggest contractor of government services. It collects television licence fees and council tax payments, and runs depart- ments, divisions and government programmes.

It runs the Criminal Records Bureau and, last autumn, schools stayed shut as it tried to work through every school employee in the country to see whether they had any criminal record.

‘Our contract was with the Home Office. The procedure was agreed, and that’s what we were doing. The education minister decided we had to do a full check on teachers. Nobody discussed that with us. I’m not even sure they discussed it with the Home Office.’

http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/mt-interview-rod-aldridge/article/412371

Labour donor landed role as adviser to Brown thanks to ‘dirty secret’

3 November 2006

rodPA031106_228x251.jpg

Mr Aldridge: boss of Capita, which has been awarded billions of pounds of public sector contracts under Labour

A millionaire businessman who secretly loaned £1 million to the Labour Party was recruited to head a flagship Government project by one of his own companies.

Official documents show civil servants regarded the process used for the appointment of Rod Aldridge as head of a £150 million youth community service scheme as a ‘dirty secret’.

After inquiries were made about it, one emailed another warning: ‘Our dirty secret is out – would you like to deal?’

The documents, released under freedom of information laws, reveal that recruitment firm Veredus was used to find a chairman for a flagship body implementing the recommendations of the Russell Commission, set up by Gordon Brown to bring about a revolution in youth volunteering.

Mr Aldridge – boss of technology firm Capita, the parent company of Veredus – was eventually appointed to the prestigious post.

He has since taken up a job as head of a new charity called V, which is managing the volunteering scheme.

Though the position is unpaid, it holds huge prestige as one of Mr Brown’s pet projects.

Last night the Conservatives expressed astonishment at the revelations about his appointment and said they would be demanding an official inquiry.

They demanded to know whether ministers had played any part in the process.

Tory frontbencher Chris Grayling, whose questions prompted the release of the documents, said: ‘I shall be writing to the permanent secretary of the Cabinet Office asking for an investigation.

‘It seems extraordinary that a recruitment company would nominate its own group chairman to a position as politically sensitive as this.

‘Inevitably, people will be suspicious. This is someone who is a major financial supporter of the Labour Party, who’s clearly close to senior Labour figures.

Capita has won a number of Whitehall contracts despite being fined millions for several high-profile blunders.

Following the disastrous launch of the Criminal Records Bureau in 2002, it was fined almost £2million for its failings in providing criminal checks on people working with the vulnerable.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/labour-donor-landed-role-as-adviser-to-brown-thanks-to-dirty-secret-7197043.html

Capita boss quits over Blair loan

Rod Aldridge said the loan had been ‘in good faith’
The chairman of outsourcing firm Capita is stepping down over “spurious” claims his £1m loan to Labour resulted in the group getting government contracts.

An influential Commons committee has also launched an inquiry into funding.

The constitutional affairs committee will interview Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s chief fundraiser, on his role in persuading Labour backers to make loans.

Lord Levy will also be questioned by the public administration committee.

Tony Blair has denied suggestions that he nominated wealthy supporters for peerages in return for Labour Party loans.

Rod Aldridge, one of 12 donors who lent the party almost £14m

NAMES OF LABOUR PARTY LENDERS:
Rod Aldridge – £1m
Richard Caring – £2m
Gordon Crawford – £500,000
Prof Sir Christopher Evans – £1m
Sir David Garrard – £2.3m
Nigel Morris – £1m
Sir Gulam Noon – £250,000
Dr Chai Patel – £1.5m
Andrew Rosenfeld – £1m
Lord Sainsbury – £2m
Barry Townsley – £1m
Derek Tullett – £400,000
Total: £13,950,000

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4836024.stm

Firm that said put money in Iceland: How 250 councils paid to be steered to financial disaster

A single firm of consultants gave financial advice to more than 250 public authorities  –  many of which have lost tens of millions in the Iceland banking scandal.Sector Treasury Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Capita, the controversial ‘outsourcing’ company which has ballooned into a multi-billion-pound concern under Labour.

It is now known to have been a key player in the decisions taken by scores of publicly funded bodies over where to place the vast funds at their disposal each year.

Controversial: Capita chief Paul Pindar, left, and his predecessor Rod Aldridge, who had to quit

Controversial: Capita chief Paul Pindar, left, and his predecessor Rod Aldridge, who had to quit

The firm failed to comment when asked if it had been receiving commission from any financial institutions as a result of its dealings with local authorities.

However, town hall sources confirmed that STS was being paid a ‘retainer’ by councils for its advice on where to place their money.

STS is called in because many local authority finance directors are baffled by the world money markets and do not feel confident about where they should place the cash they receive each year from Whitehall and council tax payers.


Image result for SIR RODNEY ALDRIDGE and kensington academy

Duchess of Cambridge, with Sir Rodney Alderidge, Opens Kensington Aldridge Academy

SIR RODNEY MALCOLM ALDRIDGE

https://companycheck.co.uk/director/916151915/SIR-RODNEY-MALCOLM-ALDRIDGE/summary

Aldridge is a patron and, former trustee of the Prince’s Trust and is currently Chairman of the Aldridge Foundation, an educational charity which sponsors academy schools in England and champions entrepreneurial education.

He is also a member of the Prince’s Charities Council at the invitation of the HRH Prince of Wales, a patron of the Prince’s Trust, Non-executive Director of Equiniti, a Director of Cornerstone and a Director of Constellation Healthcare Technologies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Aldridge

Image result for SIR RODNEY ALDRIDGE and kensington academy

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge attending the opening ceremony of another Aldridge Foundation academy in 2011. “

In July 2006, Sir Rod retired as Executive Chairman of Capita to establish the Aldridge Foundation to focus on his charitable activities involving educational underachievement and social exclusion of young people. He also is the Chairman of the Lowry, the award winning arts and entertainment venue in Salford, near Manchester which is the home of the L.S Lowry painting collection.

He was awarded a knighthood in the Queen ’s 2011 New Year Honours list on New Year’s Eve, in recognition of his services to young people in his capacity as Chairman of The Aldridge Foundation and for the other work that he has undertaken in this field including being a Patron and a former Trustee of the Princes Trust , the charity established by HRH Prince of Wales.

https://www.lazagaleta.com/magazine/sir-rod-aldridge.htm

Aldridge Foundation academies have been in the news. In the last few months the head of one of their academies has been suspended and forced out alongside reports of poor inspection grades and financial problems.

This time last year, the Aldridge Foundation was in the news, too, when 1,600 residents of Darwen signed a petition asking for parents, pupils and staff to be given a choice over who should run the proposed Darwen Vale Academy. They didn’t want the Aldridge Foundation foisted on them as the sponsor.

Parents and staff in Darwen had some knowledge of the Aldridge Foundation since it already ran another school in the town – the Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA). Coincidentally, this academy had been rumoured to have had a part in the resignation of Aldridge Foundation’s founder, Rod Aldridge, as Chairman of Capita in 2006 after it was revealed that he had secretly lent the Labour Party £1 million. Capita was adamant that he had not been pressured to leave but reports, at the time, suggested several shareholders were growing increasingly concerned over Aldridge’s £2m donation to Tony Blair’s academies and his appointment, two months after the loan was made – to head a £150m youth volunteering network in late 2005.

In 2006, The Daily Telegraph reported that with Aldridge as Chair, Capita secured £2.6bn of business between 1997, when Labour came to power, and 2006. This included contracts to privatise IT for the Department of Work and Pensions and the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the administration of driving licences. Capita secured a £120m deal to work on behalf of the Department for Trade & Industry over injury claims from coal miners and a contract for the British Waterways’ pension scheme. But Capita’s privatisation was not without criticism. The cost of their work for the Criminal Records Bureau mushroomed from £250m to £400m. Capita was fined £3.7m following problems with the launch of London’s congestion charge and £300,000 for inadequate internal fraud controls. But despite these criticisms The Guardian could report in 2010 that Capita had made Rod Aldridge a fortune worth £110m.

http://antiacademies.org.uk/2015/01/a-tale-of-two-cities-darwen-and-brighton-daca-baca-and-paca-and-the-aldridge-foundation/

In this interview, Sir Rod and Lady Aldridge open their home to our readers to give an in-depth look into their days of leisure, and of course, give us an overview of their most precious work at the Aldridge Foundation.

Capita also runs the Congestion Charging Scheme and collects the BBC’s licence fee.

Aldridgre sold £7.64 million of shares, much of which he is understood to be using to complete a divorce settlement from his wife Jacqui. Despite this sale, Mr Aldridge retained shares worth £60 million. He was awarded the OBE in 1994, and is a trustee of the Prince’s Trust.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1513558/The-lenders-how-they-made-their-millions.html


Natalie @natalieisonline

https://twitter.com/natalieisonline/status/876043495512920064

In Aug 2013, Grenfell Action Group reported that the power surge issue hadn’t been resolved and that the committee report was “misleading”.

Grenfell Action Group literally called this. “(t)he power surges at poses a major fire risk to many residents.”

While the housing committee were reluctant to place accountability/ responsibility or share it with TMO, Grenfell Action Group introduce RGE

 


1. Grenfell was identified as a “potentially high risk”.

2. The London Fire Brigade recommended TMO visit Lakanal House in Southwark to familiarise themselves with the potential risk in high rises.

For context, the Lakanal House fire in 2009 left 6 dead and at least 20 injured. More here:

What’s really strange in reading so many of these reports and minutes is that there never seems to be any conflict between TMO and RBKC.

All of the accounts of TMO’s work in the community and engagement with residents are glowing. This is strange.

THE ROYAL BOROUGH OF KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA
HOUSING AND PROPERTY SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
7 NOVEMBER 2013
REPORT BY THE DIRECTOR OF HOUSING AND TOWN CLERK AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
MID YEAR REVIEW ON TMO PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT 2013/14
The purpose of this report is to present details of the Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) performance from April to September 2013 against the Performance Agreement
 Full report here:  link

…there is a rumour going around that the TMO are favouring the views of some Grenfell Tower householders while excluding the legitimate views of others. We know that some householders have been contacted by the TMO (some of whom are not even in the UK) while many other residents of Grenfell Tower have not seen hide nor hair of the TMO for months, and certainly have not been asked to contribute their views. We believe that this favouritism of certain vested interests by the TMO is completely unjust and that all residents who live in Grenfell Tower are entitled to be consulted and not just the ones that the TMO find amenable (for whatever twisted reasons).

What we do know for sure,  is that Claire Williams and Peter Maddision from the TMO have no intention of recognising residents of Grenfell Tower who have come together to form any kind of “collective representation”. It seems that we will get what the TMO will allow us, and only what the TMO will allow us.  Shame on them!

THE OLD TMO MANTRA OF ‘DIVIDE AND RULE’ STILL HOLDS TRUE AND GRENFELL TOWER RESIDENTS’ VIEWS COUNT FOR NOTHING. WE DEMAND REAL CONSULTATION AND TO BE GIVEN PROPER INFORMATION BY THE TMO THAT KEEPS US FULLY AND APPROPRIATELY INFORMED ABOUT THE GRENFELL TOWER WORKS AND THE FUTURE OF OUR HOMES.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/grenfell-tower-residents-still-waiting/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/gag-objections/

 

Khalid خالد @KhalidMH77

there is money for bank bailouts and Middle East wars yet there’s nothing but contempt for Londons poor


The landlord of Grenfell Tower had already been given legal warnings over fire safety in two other tower blocks

The landlord in charge of Grenfell Tower, where a fire broke out in the early hours on Tuesday 14 June, had been issued legal warnings over fire safety in two other tower blocks prior to the blaze that engulfed the West London property.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) is the landlord of Grenfell Tower. The 24-storey tower block with 120 flats was reported to be on fire at 12.54am on Tuesday 14 June. At the time of publishing, 50 people had been taken to hospital and six people had been confirmed dead.

Previous history

But this is not the first fire in a KCTMO-managed tower block. Because the London Fire Brigade (LFB) had previously issued it with two legal enforcement notices over fire safety, as a result of another fire.

In October 2015, a fire broke out in Adair Tower and 50 people had to be rescued from their flats. As a result, LFB issued an enforcement notice not only on Adair Tower but on the neighbouring Hazelwood Tower. And it shows a catalogue of failings.

A catalogue of failings?

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/14/landlord-grenfell-tower-already-given-legal-warnings-fire-safety-two-tower-blocks-video/

Theresa May’s new Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd, was among the 72 Tory MPs – who are also residential landlords – that voted against a motion to make homes “fit for human habitation.”

Fire Minister was among 72 Tory landlords who voted against making homes “fit for human habitation”

via @psbook

Daniel Blake’s Vest @WarmongerHodges

Theresa May: snubbed Grenfell residents Gavin Barwell: delayed fire safety review Nick Hurd: voted against homes fit for habitation


Photo published for Theresa May's new chief of staff 'sat on' a review of fire safety in tower blocks like Grenfell...

May and Barwell

HRH Crafty Muvva @craftymuvva

This man must be held accountable for sitting on the report in to fire safety in tower blocks. He was contacted time & again.

 


“It is like you have got a high-rise building and you are encasing it in kerosene,” said Edwin Galea, director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich. “It is insanity, pure and simple.”

Such a runaway blaze appears to have been precisely what happened at Grenfell Tower. The flames engulfed the building in a matter of minutes, moving from the outside inward and emitting a dark smoke characteristic of burning insulation.

Recriminations over the failure to prevent the disaster and the sluggish response have contributed to a political crisis for Prime Minister Theresa May, whose Conservative Party lost its majority in a parliamentary election six days before the fire.

If Britain had already banned the material that appears to have spread the fire — as the ministers asserted on Sunday — that would move responsibility for the disaster away from the government and point instead to possible crimes by the tower’s owners and their contractors.

The use of the material is a sensitive issue for the British government because the United States and other countries years ago banned its application in tall buildings on the grounds that it was a fire hazard. In recent years, a series of highly publicized blazes in the United Arab Emirates and Australia has called attention to the problem and spurred more countries to adopt similar restrictions.


Not So Strong @StrongerStabler

Gavin Barwell, sat on High Rise Fire Safety Report, yet May still trusts himto be Chief of Staff. Blood on his hands


Jo Maugham QC

“Seven years later… a… review… had not even begun.” Are the lives of poor people just expendable?



Not So Strong @StrongerStabler

 

Philip Hammond on Marr claiming sprinklers in high-rises aren’t a necessity.

2013 coroner’s report said ALL needed them.


Susanna Reid@susannareid100

Chancellor Phillip Hammond says wait for expert advice on fitting sprinklers. Coroner has already made recommendation


Last year’s Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill, proposed by Labour, which may have stopped the Grenfell Tower inferno had the government voted for it. But Tory MPs voted it down, 72 of whom were landlords who would have been out of pocket through all the extra nanny state interference.

One of them, Philip Davies, argued it would put “a huge burden on landlords” who are “an easy target for the Left in this country”. They certainly are now, Phil. But not for the Right, who believe landlords (in many cases them) should be free to make as much rent as they want without being bogged down by all that expensive red tape.

Not that the Right is totally against state intervention in housing. Ask Jacob Rees-Mogg ’s in-laws, whose ancestral pile, the 365-room Wentworth Woodhouse, was given a £7.6million restoration grant last year. The same Rees-Mogg who repeatedly voted for the Bedroom Tax, which punished people with one extra room.

Philip Hammond’s commitment in this week’s Autumn Statement to spend £7.6m on restoring Wentworth Woodhouse, England’s largest private home, also had a little-known beneficiary: the house happens to be ancestral home of the mother-in-law of Jacob Rees-Mogg (a recent report of his net worth being up to £150m), the Conservative MP who is among the chancellor’s noisiest critics.

Mr Rees-Mogg said he had no involvement in the campaign to save Wentworth Woodhouse. But after hearing the Autumn Statement in which the funding was announced, he for once dropped his criticism of Mr Hammond and described his overall budget as “excellent”.

“I liked the fact that there was only one gimmick. The fact that the gimmick was Wentworth Woodhouse I liked more,” said the backbencher, one of whose children has Wentworth as a middle name.

The Fitzwilliams moved out in 1946 and the house was put into a family trust. Lady Juliet Tadgell, the only child of the earl and now Mr Rees-Mogg’s mother-in-law, inherited the family fortune but not the home. She is one of the trustees of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust,

Located in south Yorkshire, Wentworth Woodhouse is not very well known, reflecting its limited opening to the public as well as its unglamorous location near the M1, among the area’s former mines.

https://www.ft.com/content/d5efd3a0-b32f-11e6-a37c-

Rupert MyersVerified account @RupertMyers

Kensington Labour MP Emma Coad wasn’t just a councillor, she was on the board Grenfell Tower residents complained to

Emma Dent Coad visits the Grenfell Tower area with Jeremy Corbyn AP

A row has broken out between Labour’s new Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad and her Conservative predecessor over the Grenfell Tower fire.

Ms Dent Coad, below, has accused Tory-led Kensington and Chelsea council of failures that led to the blaze, claiming “poor-quality materials and construction standards have played a part in this hideous and unforgivable event”.

But as a councillor she was on Kensington and Chelsea’s housing scrutiny committee, which oversees “community safety issues”, until May 2014.

A 2014/15 report, in which she is named, says the committee scrutinised work on Grenfell Tower.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labours-new-kensington-mp-was-on-housing-scrutiny-committee-a3566661.html’

 

 

were you a member of the KCTMO when they chose the contractor in 2011?

Emma Dent Coad

No I wasn’t.


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Minutes of a meeting of the Council – Grenfell Tower 2015 1/6

https://twitter.com/Ev3ryCloud/status/877198622395387907


 

 

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Has Nicholas Holgate Chief Executive of RBKC Council made any comment to the media ?

New Joint CEO for LBHF & RBKC

Nicholas Holgate has been appointed as the interim joint chief executive of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Currently Town Clerk and Executive Director of Finance at the Royal Borough, Holgate will take up the Bi-borough reins in November.

Since joining Kensington and Chelsea, Nicholas’ responsibilities have grown steadily. As well as finance he is today in overall charge of property, including housing and planning; IT and communications.

Before 2008, Holgate held a number of senior posts at HM Treasury before becoming Chief Operating Officer at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “Derek Myers is a very tough act to follow and, while we are sad to see him go, we know that Nicholas Holgate is also excellent and inspirational, and will lead from the front with real strength. We look forward to him taking up the role very soon.”

http://lookwestlondon.com/new-joint-ceo-for-lbhf-rbkc/

Truthseeker1@thewakeupcall09
John Whittingdale & Nicholas Holgate (Chief Executive of RBKC) both worked for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Nicholas Holgate Chief Executive of RBKC council on social engineering in 2003 (the Child Trust Fund )
 Chairman: Your consultation document received a leader in the Sunday Times, describing it as “a half-baked piece of social engineering that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds, stack up countless more civil service jobs to administer and then achieve little”. How did you achieve that kind of headline?

Civil servants charged with designing the controversial scheme admitted to MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that it would benefit middle class parents far more than the Government’s target of low income groups.

They also accepted that the fund could count against a series of existing state benefits.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2868764/MPs-savage-Browns-middle-class-child-fund.html


New money man for K&C council

A new face has joined Kensington and Chelsea Council fresh from a stint with the government.

1 OCT 2013

Nicholas Holgate is joining the council after working as chief operating officer at the department for culture, media and sport. He has become the new executive director for finance, information systems and property for the Royal Borough.

He said: “It will be great to contribute to the work of such a vibrant organisation and as I live in Olympia, the borough affects my quality of life outside the office too. I am absolutely thrilled.”

A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Mr Holgate is also a former director of welfare reform at the Treasury, which he first joined in 1984.

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, Cllr Merrick Cockell, welcomed the appointment.

Often known as the Chief Executive in other councils, the Town Clerk is the chief officer of the Council responsible for the delivery of services to residents. He will also act as the borough’s finance director, ensuring the effective management of Council resources. In addition he advises the Mayor at Council meetings.

A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Nicholas Holgate has worked in local government since 2008 when he joined the Royal Borough as Executive Director for Finance, Information Systems and Property. He has also served for 11 months as interim joint chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham.

A career public servant, he started out as an Administration Trainee in HM Treasury in 1984. He was Director of Welfare Reform over 2001-2004 and then Chief Operating Officer at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport until 2008.

Council chief quits over Grenfell fire response

The chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council has quit following a barrage of criticism over its response to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Nicholas Holgate said the communities and local government secretary had “required the leader of the council to seek my resignation”.

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, she said it was right that Mr Holgate had resigned.

Yvette Williams, spokeswoman for the Justice4Grenfell campaign, agreed it was right for him to go.

“He wasn’t left with any alternative,” she said. “The community had been completely abandoned by the local authority.”

It is thought a highly toxic gas released by insulation on the outside of the building may also have contributed to deaths.

http://www.itv.com/news/2017-06-22/kensington-council-chief-quits-amid-criticism-over-grenfell-fire-response/

THE EMBATTLED chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea Council has resigned after they were slammed over their response to the Grenfell Tower inferno.

Nicholas Holgate was asked for a resignation by communities secretary Sajid Javid

Kensington council boasted Grenfell Tower’s fire safety standards were exemplary – and should be extended to all other major works.

Locals then branded the initial relief effort as “absolute chaos”.

Since the devastating fire, residents left homeless were forced to stay in hotels and B&Bs.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3855960/chief-executive-of-kensington-and-chelsea-council-resigns-over-grenfell-tower-inferno/

David Mortimer @ukfathers


WirralInItTogether @Wirral_In_It

When is Councillor Sam Mackover, chairman of the committee that brushed Grenfell Tower tenants’ concerns under the carpet BEING INTERVIEWED?

 

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Sadiq Khan took donations from property firm which ‘put tenants’ lives at risk’

Sadiq.jpg

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/mayor/revealed-sadiq-khan-took-donations-from-property-firm-which-put-tenants-lives-at-risk-a3219961.html


Alan WhiteVerified account @aljwhite

Inside Housing has a FOI response showing Grenfell Tower had not been checked for fire safety for 18 months

Gavin Barwell was appointed Theresa May’s chief of staff on Saturday, after losing his seat in the election 

Rabih Chaaban @ChaabanRabih

How can it be democratic?? Gavin Barwell failed be get elected still appointed by Theresa May as chief of staff – overseeing elected MPs!

Theresa May’s chief of staff ‘sat on’ report warning high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were vulnerable to fire

Theresa May’s new chief of staff was one of a series of housing ministers who “sat on” a report warning high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were vulnerable to fire for four years.

A former Chief Fire Officer and secretary of a parliamentary group on fire safety today revealed successive ministers had had damning evidence on their desks since 2013 and nothing had happened.

And the Labour MP who chairs the group said ministers had “sat on” the recommendations for almost four years.

Gavin Barwell, who was housing minister until losing his seat in last week’s election, promised to review part B of the Building Regulations 2010, which relate to fire safety, but the review never materialised.

link

Revealed: the tower block fire warnings that ministers ignored

Fire chief tells of repeated rebuffs by ministers as Theresa May admits Grenfell victims were let down
17 June 2017

Krishnan Guru-MurthyVerified account @krishgm

This is the man who was in charge of housing. He was rejected by voters last week and hired by Theresa May as Chief of Staff

As public outrage mounted and political pressure grew on Theresa May over the tragedy, former chief fire officer Ronnie King – who is secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on fire safety – said urgent requests for meetings with ministers and action to tighten rules were stonewalled.

King also revealed that ministers had failed to insist that life-saving sprinkler systems were mandatory in the design of new schools in England, despite clear recommendations in reports commissioned by the government itself, which advocated their use.

His criticism came as the prime minister admitted on Saturday that although the emergency services had been “heroic”, support for families of Grenfell Tower victims who needed help after the fire “was not good enough”.

He said that requests for meetings with former housing minister Gavin Barwell, now Theresa May’s chief of staff, were turned down. King said: “We have had replies, but the replies were to the effect that you have met my predecessor [the previous Tory housing minister James Wharton] and there were a number of matters that we are looking at and we are still looking at it.

“They are politicians and I am a professional fire adviser. I understand the difficulties they have with this,” King said. But he repeated: “They always seem to need a significant loss of life before things are changed.”

Reports into a previous fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell, south London in 2009, in which six people died, and a subsequent coroner’s report led to urgent calls from the fire sector for action. But seven years later those calls had still not been acted on and a long-awaited review of building and safety regulations had not even begun. In October last year Barwell answered a parliamentary question from the Labour MP Steven McCabe about the review timetable.

Barwell replied saying: “We have not set out any formal plans to review the building regulations as a whole, but we have publicly committed ourselves to reviewing part B [the regulations governing fire safety] following the Lakanal House fire.”

Another leading expert, David Sibert, fire safety officer to the Fire Brigades Union, who was told he would sit on the review, confirmed to the Observer that he had yet to be invited to contribute to it. It is believed that at most only a limited start was made and then abandoned as civil servants were directed on to other matters, notably the need to secure Brexit.

Last week Barwell declined to comment on when the review would be ready. Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Brinton, who also sits on the all-party group, said: “We could have had new regulations ready to go last year as the refurbishment work on Grenfell Tower was completed.”

On Monday MPs from Labour, Plaid Cymru, the Lib Dems and the SNP will turn up the pressure on government by asking urgent parliamentary questions to establish what work, if any, has been done on the review.

With the crisis threatening May’s already shaky hold on Downing Street, concerns about fire safety were widening to include regulations governing building of schools, student accommodation and care homes. King said: “The Department for Education have their own strict guidance for schools. Last July they issued their amended document as a final draft. Previously they said automatic fire sprinklers would be installed in all new schools except for a very few low-risk schools. They then issued revised guidance, which said that because of XYZ they are removing the requirement for sprinklers in all new schools.”

The Department for Education said that fire safety in schools was paramount but suggested sprinklers were not mandatory in all buildings. “All schools, like other public buildings, must adhere to stringent fire-safety legislation,” a spokeswoman said.

David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, who knew one of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, demanded that the police seize all documents from relevant parties that could help explain its causes and assist the criminal investigations. He said: “The prime minister needs to act immediately to ensure that all evidence is protected so that everyone culpable for what happened at Grenfell Tower is held to account and feels the full force of the law. We need urgent action now to make sure all records and documents relating to the refurbishment and management of Grenfell Tower are protected.”

On Saturday police said that at least 58 people were missing and presumed to have died in the tragedy, and that the figure might increase. The latest official total includes the 30 who are already confirmed to have died in the fire. Commander Stuart Cundy said that the “significant” recovery operation might take weeks to complete. “As soon as we can, we will locate and recover loved ones,” he said.

PJ @moltomacster

Snivelling coward. This failure of leadership, of compassion and empathy shows this govt for what it is.

 


Mark Ashley @themarkashley

Tower floor plan. “Improved” high density layout means one set of stairs for 24 stories of 120 apartments

‘No sprinklers or fire alarm’ and residents told to stay INSIDE: Tower block’s ‘Third World’ safety failures

Cladding added during £10m refurbishment caught alight ‘like a matchstick’

cathyfoxblog @CathyCathyFox

carried out refurb of tower. someone should be charged with murder

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-fire/


Project Compass @ProjCompassEU

Grenfell Tower procurement – awarded to Rydon in 2014 by LBKC. Full details, including contract notice & award:

Director of company which refurbished Grenfell 'hangs up' on Piers Morgan

Harley secure £3m contract from Rydon Group to carry out over-cladding and window replacement at Grenfell Tower

David LammyVerified account @DavidLammy

Harley (company that installed Grenfell cladding) deleting pages from their website. Looks like they’ve got something to hide, doesn’t it.

David Lammy‏@DavidLammy

Studio E (architects that oversaw Grenfell cladding refurbishment) are deleting pages from their website. Have they got something to hide?


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

RYDON CONSTRUCTION LIMITED & RYHURST LIMITED

Ryhurst part of the Rydon Group and partnership with the NHS


 

Peter Apps @PeteApps

Earlier this year we revealed panels on the outside of tower blocks were putting lives at risk

his is what a report into cladding used in a nearby tower which caught fire in August said. Report was kept secret.

 

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Company boss Raymond Bailey hiding in his £1m mansion

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/875330915597250560

Mark Ashley @themarkashley

Tower fire ventilation system, cowardly deleted at 4am by the suppliers trying to scurry away.

 

James MitchinsonVerified account @JayMitchinson

Why weren’t they listened to? Why? #GrenfellTower

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

Lady Borwick friend of Theresa May MP for Did she respond to the concerns of the residents ? No attendance at hustings.

Ivory loving Tory MP Lady Victoria Borwick friend of Theresa May…….no action on safety issues at

 

 

TMO INVESTIGATION – BORWICK STEPS IN

Grenfell Tower residents had little to smile about when disgruntled leaseholders and tenants met with our local MP, Victoria Borwick, along with Peter Maddison and Sacha Jevans from the TMO, in the Community Rooms at Lancaster West Estate on the morning of 14th December.

We believe that Lady Borwick left the meeting in no doubt that a great injustice and trauma has been inflicted on this community as a result of the appalling management of the Improvement Works and we must now trust that she will keep her word by supporting residents in their call for an independent investigation into Mr Maddison, Claire Williams and others at the TMO.

Bearing in mind that Grenfell Tower is only the first of a number of tower blocks in North Kensington facing refurbishment it would be wise of RBKC to support Lady Borwick and local residents in their call for an independent investigation. There is much to learn from this sordid affair. The Council should have no reason to oppose such an inquiry and Grenfell Tower residents have much to gain and everything to lose if this call for an independent investigation of the TMO is not forthcoming!

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/tmo-investigation-borwick-steps-in/

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Grenfell Tower

February 2016 The TMO’s clerk of works will sign off Rydon’s work

Council stockpiled £274m in reserves despite Grenfell Tower residents’ calls for fire safety improvements

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-royal-borough-kensington-chelsea-council-stockpiled-274m-despite-warnings-residents-a7795411.html


Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

Former Home Sec who made an absolute mess of the CSA inquiry, presenting 3 of the worst chairs possible, now wants to take personal control!

Will Home Office staff be seconded to the inquiry like they were with CSA inquiry?

Another ‘must read’ and sequel to the Theresa May/Hubert Brasier story.


James Cave @jaycave14

Remind me who cut fire service numbers before suggesting a new royal yacht? Who is protecting private landlords?

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-fire/


Dinner at the Carlton: The New Tory power brokers

2009

The guest list for the Conservatives; premier political dinner last week which gives a fascinating snapshot of the movers and shakers getting ready for their turn to influence Downing Street
Lady Borwick and  Lord Borwick on the guest list

Unveiling a plaque to Lady Churchill with Sir Nicholas Soames

Tories BOW to wealthy antiques dealers and DROP ban on elephant ivory in manifesto:

Lady Victoria Borwick is related by marriage to the notorious McAlpine family.

Her husband’s uncle is Alistair McAlpine, alleged child abuser.

Lord “Jamie” Borwick – nephew of Lord Alistair McAlpine

Victoria’s  husband, Geoffrey Robert James Borwick, 5th Baron Borwick aka “Jamie”, is the son of Hon. Patricia Garnett McAlpine – Patricia’s brother is Alistair McAlpine

http://www.thepeerage.com/p14612.htm#i146113

Lady Victoria Borwick is MP for Kensington and Chelsea, preceded by Malcolm Rifkind who is a cousin of alleged child abuser, former Tory Cabinet minister, Leon Brittan.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10650010/Who-do-they-think-they-are-One-in-11-MPs-is-married-related-or-have-ancestors-who-sat-in-Commons.html

Lord Alistair McAlpine was also a collector.

Tories BOW to wealthy antiques dealers and DROP ban on elephant ivory in manifesto

Under David Cameron the Conservatives had pledged – along with other UK political parties – to put into place a ban on ivory trading. This follows bans by China, the US and other important ivory trading countries to end domestic trades in ivory by the end of 2017.

But there is no mention of the ban in Theresa May’s Tory 2017 manifesto. Sneakily, the Tories have decided to DROP their previous commitment to introducing a total ban on ivory trade in Britain. This comes after heavy pressure from wealthy antiques traders who have been lobbying Teresa May hard to drop the ban on ivory.

The most powerful UK antique traders association is the British Antique Dealers’ Association – whose president is Tory MP and pal of Theresa May, Lady Victoria Borwick.

On average, an elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory and their population has fallen by almost a third in Africa since 2007.

Interestingly, this policy puts the Tories in direct conflict with Prince William, who has been a vocal supporter of a total ban on ivory sales.

Will we see the Duke of Cambridge campaigning for Labour – which has pledged to introduce the total ban the Prince has been lobbying for?

https://tompride.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/tories-bow-to-wealthy-antiques-dealers-and-drop-ban-on-elephant-ivory-in-manifesto/#comment-100577

At William Hague Farewell Dinner with William Hague and Victoria Borwick

 

William Hague Cover-Up

Victoria Borwick

She works on a daily basis with the big pillars of authority in London, such as the Metropolitan Police.

Does she ever take issue with the Metropolitan Police, or any other authority? “Of course…of course.”

http://henpicked.net/interview-with-victoria-borwick-deputy-mayor-of-london/

link

Victoria Borwick – gifts and hospitality

https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/governance-and-spending/sharing-our-information/assistant-directors-and-heads-service/victoria-borwick/gifts-hospitality

She worked in senior management for P&O and DMG World Media (Daily Mail and General Trust plc) before becoming the Conservative Party’s fundraising director.[2]

 

The Busy Borwicks

Son of Kensington MP Lady Borwick’s curious connections to the people who ensured both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump revealed

On Sunday, Carole Cadwalladr of  The Observer published a lengthy and well researched article that, amongst other things, examined the connections between The Hon. Thomas Borwick – the son of the Conservative hereditary peer The Rt. Hon. The Lord Borwick and Kensington’s Member of Parliament Lady ‘Call me Victoria’ Borwick – and the controversial US hedge fund titan and backer of Donald Trump, Robert Mercer.

 

A director of a multitude of companies, in spite of being just 29 years old, “new media expert” Thomas Borwick – whose mother was forced to apologise “after using City Hall resources to promote her husband’s [now defunct] electric vehicle business” in 2009 – it now transpires, was not only Vote Leave’s chief technology officer but previously worked with SCL/Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ. Borwick currently touts himself to his 202 followers on Twitter as the founder of a political canvasing consultancy named Kan.to, an organisation that he boldy claims “will out-organise, out-plan, out-leaflet, out-twitter, out-work and out-vote all of its opponents”.

Mercer, one of the owners of the far-right Breitbart News Network as well as being a major shareholder in Cambridge Analytica, is a man whose “sinister” connections to both Trump and Nigel Farage have rightly been widely criticised. On that basis, that the son of fervent Brexiteer Lady Borwick – a woman whose constituents voted 69% to ‘Remain’ and whose domain was home to a greater proportion of EU nationals than any other London borough in 2016 – has links to this billionaire and his activities should only encourage the voters of Kensington to ditch her and her out-of-touch party.

link

Son of Tory MP beaten unconscious outside Leicester Square KFC by 3 women

He said: ‘At some point they started pushing and shoving – three at that stage, of which only two were particularly aggressive. I couldn’t hypothecate (?) or guess what was on their minds. At some point my food and drink spilled and was taken from me.

‘The rest of my friends quickly came outside. From our group absolutely all of them did nothing aggressive to the ladies, but they continued to react though and many of my friends were attacked.

The computer app writer was queuing with friends when they became embroiled in a row with the women over space.

Tom was among a group of six friends on a night out in London,’ said Lady Borwick, who was previously Boris Johnson’s deputy.


2015

Revealed: The ‘triple dipper’ Conservative MP who is paid nearly £100,000 a year for three elected jobs

Victoria Borwick, the (former) MP for Kensington, is paid an extra £30,000 a year as both a councillor at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and member of the London Assembly

Mrs Borwick, 59, whose application to replace Sir Malcolm Rifkind in the seat was personally backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, defended her decision.

She can use the title “Lady” because she is married to Lord Borwick, a hereditary peer who has sat in the House of Lords since 2013. The couple live in a £6.6million home in Chelsea and have four children.

Mrs Borwick’s predecessor as MP for Kensington Sir Malcolm Rifkind had complained that it was “unrealistic” to live on £60,000 shortly before quitting after being caught in a cash for access investigation by The Daily Telegraph in February.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11686725/Revealed-The-triple-dipper-MP-who-is-paid-nearly-100000-a-year-for-three-jobs.html

She paid tribute to Sir Malcolm Rifkind, saying: “Many people will be sad to see someone so distinguished leave. They are very grateful for all that he did in services to our country and also to Kensington. I have big shoes to fill.”

“The Tories got rid of one Rifkind (Cash for Access) and now replaced him with ‘Madam Rifkind’, who thinks it is perfectly reasonable to use these jobs to rake in as much money as possible.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/general-election-conservatives-announce-kensington-8868946

 

Tory Donor List – Borwicks

link

Slumming it: Tory Lady ventures into East End

Role reversal? Could this be the first time a young East Ender gets to look down on a Victoria Lady?
Role reversal? Could this be the first time a young East Ender gets to look down on a Victoria Lady?
Since the Tories headed up the Coalition after the 2010 General Election, they have been making cuts in public spending and presiding over austerity measures which have made life harder for ordinary Eastenders. Government attacks such as the bedroom tax and welfare benefit tax have left many East End families only able to buy the cheapest, unhealthiest food – or forced them to supplement their own buying with trips to the food bank.

Against this backdrop, Lady Borwick, aka Assembly Member Victoria Lorne Peta Borwick, a Deputy Mayor of London, deigned to drop into Tower Hamlets last week to claim the credit for Tower Hamlets’ work in promoting good health in its schools (that’s the schools which Lady Borwick’s party is trying to dismantle).

 

2007:

Trump crony Rudy Giuliaini drew inspiration from Winston Churchill in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack on New York, he revealed.

Mr Giuliani cited the alliance between Churchill and Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and Tony Blair and George W Bush as evidence of the powerful bond between Britain and the US. He would make it his mission as President to strengthen the relationship further.

The lunch was attended by about 100 wealthy Americans and dozens of London-based US correspondents.

Conservative mayoral contender Victoria Borwick, who has pledged to introduce Giuliani-style zero tolerance policing, was the only senior Tory present at the lunch at the Hyde Park Mandarin hotel. 

“He is a brilliant political leader,” she said.

Mr Giuliani is due to meet Margaret Thatcher tonight at the same hotel before delivering his keynote speech on his manifesto for a 2008 Republican presidential victory.

http://britainandamerica.typepad.com/britain_and_america/2007/09/josh-sutton-rep.html

Rudy Guiliani

Back in 1984, Giuliani was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  During that time, allegations began to surface about physical and sexual abuse perpetrated on children at the day care center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Giuliani knew there were multiple children being abused.  And yet he did not indict anyone.  Not receiving justice from Giuliani, the parents pursued civil action.  The government ended up paying 11 victims $2.7 million, but protected its image, thanks to Rudy.

link

 

Rudy Guiliani

http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/05/why-trump-fired-comey.html

Lady Borwick, a Tory councillor in Kensington & Chelsea, spent eleven years as Director of the Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fair and a further period of time assisting with the International Fine Art Fair in New York. What better experience could there be to  prepare one to understand the problems of the East End?

http://eastlondonnews.co.uk/slumming-it-tory-lady-ventures-into-east-end/

Lord Borwick

Geoffrey Robert James “Jamie” Borwick, 5th Baron Borwick] (born 1955) is a British businessman, hereditary peer and member of the House of Lords. Chief Executive of Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC, known for the manufacture of the London Taxi, from 1987 to 2001 and then Chairman until 2003.

 


Lady Emily @Pushingtheboat

Family history of selling your soul to the devil in the name of personal gain and greed. My, my.

More here:

https://goodnessandharmony.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/ardingly-collegechichester-diocese-school-paedophile-ringspie/

 

From Domestic Servants to Prime Minister: Theresa May’s Family Fortunes

Theresa May became British Prime Minister on Wednesday 13th July, 2016. Interestingly, this piece by family history expert Roy Stockdill was written back in in 2013. His opening paragraph looks rather prophetic now…

From Convent School to Councillor

“Politics and power often run in families and dynasties, but I could find nothing in the ancestry of Theresa May to suggest that she would become the most powerful female politician in Britain as Home Secretary. Seen by some as a possible successor to David Cameron as Tory leader, she has said she wanted to be an MP ever since she was 12 years old, an ambition in which she was encouraged by her mother.

Her father however, was an Anglican clergyman and kept his political views to himself. Some of Cameron’s Cabinet are regarded as ‘posh’ and ‘old school tie’. But there was no silver spoon for Theresa May. After education at a state primary school, convent girls’ school and a state comprehensive, she read geography at Oxford University, graduating in 1977, became a London borough Councillor and got into Parliament for Maidenhead after twice losing in Labour seats.

Grandmothers in Domestic Service

In researching her family background, I discovered that both of Theresa May’s grandmothers were in domestic service as young women and that she had a great-grandfather who was a butler – so her roots are very much downstairs rather than upstairs. She was born Theresa Mary Brasier on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, Sussex, where her father, the Rev Hubert Brasier, was chaplain to a Church of England hospital.

Her mother was the exotically-named Zaidee Mary Brasier, formerly Barnes. The name Zaidee is of Middle East origins. The Home Secretary lost both parents just a few years after leaving university and marrying her husband, Philip May, in 1980. The Rev Hubert Brasier, who became vicar of two Oxfordshire parishes, was killed in a car crash in 1981 and his wife Zaidee Brasier, born in 1928, died the following year, aged only 54.

Theresa May’s parents married at St Giles’ Parish Church, Reading, Berkshire, on 16 June 1955, Hubert Brasier being then 37, a bachelor and a Clerk in Holy Orders, his address being the Chaplain’s House, All Saints Hospital, Eastbourne. Zaidee Mary Barnes was 26, a spinster, of 156, Southampton Street, Reading. The bridegroom’s father was Tom Brasier, deceased, and the bride’s father was Reginald James Barnes, traveller.

Grandparents in the 1911 Census

Hubert Brasier was born on 20 August 1917 at 61 Clonmore Street, Southfields, Wandsworth, London, son of Tom Brasier, then a clerk, and Amy Margaret Brasier, formerly Patterson. They were the paternal grandparents of Theresa May and their marriage certificate shows they were married at The Independent Chapel, West Street, Fareham, Hampshire, on 25 September 1909.

https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/famous-family-trees-theresa-may-1406260824.html

Grenfell Tower: A Tory Wicker Man ?

 Grenfell Tower in West London and the Wicker Man.

SPECIAL REPORT
21st Century Wire

The week saw one of the worst urban disasters in recent history, as runaway fires consumed a low-income high-rise council estate in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea. So far, police have confirmed 17 dead and have indicated that they expect to find many more fatalities.

As the old adage goes, there are no natural disasters, only human ones.

But this horrific scene in west London symbolises much more than simple negligence. The image of a Wicker Man comes to mind.

Were low-income residents sacrificed at the altar of austerity, greed and corporate privatisation?

As North Kensington’s towering inferno continues to smoulder into the early morning, circumstantial evidence is beginning to emerge showing how Conservative MPs  sidelined legislation that would have required higher safety standards. According to reports, a group of Tory MPs have consistently voted against tenants’ rights including voting down Labour’s amendment to the recent Housing and Planning Bill which would have required landlords to make their homes “fit for habitation.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the 72 Tory MPs who killed the legislation also just happened to be commercial landlords themselves.

To add insult to injury, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during his tenure as  Mayor of London instituted cuts that have stripped London of 7,000 of its firefighters in the last five years, with numerous Fire Station closures and other cuts to frontline emergency services.

So how did Grenfell Tower turn into a death trap for so many ? The organisation responsible for maintenance and safety at the social housing block is the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO). But the organisation’s name is deceptive – far from being a tenant-run company, the ‘TMO’ is actually a private company – an aloof ivory tower that sits far above the actual residents, and who ‘manage’ 10,000 properties… with handsome salaries and fees for selected executives and contractors. Although Grenfell Tower is owned by the Borough Council of Kensington and Chelsea, the management of the tower block is subcontracted out to the TMO.

Critics of the public-private partnership, or PPP, management hand-off claim that the quasi-privatised TMO arrangement is rife with corruption, including sweetheart deals to contractors. It also enables connected board members to fleece poor residents while taking home enormous sums of money for doing little if anything for it. Last year, the KCTMO was paid £11million ($14 million) in taxpayer money to manage Grenfell Tower. According to the Mail Online, four senior members of TMO took £650,000 between them last year. And that’s not all:

“There are also claims that there was no central sprinkler system – or it was also not working properly during the fire. Others have claimed that the new cladding encasing the block added during last year’s £10million refurbishment by Rydon Construction caught alight ‘like a matchstick’.” This [petroleum-based, flammable plastic] exterior cladding was apparently added to the building to improve the view and cosmetic appearance of the tower when seen from a new development or private luxury flats in the locality.

Apparently, this was all part of a “regeneration project” which was said to be completed last year on only one building: Grenfell Tower.

It gets worse. According resident advocacy blog Bella Caledonia:

“It’s emerged that the local Council – the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – actually threatened a local blogger and action group with legal action for calling to attention the state of the building. We’re told also that “Theresa May’s chief of staff ‘sat on’ report warning high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were vulnerable to fire.

Resident Darren Cullen said on Twitter: “Any attempt to depoliticise an event like this is a political act in itself.”

Despite numerous warnings by the residents of Grenfell Tower, local action groups believe that the TMO did not take any significant action to rectify fundamental health and safety flaws.

Reporter Holly Baxter of the London Independent detailed how a series of prophetic warnings posted by the residents’ advocacy group were routinely ignored:

“The Grenfell Action Group residents’ association had consistently warned about the possibility of such a tragedy; this morning, they updated their website with a post which reads: “Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC [the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea]. ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time.”

“Links to their earlier posts prove it: in 2013 they warned that shutting down the block’s car park would mean just one narrow, restricted road for emergency vehicle access, something which eyewitnesses reported slowed down the fire engine response this morning; the same year, they wrote a long post about continuous electrical surges which had been causing fire hazards in the building (“decisive action was only taken yesterday after highly distressed residents descended en masse on the estate office to demand help and assistance. They had woken to find smoke issuing from various electrical appliances in their homes, including the light fixtures, and descended in panic to the estate office to demand help”) ; and in November 2016, their frustration about what they called inadequate fire escapes culminated in a frighteningly prescient post titled Playing With Fire: “The Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring to an end the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders… It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block… is the most likely reason those who wield power at the KCTMO will be found out and brought to justice”.

But the Tories can’t take all the credit. It’s been said by some party grandees (not to mention Margret Thatcher herself) that the Thatcher Era’s greatest achievement was New Labour and Tony Blair – both of whom helped to push Thatcher’s mass-privatisation agenda over the goal line. Blair’s corporatist trojan horse was camouflaged under the heading of a ‘New Deal for Communities,’ along with the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit nested within the Department for Communities and Local Government and fueled by millions of pounds in “regeneration grants” from the EU – supposedly designed to lift-up some of the England’s most deprived neighbourhoods, which instead paved the way for a bold social engineering project which led to the mass-gentrification of low income areas across the UK, where massive profits were booked on the back of privatising council properties, taking advantage of an over-inflated housing market. It was during this period that PPP takeovers like the TMO took hold of large sectors of Britain’s social housing.

See more TMO scandals at Not TMO, and this open letter to the Hackney TMO here.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/06/15/grenfell-tower-a-tory-wicker-man/

 


LONDON FIRE CONSPIRACY

17 June 2017

The Grenfell Tower is in Kensington, in London.

In the June 2017 General Election, Labour gained Kensington from the Conservatives.

Does someone want to reduce the number of Labour voters in Kensington?


While leader of Westminster City Council Dame Shirley Porter oversaw the “homes for votes” scandal

The Grenfell Action Group believes that there are striking similarities between the current ‘regeneration’ policies … and those that landed Dame Shirley in so much trouble in the late 1980’s.”

“GERRYMANDERING” IN NORTH KENSINGTON! .

“For a start, the intended ‘regeneration’ policies are targeted at Wards that are currently represented (some marginally) by Labour Councillors, particularly St Charles and Notting Barns.

“The inevitable result of ‘regenerating’ working class housing estates involves replacing tenanted properties with so-called ‘affordable’ housing (ie affordable only to middle class home buyers).

“One inevitable outcome of this process will be to skew the demographics of North Kensington with a predictable swing to the Tories.”

http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/06/london-fire.html

Grand Union Homes – off limits to be discussed by KCTMO or RBKC

https://twitter.com/Ev3ryCloud/status/881143251025244161

Former Chief Executive of KCTMO Gordon Perry was the Chief Executive of GRAND UNION HOMES

Gordon Perry

Gordon Perry
Gordon Perry

Before becoming chief executive of the group, Gordon was chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea TMO. He has more than 30 years experience in the housing sector. As the senior director responsible for service improvement in his last two organisations he led them to three star status. As chairman of the London Almo group and chair of the London Almo Procurement Network, Gordon pioneered collective procurement and partnering contracts as one of the trailblazer consortia. Gordon was the founding chairman of the National Federation of Almos.

https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2012/jun/08/accent-group

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/881133459841978368

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/881126815561129984

Can @kctmo explain why they setup Grand Union Homes and was taxpayers money used ?

 

SilverLining‏ @Ev3ryCloud

Why same directors on this & dissolved company…real estate?

 

3 Yr Old Article however consider GrenfellTower & see a pattern.

Photo published for Tories accused of political fix for Boris Johnson as London is protected from extra cuts

Tories accused of political fix for Boris Johnson as London is protected from extra cuts

24 Aug 2017

Local councils face even deeper spending reductions than thought – except for Greater London Authority
As predicted weeks ago all part of LGA ( Boris Johnson)
All connected to GLA & LGA as i’ve said before… Tory Gov has much to answer too... #ACCOUNTABLE

13 Nov 2014

Big questions for Boris over billion dollar property deal

Boris Johnson is under fire over his handling of a £1bn deal for a Chinese firm to redevelop a huge site on London’s historic Royal Albert Dock.

his follows an investigation by Channel 4 News into the track record in China of the firm which won the contract – ABP – and into whether ABP were given favourable treatment during the tender process.

There are also questions over donations to the Conservative Party from an Anglo-Chinese businesswoman who acted as adviser to ABP.

Sir Alistair Graham, a former chairman of the government’s Committee on Standards in Public Life, suggested to Channel 4 News there should be an independent investigation into the tendering process for the development, which will take place on publicly-owned land.

“It has the smell of a semi-corrupt arrangement, doesn’t it?” he told Channel 4 News:

“If, in fact, somebody is going through a sham process to ensure that someone they want to be successful in the process, but it’s not a level playing field for UK companies, and there have been some financial transactions of an intimate nature then that smells to me of a semi corrupt arrangement.”

In May 2013 the Greater London Authority granted Advanced Business Park – known as ABP – the tender to develop the 35-acre site at the Royal Albert Dock, a derelict site opposite London’s City Airport. The development was hailed by Boris Johnson as “a beacon for investors”, and ABP hope that the site will become an important forum for scores of Chinese firms operating in Britain. The project will include 3.2 million square feet of office space, leisure facilities, and 845 residential flats. It is thought to be China’s largest property investment in the UK.

ABP’s human rights record

Our film raises serious concerns about ABP’s human rights record in China. We discovered that ABP, and their partners in Chinese local government, were involved in the forced removal of some residents from their homes at the site of their one completed development in Beijing. We have obtained amateur video footage, shot by a resident, of demolition teams tearing down a family’s home with all their possessions inside, on Christmas Day 2010. The family also say they were denied fair compensation for losing their home. We have substantial legal paperwork detailing their efforts to secure proper compensation in the Chinese courts.

Boris Johnson confirmed to me in an interview for Channel 4 News that neither he, nor the Greater London Authority (which Johnson runs), assessed ABP’s human rights record in China as part of the evaluation process.

Johnson also said ABP’s human rights record in China “wasn’t relevant to the tendering process.” But the Mayor promised to “look at” any new information.

https://www.channel4.com/news/boris-johnson-london-propery-deal-china-albert-dock


“It had to be a cladding fire.”

British fire protection specialist Arnold Tarling isn’t wondering what caused the fire to spread so quickly in London’s Grenfell Tower early Wednesday. He’s certain the recently added exterior cladding system is to blame.

For years, the associate director of London-based Hindwoods Chartered Surveyors has been calling for improved fire safety regulations in the country.

Tarling said he burst into tears when he first heard from a fellow fire expert that the highrise was on fire.

Following is an edited transcript of an interview with him Thursday by CBC executive producer Tracy Seeley.

Q: In your opinion, what happened?

There was an initial source of fire. That cause is entirely irrelevant to what happened later. What happened is the fire got out of a flat, maybe from an open window or through a broken window from the heat. And then it started heating the panelling and the insulation above. That then set a chain reaction in which the panel started to burn.

The panels being aluminium, melt at 600 degrees [Celsius] or thereabouts. But the fire brigade cannot put out any of the fires behind these panels, because there’s metal there. You also have a wind tunnel effect sucking the flames up the wind tunnel, up between the insulation and the external cladding, melting the solid polyethylene above, and continuing the fire right up the height of the building.”

The cladding system is combined polyaluminum sheets with a filler of polyethylene. And that is what has caused the problems, because the polyethylene melts at a very low temperature and it catches fire. It is basically like a candle which is sandwiched between two sheets of metal.

We have seen those fires before. There was one in 2014 in Melbourne, Australia, but those didn’t enter the flats, because I understand the flats were sprinklered. In Britain, we didn’t have these flats sprinklered, and therefore the fire was able to enter the flats quite rapidly.

Q: What does this say about these modern methods of construction that could be potentially so dangerous?

What it actually says is that the building regulations we have in this country are not fit for … this form of cladding. All that you require to meet the standards is that the outside surface shouldn’t allow the spread of flames. What is going on behind the metal or the other surface is entirely irrelevant to building regulations. You could put expanded polystyrene in there, or anything else that burns.

Q: The construction company has said it followed regulations.

I have seen nothing yet that the architect or the contractor or the supply of materials breached the building regulations. The horrendous fact is that in 2014 I did a talk to the British Standard Institute at one of their fire conferences. And I said this will happen in this country. There will be multiple fatalities as a result if these cladding systems are not changed.

Q: How do you feel?

To be honest I burst into tears. This tragedy is totally avoidable. I would say it is wicked that these people have had to die. When I got a phone call from another expert at quarter to four in the morning, I went downstairs turned on the television and burst into tears. My wife came down thinking my mother had died.

It is terrible what has happened. It needn’t have happened. And the people responsible are either the politicians or their advisers. It need never have happened.

Q: What do you expect will happen?

Well, on the scale of what has happened in previous years where we’ve had inquests where it has been said we should have sprinklers in respective buildings and fitted retrospectively, what do I expect of government? Nothing! Nothing’s been done. Nothing’s been acted upon.

Time and again they said lessons will be learned. If I hear another politician say lessons will be learnt, I will scream. It is just soundbites. It’s just meaningless, just saying lessons will be learned when they’ve never been learned from the past.

London fire

Four managers at company paid £11million by taxpayers to manage inferno tower block shared more than £650,000 pay last year

  • Grenfell Tower in London is owned by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council
  • In 1996, tenant firm KCTMO took over the management of the block of flats 
  • They gave a £10m refurbishment contract to a third body – Rydon Construction
  • KCTMO has been accused of ignoring warning signs regarding fire safety at flats
  • Four most senior members of KCTMO earned £650,000 between them last year

hey are the four most senior members of KCTMO and according to papers seen by MailOnline, they earned £650,000 between them last year.

Sacha Jevans, who is Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation's Director of Operations

Barbara Matthews (centre) is the Executive Director of Financial Services and ICT, Yvonne Birch (left) is the Executive Director of People and Performance and Nicholas Holgate (right) who is Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council’s Chief Executive

Residents say they told former KCMOT worker ^  Siobhan Rumble  of their safety concerns, but claim their warnings were overlooked in the building that is ownedby Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council

A tweet sent by KCTMO's Barbara Matthews on February 22 showing off the company's Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For award by The Sunday Times

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4603626/Taxpayers-11MILLION-company-managing-Grenfell-Tower.html

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Tony Redpath, Amanda Gill, Laura Johnson & Jonathan Bore all NEED TO RESIGN from RBKC


Scott Nelson @SocialistVoice

WATCH: The 1984 documentary that predicted a disaster like Grenfell Tower


And from a fictional tv series…

Predictive programming?

Grenfell Tower disaster parallels in House of Cards, 1993.

 Originally broadcast on December 12th 1993, these edited excerpts from the BBC’s ‘House of Cards’ are incredibly prescient, in light of the events of last Tuesday. The obvious satirical commentary of the show highlights the withering opportunism of governments and media alike to jump on such stories. The points are made in general, but I found the arguments around social injustice, and the nature of the cause of the tragedy – a gas explosion in a run-down tower block – particularly chilling. Especially uncanny are the details of the degraded state of public housing, and even the specific points that a small fire on the fourth floor began the blaze, and the death toll being 72 (an estimated figure of around 70 from the fire service yesterday was given in relation to Grenfell).
I am simply struck by how a 25-year old show can so closely resemble today’s reality, with seemingly so few of the issues having been addressed in the interim.
20 June 2017

The Grenfell Tower fire was the end result of a disdainful housing policy

The people who lived in Grenfell Tower should be writing this article. But those who died cannot tell their stories, and those who survived are still dealing with their trauma. The residents had tried for so many years but were silenced by a system that prevented them from being heard. The most persistent were threatened with legal action for defamation which had the effect of discrediting their claims of neglect and mismanagement. It’s only now that people are listening – when it’s too late.

I worked with a group of residents living in Grenfell Tower through my involvement with the Radical Housing Network, a network of housing campaigns across London. The first meeting of tenants in early 2015 was attended by around 100 residents. Each spoke of the historical neglect of the building, of the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) failing to undertake basic but vital maintenance or improvements. Residents recounted incidents such as disturbing power surges in which appliances “blew up”.

I’d been asked to help the residents organise and campaign on the specific issue of a major refurbishment of the building being undertaken by a private contractor. The residents – mainly social tenants but also people renting from private landlords in flats previously purchased under right-to-buy – represented a typical slice of working-class urban London. They were ethnically diverse, and many had brought their children with them to the meeting. Their unequivocal message was one of a failure by KCTMO and the private contractor to respond to their concerns, let alone take any action about them.

This disdain for residents did not surprise me. It was the same story across many of the campaigns I’d worked on: one where private contractors and developers worked with local councils to “regenerate” estates, while systematically ignoring the views and needs of residents.

The recent history of social housing is one of contempt for council tenants and denigration of council housing. The scale of the tragedy at Grenfell is singular, but the underlying causes of the fire are deeply economic and political. This approach to and accompanying narrative about social housing dates back to the 1980s. It is still driving processes of urban gentrification across London.

Council housing was conceived and built in the postwar era as a mainstream way of living – a place “where the doctor, the grocer, the butcher and farm labourer all lived on the same street”, in the words of Nye Bevan, the politician most closely associated with the state-managed housing revolution. Primarily for the working class, it also housed many of the more comfortably off as well, and was not a derided way of living. Indeed, in 1979 one in five of the richest tenth of the UK’s population lived in social housing. Key aspects of council housing were genuine security and affordability. While far from perfect, it was a standout achievement of the postwar rebuilding of the UK.

Since Margaret Thatcher introduced right-to-buy in 1980, neoliberalism has come to dominate all aspects of economic and social policy. Council housing and its tenants have been undermined and sidelined. Council homes, reduced in number by over 2m, are available only to the most economically dispossessed in society. The Thatcher revolution, continued by New Labour, required that the state and public sector be reduced as much as possible. Regulation and “red tape” were enemies of entrepreneurialism. They were characterised as intrusive and undesirable, while the private sector was hailed as the epitome of efficiency and responsiveness.

In the council housing sector, these changes came together in a drive towards removing housing from local government ownership and control. Council housing was handed over to newly created quasi-private bodies, such as arms-length management organisations and tenant management organisations, or transferred en masse to housing associations. This was justified by claims that management of social housing would improve, bureaucracy would be done away with, and responsiveness to tenants would increase.

Regeneration projects are now invariably delivered through hugely complicated public-private partnerships, with little government funding. Instead, in exchange for their work, private developers receive highly lucrative long-term contracts, such as PFI, and valuable land on which to build homes for private sale. Local government has become distanced from housing provision, central government funding for social housing has been reduced, and the involvement of powerful private companies has increased. As this has happened lines of accountability have become blurred, and social housing tenants have become a “necessary evil”, tolerated by the private sector only because they allow lucrative private market housing to be built.

The consequences of these shifts, and of the accompanying decades of disinvestment in housing policy, are now being seen across London. It is not simply the Dickensian levels of inequality we see in the city on a daily basis, or even the atrocity of the Grenfell fire. It is also the way in which tenants of social housing are treated as problems to be managed, with no voice and little respect. The experience of the Grenfell Action Group is not that of an outlier or a cock-up. It is symptomatic of these gradual and systematic changes in the social housing sector, and in society more broadly, over the past 35 years.

Grenfell was a preventable, political tragedy, about which ordinary people have been warning for years. The tragedy happened because ideology and the bottom line have come to matter more than people’s lives. If anything positive is to come of this disaster, it must be that we start to value council housing again – and the people who live in it.

Five questions about Grenfell Tower that must be answered

With a criminal investigation under way and a public inquiry announced, the AJ puts forward five key questions about the causes of the tragic fire

1. CLADDING • 2. THE REGS • 3. ARCHITECTS’ ROLE • 4. BUILDINGS AT RISK • 5. IMMEDIATE ACTION

The residents of Grenfell Tower in west London had repeatedly warned of the potentially devastating effects of a fire before last week’s blaze. At the time of writing 79 people were dead or missing, presumed dead, as a result of the disaster. The exact cause of the fire at the 24-storey building in north Kensington, which had only recently undergone an £8.6 million refurbishment by Studio E Architects, remains unknown. Much more evidence will be needed before fingers can be pointed and, of course, there may have been multiple causes. Even so, the new cladding on this 1974 concrete block has already become a major focus of attention after eyewitnesses said the fire spread up the building’s exterior with alarming rapidity. Here are five key questions which will need to be answered.

One of the main aims of the refurbishment was to improve the building’s thermal performance through new external cladding. In its designs, Studio E Architects, working with contractor Rydon, specified a cassette-type insulation system comprising Celotex FR5000 insulation board attached to a timber backing. The drawings also specified a Reynobond aluminium composite material (ACM) rainscreen panel to be installed 50mm in front of the insulation. The lightweight Reynobond panel comes with either a polyethylene core or a slightly more expensive, honeycombed mineral core, which is more fire-resistant.

According to a report in The Guardian, at Grenfell, the construction team used the cheaper panels. These are prohibited on high-rise buildings in the USA and – according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) – also breach the UK’s Building Regulations 2010, which restrict their use on buildings over 18m tall.

Earlier this week chancellor Philip Hammond said a criminal investigation would be launched to investigate these possible breaches – in particular discrepancies with Part B (fire safety) Volume 2, Paragraphs 12.5-12.9, which state that cladding and insulation on buildings over 18m tall should be of limited combustibility. This is defined further in Table A7.

2. If this cladding method breached the regs, why was it used at Grenfell Tower?

Grenfell tower ©harley facades c1059 complete 4

Source: Harley Facades

This will be a key question for the Met’s criminal investigation and the public inquiry but, at the time of writing on Monday (19 June), Kensington and Chelsea Council remained unwilling or unable to answer basic questions put to its press office five days previously, including if and when Studio E’s project was granted Building Regulations approval and when exactly Grenfell Tower last had a fire risk assessment.

What is known is that fire experts have long claimed that Part B is inadequate and open to exploitation. The document has not been properly reviewed since 2006 and, in 2015, a survey by the Fire Sector Federation, which represents fire and rescue organisations, found that 92 per cent of its members believed that the regulations were ‘long overdue an overhaul’.

In the UK, products are tested on an individual basis, rather than in combination with other building components. This contrasts with the testing regime in the Middle East. Following a series of serious fires in high-rise buildings there linked to the use of panels containing polyethylene – the same cladding material apparently fitted at Grenfell Tower – the UAE banned the material and ruled that components must be fire-tested alongside other components.

Konstantinos Tsavdaridis, associate professor of structural engineering at the University of Leeds, told The Times that the UK needed to adopt such a system, adding: ‘You may have very good material indeed. But if you install it as part of a system with gaps and voids, the smoke and the heat can pass through and create a chimney effect, funnelling flames to the floors above. That’s what happened at Grenfell Tower.’

The role of procurement and whether value engineering was at play will also be in the spotlight, as will the government’s war on red tape and so-called ‘health and safety culture’ and whether this drive helped allow rules to be broken or bent. After speaking to affected residents last Sunday, London mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘To those who think rules, regulations, health and safety investment, are a bad thing, I say come to Grenfell Tower, come and meet the wonderful people I have met and remember those who have lost their life in a preventable accident that didn’t need to happen.

‘The tragedy we have seen is the consequence of mistakes and neglect from politicians, from the council, and the government.’

3. Could the declining role of architects have played a part in this tragedy?

The answer to this will of course depend on the exact cause of the fire and thus on the outcomes of the public inquiry. However, there is a suspicion that there is no longer a single competent professional such as an architect or engineer who has responsibility for specifying materials and – alongside the building control and fire officers – ensuring such materials, or a safe and legal alternative, are used and correctly installed.

Instead, the argument goes, responsibility for risk has been spread around to the point where no-one knows where responsibility lies. In a recent opinion piece for The Guardian in response to the Grenfell Tower fire, architect Deon Lombard – a former project director at tp bennett who has worked on major refurbishment projects and on residential towers – wrote: ‘In the past, architects have specified construction materials and have then been in a position to ensure that the specified materials were used. This is increasingly not the case as performance specifications enable alternative materials to be used, often selected by the developer, contractor or subcontractors.

‘With architects now seldom having the authority to insist on specific products being used, there is a tendency to go for cheaper materials, without necessarily understanding the impact or knock-on effect.’

RIBA Council member George Oldham – Newcastle upon Tyne’s city architect from 1979 till 1990 – told the AJ that ‘something has been lost’ in the move away from filling such positions, pointing out that his role had involved a wide range of responsibilities, including fire risk and maintenance of buildings.

He said: ‘There has been a shift from public sector control of the design and building process to something which is more or less a free-for-all.’

Statement from Studio E

We are deeply shocked and distressed over news of the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower.

Our thoughts are with those that have been affected by this tragic incident, together with all of their relatives and friends.

Given the ongoing nature of the incident it would be inappropriate for us to comment or speculate further at this stage. We will be available to assist the relevant authorities as and when we are required.

4. Are there any other buildings at risk?

Grenfell©chirlajon

Source: ChiralJon

According to the DCLG, there are 4,000 similar residential tower blocks in the UK – many of them owned by local authorities.

Councils around the country including London boroughs, Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester are urgently carrying out fire safety checks while tower block residents in four major Scottish cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee – were quickly reassured by the authorities that the cladding believed to have been used at Grenfell Tower had not been used on their buildings.

In addition, at least one architecture practice is internally reviewing its designs for tower blocks and the building materials used.

Simon Bayliss, managing partner at HTA, said: ‘We’ve set up a technical group across our various architecture studios and different teams, so we can represent all of the buildings we have built recently or are currently building.

‘We will be looking into the implications of the detailing, the packages we’ve prepared, our role on the projects, and preparing ourselves to work with the clients and the contractors should they need any assistance.’

Bayliss, who lived in a 20-storey tower block for eight years, said that HTA had yet to establish whether any of its schemes used the same cladding as Grenfell Tower.

He pointed out that a 2012 fire at a HTA-designed 22-storey tower block in the Chalcots Estate, north London, which had used aluminium cladding, had not spread to other floors.

‘We need to look at every single one individually and make sure that the right things were done,’ he said.

Prior to the Grenfell Tower fire, safety checks on tower blocks appear to have been in decline.

According to figures published in last weekend’s Sunday People, fire safety checks at tower blocks and commercial buildings fell 25 per cent in the five years from 2011 to 2016, from 84,575 to 63,201. Worryingly, the cladding used in Grenfell Tower is not restricted to residential buildings either. The Times reported that £553 million of public sector money has been spent fitting buildings with similar external cladding, including schools, hospitals and leisure centres.

5. What needs to be done immediately to make sure post-war, high-rise residential blocks are safe?

Ampthill estate by nico hogg

Source: Nico Hogg

Ampthill Estate in Camden

Among the most extreme solutions is give up on these buildings and to simply flatten them. Writing in last weekend’s Observer, mayor Khan wrote: ‘It may well be the defining outcome of this tragedy that the worst mistakes of the 1960s and 1970s are systematically torn down.’

Others have suggested less drastic measures, including the retrofitting of sprinklers to all high-rise residential blocks, a recommendation made in 2012 by the coroner at the Shirley Towers inquest.

At present, only towers built in England since 2007 and above 30m high have to have sprinklers fitted. Their effectiveness was praised in 2015 by a spokesman for the Chief Fire Officers Association, who maintained that no-one had died in any fire in the UK in a building with a ‘properly installed sprinkler system working the way it’s meant to’.

However, others point out that it will take months to fit sprinklers to all vulnerable towers and call for far more urgent action.

Leading architect Rab Bennetts said: ‘We cannot wait. We need to get moving on several thousand towers. The government needs to ensure there are fire extinguishers and smoke alarms on every level, they need to make sure fire doors work properly and the seals are good and they need to  ensure that flammable clutter and rubbish isn’t left around on landings.

‘There are thousands of people in these blocks and they need everything done fast to ensure they’re ok.’

Timeline

  • April 1991 Cladding cited as a key factor in a fire at Knowsley Heights, Liverpool
  • June 1999 One person dies in a tower block fire in Garnock Court in Irvine, Scotland. The cladding is cited as a factor
  • 2005 Scotland requires sprinklers in all new-build tower blocks above18m
  • 2006 The government insists on sprinklers in new-build tower blocks of flats higher than 30m
  • July 2009 Six people die in a fire in Lakanal House, south London. The coroner says that the Building Regulations should ‘provide clear guidance’ with regard to the ‘external fire spread’ on buildings
  • April 2010 Two firemen are killed fighting a fire in Shirley Towers, Southampton
  • November 2010 Fifty-eight people die in a fire in a 28-storey block of flats in Shanghai. External insulating material is cited as a possible cause
  • 2012 Shirley Towers inquest. Coroner recommends sprinklers should be fitted to existing residential tower blocks
  • March 2013 Lakanal House inquest recommends retrofitting sprinklers to existing tower blocks
  • January 2014 Planning permission is granted for the £10 million refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, including new external cladding. Completed in 2016
  • December 2015 Cladding is cited as a cause for the spread of a fire at the 63-storey Address Hotel in Dubai
  • January 2016 Legislation introduced in Wales requires sprinklers in every new home
  • November 2016 Grenfell Action Group warns that the block’s manager KCTMO is ‘playing with fire’ and ‘only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord’
  • 14 June 2017 Fire breaks out on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower

https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/news-analysis-five-questions-about-grenfell-tower-that-must-be-answered/10020900.article#.WUkmYqhYrqA.twitter

GRENFELL TOWER – THE BRUTAL ILLUSTRATION OF INEQUALITY

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council (RBKC)

One of the first people to put their face in front of the media was Nicholas Paget-Brown, leader of the Tory-run council.  Mr Paget-Brown is an interesting man – he used to be involved in the Tory think-tank Bow Group, so is clearly well-connected in Tory circles.  He offered his resignation but the council cabinet unanimously declined to accept it.

IMG_0927

The housing stock in the borough is run by Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation (KCTMO) – which is basically the council giving itself another name.  It was KCTMO (yes, the council) who employed the services of the contractors to undertake a £10m regeneration of Grenfell Tower.

Survivors and locals keep repeating that they almost feel that it could be an intentional action as they believe the council are in the process of social cleansing an area that could potentially make them a lot of money.  I won’t speculate on whether this is true or not.

Regeneration – companies involved:

The Grenfell Tower regeneration project

Grenfell Tower Pre-assessment by Syntegra Consulting, 2013

An article in The Guardian covers all those involved in the project:

  • Harley Facades Ltd (originally Harley Curtain Wall): run by Robert Bond, who lives in a Kent mansion, they undertook the cladding work for £2.6m.
  • Rydon: construction firm was the lead contractor having won an £8.6m contract to regenerate the estate.
  • Artelia UK: commissioned to project manage the refurbishment.
  • Max Fordham: Building services engineers.
  • Studio E: Architect.
  • Witt UK/PSB: ventilation firm.
  • Celotex: supplied insulation for cladding.
  • JS Wright & Sons: worked on the ventilation.
  • Arconic: Designed Reynobond PC used in the plastic cladding.  Despite selling fire retardant cladding for just £2 more per piece, the council chose the cheaper option.

The questions that need answering

  • Why was such a huge amount of taxpayers money spent on superficial cosmetic work when essential safety work was required but neglected?
  • Why were residents concerns continually ignored and, worse still, threatened with legal action by the council solicitor?
  • Why was the cladding used despite recommendations by it’s manufacturer that it NOT be used on buildings taller than 10m?
  • Is it true that there used to be a sprinkler system within the tower block in the seventies?
  • Why were the council offices closed all this weekend (directly after the fire) despite the plight of those who have lost everything?
  • Why can the government pledge nearly £400m to refurbish Buckingham Palace (even though the Queen doesn’t live there any more) but pledge £5m for many people who have lost the only homes they had and all their possessions.
  • Why did the stairwell fill with smoke?
  • Why did RBKC not contact the British Red Cross until Friday afternoon to ask for their assistance on the ground?  It seems that despite the devastation and carnage that unfolded in front of their eyes, they still continued to ignore the residents until they couldn’t do so any longer.
  • How can your surplus stand at such a huge figure yet housing such as Grenfell be so lacking in basic safety measures?
  • How can you justify spending out on making paving stones ‘less slippery’ using new equipment and extra manpower in the richer areas, yet seemed to adverse to spending money where it NEEDED spending?  That is the public purse!
  • Why are your wages so extortionately high?  What justification is there for them – it can’t be because of added responsibility of the position as you’ve shown no responsibility whatsoever!

Legal Aid

The council were alerted numerous times by residents and the Grenfell Action Group (GAG) of potential safety risks.  Not only did the council ignore them, they even went so far as to silence them by issuing a solicitor’s letter!

IMG_1052

In 2013, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling made cuts to the legal aid budget, the result of which meant that most ordinary folk cannot access legal aid any more because they simply can’t afford it.  So even when the GAG (the abbreviation isn’t lost on me) knew the council were breaching safety with inadequate alarm systems and evacuation procedure, there was little they could do because they couldn’t afford to!  This highlights the very issue of inequality in this country.  The Tories have slowly chipped away at the rights of the masses until voices can no longer be heard.  The latest idea of scrapping the Human Rights Act and policing the internet more heavily just adds to this.

So who’s to blame?

Without knowing the reasons why the fire started (maybe a power surge caused the fridge to ignite) it’s impossible to say.  However, one this is almost certain – the cladding used on the tower exacerbated a fire that London Fire Service say, they did extinguish.  So, who is responsible for the cladding?

It’s not the manufacturers – they simply fulfilled an order – although that particular cladding should now be banned.

It’s not the builders who were simply following orders to fit it.

So who made the decision to use that particular cladding?  Who proposed it, who checked it, was it assessed against other options and who rubber-stamped it?

Who is the person at RBKC in charge of health and safety within social housing?  Why was there no proper evacuation procedure in place?  Why did it take for numerous complaints from residents to even get simply signage?

Who is the person who should have been coordinating and assisting all those affected by the fire but who has been nowhere to be seen?

Who has been making the most appalling decisions since the fire occurred?

Oh, and I haven’t forgotten you Mr Barwell…

Lastly, why did the then Minister for Housing, Gavin Barwell, sit on a report that had urgent recommendations on tower block fire safety to prevent this very thing from happening?  Is he going to be held accountable?  He’s just been promoted by Theresa May.

Why did 71 Tory landlords vote against the bill to make rental properties fit for human habitation – including Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd!

All those extortionately paid staff at RBKC and in the government are a shocking example of all that is wrong in our society.  They lack any decency.

And all those unpaid volunteers who stopped to help due to simple common decency and compassion are a shining example of all that is good.

Nor you, Mr Johnson…

In 2013, whilst London Mayor, Boris Johnson responded to criticisms about his cuts to fire services and the risks to life by telling a Labour politician to “get stuffed”.

So many questions.  So many lives lost.  So many lessons still not being learned.  So much deflection of responsibility.

https://scepticpeg.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/grenfell-tower-the-brutal-illustration-of-inequality/

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-library/hllreform.pdf

The Bow Group Acknowledgements:

Nick Paget-brown and Camilla Batmanghelidjh

https://www.bowgroup.org/sites/bowgroup.uat.pleasetest.co.uk/files/Go%2520Zones%2520-%2520Policies%2520for%2520the%2520Places%2520Politics%2520Forgot.pdf

Camila Batmanghelidjh and Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson and Camila Batmanghelidjh

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/598681/Kids-Company-Camila-Batmanghelidjh-charity-swimming-pool-mansion-Hendon

Grenfell: Exploitable Flaws Found In Building Control

According to the Fire Sector Federation, the Building Control Alliance is a “unique industry group made up of representatives from all the organisations directly involved in building control in England and Wales.”

Though its own website is currently not available, the organisation is described as comprising “the organisations supporting the many thousands of building control professionals – the Chartered Institute of Building, the Chartered Association of Building Engineers and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – and the professional associations promoting public and private sector building control, Local Authority Building Control and the Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors.”

The BCA, the Fire Sector Federation says, is the only place where all these “voices and competing interests” come together as one.

It appears to be a lobby group which has issued guidance and presentations, seen this morning, highlighting an exploitable loophole in the fire compliance regulations relating to the use of external cladding on buildings over eighteen metres in height.

 

https://www.byline.com/column/67/article/1741

London fire: Flats acquired for Grenfell Tower survivors

June 21 2017

The upmarket Kensington Row complex includes a 24-hour concierge service and a private cinema, the website of developer St Edward’s says.

Each new home will be fully furnished, and the government says will be completed to a high-specification.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40357280


Chris GilesVerified account @ChrisGiles

You do know these are just the social housing units that were anyway part of the development – not a gift from above?


Jon Stone@joncstone

 

Spin alert: are they ‘luxury flats’ or ‘newly built social housing’?


Nick Pettigrew @Nick_Pettigrew


“Grenfell victims given luxury flats”. No, they’ve been allocated the social housing flats such developments are required by law to build.


Snobby Tory Kensington residents don’t want Grenfell Tower survivors living in nearby luxury apartments as they will ‘lower house prices’.

What a horrible thing to say to those effected . Nasty sods

link



 


 

 

 

 


https://www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/property-developers/st-edward/about-st-edward

Retired KCTMO Board Member Michael Beverley, age 50, found dead (2009)

He was the TMO’s longest-serving board member.

Karen Buck, MP for Regent’s Park and Kensington North,  paid tribute to Mr Beverley.

She said: “I worked closely with Michael for many years and was deeply saddened by news of his death at such a young age.

“I always found him full of humour, interest and compassion, and he put so much effort into his community that his loss diminishes us all.”

Robert Black, chief executive of the TMO, echoed their sentiments.

 

The Tories proved themselves tonight to be without honour, courage or integrity. They will regret this vile betrayal of good men and women

 

 

THE POSTING OF STORIES, COMMENTARIES, REPORTS, DOCUMENTS AND LINKS (EMBEDDED OR OTHERWISE) ON THIS SITE DOES NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM, IMPLIED OR OTHERWISE, NECESSARILY EXPRESS OR SUGGEST ENDORSEMENT OR SUPPORT OF ANY OF SUCH POSTED MATERIAL OR PARTS THEREIN.

 

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COMMANDER CHARLES ARTHUR HOWESON – colleague of Prince Philip and Prince Charles – charged with buggery

COMMANDER CHARLES ARTHUR HOWESON – colleague of Prince Andrew, Prince Philip and Prince Charles – charged with buggery

Royal Navy officer ‘humped odd-job man like a dog’ in garden pump house

Charles Howeson allegedly assaulted 12 victims and is alleged to have groped a junior rating during a man overboard drill.

24 NOV 2017

A senior Royal Navy officer on trial for sexually assaulting nine young men ‘humped an odd-job man like a dog’ at his house, a court heard.

Charles Howeson, 67, allegedly assaulted victims while serving with the Navy including groping a junior rating during a man overboard drill.

Complaints were made, but Howeson was let off with a warning and went on to pursue a successful career in the service with the court being told that he believed he was ‘unassailable’ because of his position.

He became a first lieutenant and second-in-command on a ship and felt he was ‘too powerful’ to be affected by complaints against him, a jury heard.

Bristol Crown Court heard Howeson hired a former car valeter to help him with odd jobs around the house.

His alleged victim claimed he was ‘humped like a dog’ by Howeson in his garden pump house.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he began working for Howeson after he was let go by a city car valeting business in the early 1990s.

The former car valeter told a jury how Howeson phoned him up and asked him to do ‘odd jobs’ around the garden.

The man told the jury it was when Howeson asked him to check for damp in the garden pump house that he first touched him inappropriately.

He recalled the second time Howeson allegedly assaulted him – as he stood on a step ladder in the pump house. He felt Howeson ‘coming in closer’ and touching him.

He told the jury: “His groin was touching the side of my leg, rubbing against me, pushing against me.

“In a way it was like when a dog jumps up at you and holds you and pushes against you. It was that kind of feeling, like he was trying to hump you.”

On the third occasion, he claims he could feel Howeson’s penis beneath his clothes.

“I could feel it on my leg or thigh,” he told a jury.

“It was within his clothing. I can remember rapid breathing and he was quite forceful as he was holding me on the ladder.”

He told the jury he left only after the third attack because he needed money to support his then pregnant wife.

“It’s made me scared of a lot of things,” he added. “Like being close to people. It has changed a lot of stuff for me. I was embarrassed and ashamed.”

Howeson also went on to allegedly abuse young men after he left the Navy and went to work for an environmental charity organisation.

Paul Dunkels, prosecuting, said: “He was emboldened in his behaviour by the thought he could face off the allegations because of his powerful position.”

Mr Dunkels said that the alleged offences took place between December 1985 and August 1994,

He said they relate to three “wholly unrelated” phases of Howeson’s life – the Navy, his private life and at the charity – but all tell a “similar story”.

“It is the story of a man who was successful in his careers, both in and after the Royal Navy , and a man who had much to lose,” said Mr Dunkels.

“But nevertheless, he was seemingly confident that he was ‘unassailable’ because of his position of power.

“Some of his victims complained at the time, but others felt their word would not be believed because of his status relative to them, or that he was ‘too powerful’ to be affected.”

The earliest charge was said to have taken place in December 1985, while Howeson, of Plymouth, was employed as an officer in the Royal Navy.

He allegedly groped a junior rating on the ship during a man overboard drill, touching the young man’s legs and lower back and his penis and testicles over his clothing.

The “shaken and upset” victim reported the incident to a petty officer and the master-at-arms.

There was an investigation launched into Howeson’s behaviour following a similar complaint from a ship’s steward.

But the court heard the defendant was let off with a warning about his future behaviour – and went on to enjoy a successful Navy career.

It was also Howeson was granted a similar ‘escape’ during his subsequent employment at environmental organisation Groundwork Trust in Plymouth, where he was employed as executive director.

Six of his 12 victims were allegedly indecently assaulted by Howeson between April 1992 and February 1993, during his time working at the Trust.

The court heard he would take them individually to an isolated place and make up some excuse to lift them up – for instance, checking the cabling in the lights – before touching their penis and testicles, either inside or outside their clothing.

Howeson denies 12 historic serious sexual offences, including 11 of indecent assault and one of attempted buggery.

The offences happened against nine alleged male victims.

The trial continues.

 

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/crime/royal-navy-officer-humped-odd-11578787

Charity accused of sweeping Plymouth sex abuse claims ‘under the carpet’

City businessman Charles Howeson is accused of groping young volunteers at The Groundwork Trust

23 NOV 2017

A charity which helped young people get into work has been accused of sweeping sex abuse claims “under the carpet” in the early 1990s.

Plymouth businessman Charles Howeson is on trial at Bristol Crown Court, where he denies 11 counts of indecently assaulting ten young men and a boy and one count of attempted buggery.

A jury heard today how Howeson, The Groundwork Trust’s then executive director, was asked to resign after a string of complaints were made against him by young volunteers in their early 20s.

But the charity, which was based at the Royal William Yard at the time, has been accused by alleged victims of protecting itself instead of taking the matter to the police.

One witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in court the Trust “didn’t take it seriously” and was personally told the matter “couldn’t go to court”.

He added he was allegedly told at the time: “We all enjoy the Trust and if this were to come out it would destroy it.”

The complainant told the jury the alleged indecent assault Howeson, now aged 67, subjected him to meant he “lived in fear” and led to him moving house and seeking counselling.

But Howeson’s defence barrister, Daniel Janner QC, suggested the alleged victims were part of a “conspiracy” and that this particular complainant made the allegations up “to support a friend”.

The alleged indecent assaults are said to have taken place in the early 1990s in both the tunnels of Drake’s Island and a building in Royal William Yard.

The court heard how three separate victims, who were friends, discovered each had allegedly been groped by Howeson and decided to take the matter further to protect others.

The trial has already heard from two other alleged victims who say they were indecently assaulted by Howeson on Drake’s Island.

Giving evidence today, one of the witnesses said he decided to write a letter intended to be posted to the employment agency that found him the voluntary work.

But he was persuaded to first tell his line manager by another alleged victim, the court heard.

The man told the court: “[My colleague] said I would be doing our immediate manager a disservice if it was seen I went behind his back.

“Therefore on the Friday after I had written the letter I showed it to [my line manager]. He said ‘Oh my God’. [He] took the letter from me and he said he would follow it up. That was the only copy of that letter.

“On the following Monday I saw [my line manager] and he said the letter had been taken very seriously and had been discussed over the weekend and he then said, ‘I can’t speak to you any further about this’.”

The court heard how the complainant was subsequently invited to attend a panel made up of the deputy director, his line manager, and his line manager’s boss.

“I was asked, ‘Is there a conspiracy against Charles Howeson?’ [and] they were very anxious to know this was the only copy [of the letter] and that it hadn’t been sent. I confirmed it had not.

“I said there wasn’t [a conspiracy]. I felt humiliated, angry and belittled.”

Charles Howeson pictured with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Following a series of meetings with the complainant, and separate panels with other alleged victims, Howeson resigned, the court heard.

The jury heard the volunteers were told this was for “health reasons” and were also made aware the Trust had made it a condition Howeson never worked with young people again, something Howeson’s barrister contests.

He was also not allowed to return to the Groundwork Trust offices, the court heard.

The witness said: “I was told this could not go to court. There was no point trying to obtain an apology from Charles Howeson because it would be worded in such a way that it would be…a non-apologetic apology.”

However, the following Wednesday, the witness was contacted by Howeson, who asked a question about ongoing work at the Trust, the court heard.

Queen Elizabeth visited the Groundwork Trust in Plymouth on May 1, 1992
Queen Elizabeth visited the Groundwork Trust in Plymouth on May 1, 1992

The witness told the jury he “felt frightened” by this.

“I felt this was Charles Howeson getting in contact with me directly and saying, ‘I know what you have done’. I lost all confidence; I became paranoid; I felt that as he had telephoned me that I needed to watch out, so consequently I moved house. I lived in fear.”

Defending, Mr Janner said: “What you’re saying is The Groundwork Trust was merely going through the motions, but not taking it at all seriously? If that’s the case and they have swept your criminal complaint under the carpet, why not go to the police?”

The witness replied: “[We] felt there was no way on earth we are going to be believed.

“Charles Howeson was asked or told to resign and that was as much as we could hope. We were [in our early 20s] and we didn’t feel we had the authority or the confidence to go any further, simply because we had already achieved what we wanted to do, which was Charles Howeson could not abuse people in the Groundwork Trust.”

The trial continues.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/charity-accused-sweeping-plymouth-sex-822759


The tunnels under Drake’s Island

‘Charles Howeson groped me in Drake’s Island tunnels’, former charity worker tells trial

A former charity worker has told a jury he was “groped” by prominent Plymouth businessman Charles Howeson in the tunnels of Drake’s Island.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed Howeson, who was then executive director of the Groundwork Trust, touched him inappropriately on more than one occasion.

The alleged victim, who claims the sexual assault happened in in the early 1990s, told a jury Howeson, now 67, groped his groin area in the “complete darkness” of the tunnels on Drake’s Island.

The witness told the jury Howeson, a former Naval officer, approached the charity worker “one afternoon” and asked if he could come to the island to help find a set of switches and cables.

On the boat, which the complainant said only carried the two of them, Howeson asked if he would like the steer, the jury heard.

The complainant said: “At first I was sat down and Charles Howeson came up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder, then put his hand down onto my leg and started rubbing my leg.

“He leant over on my back to show me on the front the fish finder and depth of water. He was leaning over my back and I thought it was really strange as there was no reason for him to be doing that. It was very confusing for me. I was very confused.

“I felt very intimidated and that it wasn’t right what he was doing. It was like it was a sexual come-on.”

The jury heard that the man did not challenge Howeson over the alleged incident – and the two are said to have moored up on the island and made their way to the tunnels to find the switches and cables.

But once there, the witness said he was touched again, this time on his penis.

He told the trial: “It was complete darkness – I was asked to find some cables and switches and I had to get up onto his shoulders. He crouched down and I went to get up and as he did he started to rub my legs again.

“I went behind him and as I did […] he put out his hand to rub my leg again.

“He stood up with me on his shoulders. I had to stretch up. He put his hands across and then I was touched on my testicles and my penis. It was more like groping. It went on for about a minute.”

This happened twice in the tunnels, the complainant told a jury, before three other workers entered.

“[Howeson] was quite shocked when they came in,” the man told the jury.

Despite not telling anyone of the alleged sexual offences at first, the worker was called into a meeting some months later to give a statement, the court was told.

But the complainant claims the alleged offences were “brushed under the carpet” by the Trust.

The court then heard from the man’s carer, who told the jury she was told about the alleged abuse when she brought up Drake’s Island in conversation following its purchase by Dan McCauley, the former Plymouth Argyle chairman.

The witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury: “I brought it up and I said, ‘We’ll be able to go over fishing’.

“He said he wasn’t going to go over there, and he said that’s where things had happened to him. He said he was abused.

“We had a bit of an argument because he didn’t like it and he stormed off.

“All I said to him was he needed to sort the issues out because it happened more than once.”

The trial continues.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/charles-howeson-groped-drakes-island-815103


‘Charles Howeson tried to rape me’, victim told police

20 Nov 2017

The former Naval officer and leading Plymouth businessman denies a string of sexual assaults

A man has said a senior Royal Naval officer pinned him down and tried to rape him when he was a young teenager, a jury has heard.

The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims Charles Howeson befriended him and a group of other schoolboys on a Plymouth Naval estate by letting them ride motorbikes in his field.

In an interview with police shown to the jury, the complainant told officers that Howeson, who denies the claims, was teaching him how to shoot a wooden air rifle gun in the field when the alleged offence took place.

He claims Howeson moved closer to him, pulled down his trousers and tried to rape him, but was unsuccessful.

The leading Plymouth businessman, now 67, has gone on trial accused of abusing his position of power to indecently touch 10 young men and a teenage boy.

Howeson indecently touched men in the lower ranks, civilians in and around his home and some men working for a charity where he was the boss, a jury has heard.

The charity, the Groundwork Trust, investigated complaints from six young men but “swept them under the carpet” back in 1993, the court was previously told.

Several of the men were allegedly abused in the tunnels of Drake’s Island, where volunteers were doing environmental work.

Howeson is accused of two alternative charges dating back to the 1980s, attempted buggery and indecent assault, which are based on the same evidence and allegedly took place near his home.

In the interview with officers at Charles Cross Police Station, the complainant said “everything was normal” before Howeson allegedly took him to a field by himself to teach him how to shoot an air rifle.

“[Howeson] started laying closer to me,” the complainant said in the recorded interview, shown to the jury. “I thought it was a bit odd but I didn’t think anything of it. Then he laid on top of me and put all his weight on me and I couldn’t move.

“He pulled down my trousers and tried to rape me and I couldn’t even move, he was so heavy.

“The second he took his weight off me I squirmed out and ran away. That’s all I can remember and all I know about it.

“I didn’t say anything, I didn’t even make a noise. It was just a shock; I didn’t expect it in any way.

“Years after I thought about it a lot. I dealt with it with drink, drugs and violence.”

The jury heard the alleged victim has more than two dozen previous convictions dating back several years, which Howeson’s defence barrister suggests indicates he is lying about this allegation.

Daniel Janner QC said: “I want to suggest to you you are lying about what’s happened for an easy way of getting [compensation].

“You are a career criminal […] [and] from the age of about 17 you were a thoroughly dishonest person.”

The complainant replied: “I got into trouble with the police a lot, yes. What happened to me has affected every aspect of my life.”

Mr Janner then asked: “Are you going to make a claim for compensation?”

“No,” the complainant said. “I have said I do not want to claim compensation.

“I was not a good kid. I did bad things and I paid for it.”

Last year the complainant attended an identity parade, identifying Howeson as the man who allegedly assaulted him 30 years ago.

He claims he did not even know Howeson’s name until three months ago, and had not seen a picture of him in the time between the assault and the ongoing court case.

The trial continues.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/charles-howeson-tried-rape-me-805814

Royal Navy ‘covered-up incident where senior officer groped a young seaman’s genitals to avoid a scandal in the newspapers’

Nov 17 2017

  • Former Naval officer is accused of groping a junior on a warship in 1985
  • Alleged victim says he told his superiors about the incident at the time
  • He believes the matter wasn’t dealt with as the Navy didn’t want a scandal 
  • Accused officer denies the attack and 10 other alleged sex offences 

The Royal Navy has been accused of trying to cover up a high-ranking officer’s alleged sexual assault on a sailor in a bid to avoid a scandal.

Charles Howeson, 67, who was a lieutenant commander, is on trial accused of several sex attacks including groping a junior on the frigate HMS Cleopatra in 1985.

The court heard claims that, despite complaints made against Howeson, he was allowed to carry on in his role as it would have ‘looked bad’ for the Navy if the scandal had got out.

His alleged victim, who was in his 20s at the time, said he believed no action was taken because the service wanted to keep it quiet.

he immediately complained to a senior officer and the Master at Arms, who was in charge of on-board discipline.

The man, in his 20s, said he was then interviewed by two members of the Navy’s Special Investigations Squad.

The witness said he never saw Howeson again after the incident. The defendant was moved from the ship on health grounds, the jury were told.

The complainant said he was later told that no record of the incident he reported could be found.

The witness said that he was contacted by police more than 30 years later in 2016. Only then, he said, did he realise that Howeson had continued in the Navy.

Howeson told investigators more than 30 years ago it was ‘inconceivable’ he had sexually assaulted the junior rating on HMS Cleopatra.

After being flown off the ship, he was later interviewed and said: ‘I completely refute the allegation.’

Members of the service’s Special Investigations Squad have told the court that they pursued the matter thoroughly before passing the file to the Provost Marshal.

Charles Howeson trial: sailor had his bottom touched by senior Naval officer on board frigate, court hears

The jury heard how the alleged victim reported the incident to superior officers.

He added he woke his petty officer to report what had happened and then spoke to his head of department.

The man, together with the other complainant, was later interviewed by the Navy’s Special Investigations Squad.

He was interviewed by Navy investigators but was shocked to encounter Howeson, who was originally from Mevagissey, three years later and find he had been promoted to commander.

Another junior rating has already told the court he was groped by Howeson on a boat deck on the same ship during a man overboard exercise that December.

He said to the jury that he believed the Royal Navy then kept the matter quiet to avoid a scandal.

Former officers in the squad told the court they investigated the matters and passed a file to the Provost Marshal, in charge of the Navy’s police service.

The jury heard the second part of the Service Investigation Squad interview with Howeson in December 1985.

He added his reaction to the ladder allegation was “absolute shock and horror”.

Howeson said: “I totally deny any allegation of that nature. In my mind it is unthinkable.”

The ship’s second-in-command added that he “half fell down” the ladder into the junior rating. He added the contact only lasted a few seconds and was not indecent.

The First-Lieutenant said he could not think of any reason why the two junior ratings would act in concert to make complaints against him.

He said that the allegations as a whole were “like a script from a dirty movie”.

Howeson, then married for seven years with two children, denied he had any “homosexual tendencies”.

The head of department who was told by the rating about what had happened said he decided with other officers not to tell the ship’s captain, Roy Newman.

He told the jury that Howeson claimed it was a “misunderstanding” and appeared “horrified”.

The senior officer said he decided not to tell the captain about what he said was a very “serious and difficult matter”. But the witness added he did warn Howeson he would report him if there was another complaint.

The retired officer said that the junior rating agreed with this course of action.

The former head of department duly told the captain when the second junior rating came forward two months later and the matter was included in the Royal Navy investigation.


Charles Howeson trial: accused was flown from Royal Navy frigate following allegations of sexual assault on board

Two Navy investigators flew by helicopter and were winched on to HMS Cleopatra in the English Channel in December 2015 (should be 1985?)

(The former junior rating, the first complainant to give evidence, had earlier told the jury that Howeson groped at his genitals over his trousers during a man overboard exercise in December 1985.)

The former sailor described Howeson as “flamboyant” and that he pulled up to join the frigate on a yacht.

He was also told that the lieutenant commander’s children had jetted off to join Princess Anne’s children horse riding.

http://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/howeson-trial-bristol-plymouth-cornwall-782391

16 NOV 2017

A ‘cover’ story was put out that a high-ranking officer needed medical treatment when he was removed from a Royal Navy frigate following an allegation of a sexual assault, a court heard.

A junior rating had made the accusation against Lieutenant Commander Charles Howeson, originally from Mevagissey, on board HMS Cleopatra.

Howeson was then removed from the Plymouth-based vessel with just the clothes he was wearing the day after the alleged assault.

A story was then put out that the transfer was for medical reasons, reports the Plymouth Herald.

The jury heard that Royal Navy investigators flew to the Leander Class frigate and later spoke to Howeson on an RFA ship in December 2015.(?1985)

The alleged victim has told Bristol Crown Court that the incident was then “kept quiet” by the Royal Navy to avoid a scandal.

He said Howeson, second-in-command on the ship, groped him at night while they were alone during a man overboard drill on the boat deck.

Leading Plymouth businessman Howeson, 67, has gone on trial accused of abusing his position of power to indecently touch ten young men and a teenage boy.

Howeson indecently touched men in the lower ranks, civilians in and around his home and some men working for a charity where he was the boss, a jury heard.

The charity, the Groundwork Trust, investigated complaints from six young men but “swept them under the carpet” in 1993, the court was told.

Several of the men were allegedly abused in the tunnels of Drake’s Island, where volunteers were doing environmental work.

Retired Warrant Officer Robert Payne, of the Navy’s Special Investigations Squad, said he and a colleague flew by helicopter and were winched on to HMS Cleopatra in the English Channel in December 2015.

He added that he was the senior investigator in that squad, which could be called to any ship by its captain to investigate any serious allegation anywhere in the world.

Mr Payne said himself, then a Master At Arms, and the squad’s commanding officer, Lieutenant John Buchanan, were briefed by HMS Cleopatra’s captain, Roy Newman.

 

HMS Cleopatra’s captain, Roy Newman

 

Paul Dunkels, QC, for the Crown Prosecution Service, asked whether Howeson was on the ship when they arrived.

Mr Payne said: “No he had been jackstayed (line transferred) to a Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Some story was put out that he was unwell and needed treatment.”

The witness, giving evidence over a videolink from Mold Crown Court in North Wales, said he and his commanding officer interviewed the complainant.

He added that he later interviewed Howeson on board the RFA docked at Gosport in Hampshire.

The witness said he co-operated and described him as “cool and relaxed”.

Mr Payne said: “He said to me that when he was transferred from HMS Cleopatra he only had the clothes he was standing in. He told me that he had no driving licence and I offered to drive him back to Plymouth.”

He stressed they never spoke about the investigation during the journey.

Lieutenant Buchanan, who took to the witness stand, said that he passed his report to his superior, Lieutenant Commander Bob Doyle, the Provost Marshal, the head of the Navy’s regulatory or police branch.

He added that the Provost Marshal, not a trained lawyer, would have taken legal advice before making a decision about what happened next.

The witness added that Lieutenant Commander Doyle was “sadly deceased”.

Lieutenant Buchanan said that was the end of his role in the matter.

Under cross-examination, he added that his squad had carried out a thorough and independent investigation.

Howeson, of Craigie Drive, Plymouth, has gone on trial at Bristol to answer 12 charges dating from 1985 and 1994.

Drake's Island, where the trial has heard that Howeson was accused of abusing men in tunnels
Drake’s Island, where the trial has heard that Howeson was accused of abusing men in tunnels (Image: James Breeden)

He denies 11 counts of indecently assaulting ten young men and a boy and one count of attempted buggery.

One of the men he allegedly touched on board HMS Cleopatra and another in the Groundwork Trust are not subject to any charge.

Howeson was formerly chairman of First Great Western trains and also chairman of the now defunct South West Strategic Health Authority, which used to oversee health spending.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1967 and also had a senior role at the Queen’s bank, Coutts and Co.

The trial, before Judge Mark Horton, continues and is expected to take four to six weeks.

http://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/howeson-trial-navy-plymouth-bristol-788921

Top Plymouth businessman carried out sex attacks in Drake’s Island tunnels, trial told

Charles Howeson is on trial after denying a string of sexual assaults which the prosecution claim were ‘swept under the table’ by a leading charity

14 Nov 2017

A leading city businessman abused his position of power to grope 11 boys and young men – with a jury told some of their complaints were “swept under the carpet”.

Former Royal Navy officer Charles Howeson, aged 67, indecently touched men in the lower ranks, civilians in and around his home and some men working for a charity where he was the boss, a jury heard.

Barrister Paul Dunkels, QC, prosecuting, told his trial: “This was a man who was prepared to risk his success by abusing his dominant position over his victims seemingly confident he was unassailable because of his status.”

The former lieutenant-commander allegedly touched two men inappropriately on board a Royal Navy ship in 1985.

He went on to grope a young man who lived close to him at a former home in Plymouth and a young workman there, the jury heard.

Howeson, then executive director of the Groundwork Trust, allegedly touched seven men who worked for the charity. Its premises were visited by the Queen in 1992.

Charles Howeson stands between The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to the Groundwork Trust exhibition in 1992
Charles Howeson stands between The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to the Groundwork Trust exhibition in 1992 (Image: Tony Carney)

Mr Dunkels, opening the case for the Crown Prosecution Service, said some of the alleged victims complained at the time.

He added that others never spoke out because they felt they would not be believed.

The barrister said Howeson was moved from the ship where the alleged offences took place on health grounds after the complaints were investigated.

Mr Dunkels said: “Howeson conveniently retired on health grounds (from the Groundwork Trust) after six young men who worked for the trust complained of similar sexual offences.

“One of the young men was told by the trustees that it was pointless taking the matter to the court and that the negative publicity would destroy the Groundwork Trust.

The defendant should resign on health grounds and would not work with young people again. In other words it was swept under the carpet.”

The barrister said the complainants working on Drake’s Island through the charity were vulnerable and two had mental health or learning difficulties.

Leading Plymouth businessman and captain of industry Charles Howeson has denied a series of historic sexual abuse charges.
Leading Plymouth businessman and captain of industry Charles Howeson has denied a series of historic sexual abuse charges

Howeson, of Craigie Drive, Stonehouse, has gone on trial at Bristol Crown Court to answer 12 charges dating from 1985 and 1994.

He denies 11 counts of indecently assaulting nine boys and young men and one count of attempted buggery.

One of the men he allegedly touched on board HMS Cleopatra and another in the Groundwork Trust are not subject to any charge.

Mr Dunkels said Howeson was second-in-command of HMS Cleopatra in 1985.

He added the lieutenant commander would initiate physical contact with a particular sailor, touching his hand and leaning into him.

Mr Dunkels said that Howeson touched the legs and lower back of the man as he walked up stairs on the ship. He then touched his crotch over his uniform, the barrister added.

Mr Dunkels said the man was “shaken and upset” and complained to a petty officer and the Master at Arms.

The barrister said another man on board the ship also complained that Howeson had touched his bottom. He also complained to a senior officer.

Mr Dunkels said Howeson denied the allegation and claimed it was a misunderstanding. He was moved on to another ship on health grounds.

The barrister said Howeson befriended a teenager near his former Plymouth home.

He added that he lent him a motorcycle to ride and taught him to shoot an air rifle. Mr Dunkels said that while he was lying in a field Howeson attemped to bugger him.

Mr Dunkels said a second man in his 20s did odd jobs at the defendant’s home and cleaned his car.

Queen Elizabeth visits The Groundwork Trust in Plymouth, May 1, 1992
Queen Elizabeth visits The Groundwork Trust in Plymouth, May 1, 1992

He added that Howeson asked him to go up a ladder to do some work and touched him indecently three times.

Mr Dunkels said in the early 90s Howeson was executive director of the Groundwork Trust, based in the Royal William Yard. He added that the charity would help “vulnerable” young people or those who were finding it hard to find jobs.

He added that the trust was doing environmental work on Drake’s Island.

Mr Dunkels said: “His method was to take them individually to an isolated place, often a tunnel on Drake’s Island and make up some reason for him to lift the man up to check a cable or to put on some lights.”

The barrister said Howeson would stand close behind the man and touch him indecently, often over but sometimes under his clothing.

He described how seven men were touched in this way – six of them are subject of the charges.

The court heard how a Groundwork Trust official spoke to six of the men in February 1993. The matter was not reported to the police.

Mr Dunkels said the victim of the attempted buggery came forward only in in 2015, later picking an image of the defendant from a video identification parade.

The barrister said that following a report in The Herald the second man, allegedly assaulted doing work at the defendant’s house, came forward.

Police were also told of the investigations in the Royal Navy and the Groundwork Trust and tracked down the notes of the official who carried out the investigation.

Howeson denied all allegations put to him in police interview.

Howeson, wearing a smart dark suit and tie, spoke only to confirm his identity at the start of proceedings.

Charles Howeson stands next to the Duke of Edinburgh who addresses the crowd at the Mount Batten Centre in 1999
Charles Howeson stands next to the Duke of Edinburgh who addresses the crowd at the Mount Batten Centre in 1999 (Image: Brian Jones)

Howeson was formerly chairman of First Great Western trains and also chairman of the now defunct South West Strategic Health Authority, which used to oversee health spending.

He also held a role as a senior staff member at the Queen’s bank, Coutts and Co.

The trial, before Judge Mark Horton, continues and is expected to take four to six weeks.

The case has been moved from Plymouth because of Howeson’s high profile.

He was raised in Mevagissey in Cornwall and joined the Royal Navy in 1967, before making his fortune as a property developer and launching a long career in the public, private and voluntary sector.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/top-plymouth-businessman-carried-out-774829

The man said Howeson, who he described as ‘flamboyant and different’ and as ‘having money’, groped his genitals over his clothes.

He said he went to a senior officer to complain and a helicopter landed on HMS Cleopatra later that night and two members of the special investigation bureau came on board and took a written statement from him.

The man said he was told ‘somebody with a blanket or towel’ over their head was taken off.

He said he did not see Howeson on the ship after that night.

He said he thought Howeson would face a court martial, but heard nothing afterwards and that it ‘was not handled properly’.

‘I just wonder at the thought process of allowing somebody who has been accused of an assault not to be heard by other people (in a court or tribunal),’ he said.

He added that he had ‘honestly believed the Navy would take care of me’, despite the fact it was the word of a junior crew member against a senior one.

Charles Howeson trial

Some of the alleged offences took place on the frigate HMS Cleopatra, the jury heard

Defence barrister Daniel Janner QC said to the man: “I put it to you there was no groping at all.”

The crewman replied: “That is a lie.”

Defence barrister Daniel Janner QC (left)  son  of accused paedophile MP Greville Janner

www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-42002437

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

Let’s get this straight: A man accused of buggery turns to a QC whose father, according to CPS, should have been charged with buggery?

 

Lord Janner: CPS and police were ‘wrong’ not to prosecute earlier, says official report

Abuse allegations against Greville Janner should have been taken further in 1991, 2002 and 2007 – and discloses how Leicestershire police hid a crucial statement from prosecutors

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/12107660/Lord-Janner-CPS-and-police-were-wrong-not-to-prosecute-earlier-says-official-report.html

Lord Janner’s family to ‘undermine’ sex abuse inquiry strand into their father after being given formal role in investigation

Welcoming the decision, his son Daniel Janner QC said: “It gives me the chance to undermine my father’s strand of the inquiry from within

The family, including his son Daniel Janner, were granted core participant status, which gives them access to documents and to have lawyers attend the inquiry’s hearings

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/01/lordjanners-family-undermine-sex-abuse-inquiry-within-given/

Hamish Baillie‏ @GJannervictim

Greville JANNER: CPS said multiple opportunities missed to bring him to court.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3041209/Labour-s-Janner-not-charged-alleged-child-abuse-Prosecutors-say-not-public-peer-86-trial-age-dementia.html

Groundwork Trust

Bondco -> Tamar Environmental Agency Limited

link

Appointed on
9 September 1991
Resigned on
20 February 1993

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/02606472/officers

Executive director Plymouth Area Groundwork Trust, since 1991. Managing director Bailey Management Group Ltd. Chairman Bailey M & E Ltd., Bailey Environmental Ltd., Indiana Legal Practitioners Ltd., DNA Facilities Management Ltd., RNH Ltd.

http://prabook.com/web/person-view.html?profileId=483191

GROUNDWORK SOUTH WEST

Company number 02632905

PLYMOUTH AREA GROUNDWORK TRUST

26 Jul 1991 – 17 Mar 2006

GROUNDWORK DEVON AND CORNWALL 

17 Mar 2006 – 24 Jun 2009

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/02632905

18 May 2012
Having been launched in 1991 by Her Majesty the Queen (under the name of Groundwork Plymouth Area Trust), the charity was celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, and launched its first charity shop in Plymouth’s Derry Cross. At the launch of the shop Groundwork South West warned that “with ever-decreasing funding, Groundwork has to rely more and more on public support,” calling for donations to stock the store.

Groundwork South West goes into administration with 150 jobs lost

16 May 2012

Sir Tony Hawkhead, the national chief executive, said in a statement: “We are obviously very sad to see a member of our federation forced to take this difficult step.

“We aim to work closely with administrators when they’re appointed to provide whatever help we can to ensure communities in the south west continue to get the support they need.”

Employment Minister Chris Grayling MP recently described Groundwork’s programme as “one of the most innovative, motivational programmes” he had seen.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-18090617

Charles Howeson, British portfolio manager, director. Certified yachtmaster, licensed private pilot.

Background

  • Howeson, Charles was born on November 27, 1949 in Ticehurst, Sussex, England. Son of Arthur Coningham Howeson and Sheila Beatrice Uniacke.

Education

  • Graduate, Royal Naval Staff College, 1980.

Career

  • Executive director Plymouth Area Groundwork Trust, since 1991. Managing director Bailey Management Group Ltd. Chairman Bailey M & E Ltd., Bailey Environmental Ltd., Indiana Legal Practitioners Ltd., DNA Facilities Management Ltd., RNH Ltd.

Major achievements

  • Certified yachtmaster, licensed private pilot.

Membership

Vice chairman Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. Board directors Healthy Plymouth Alliance Ltd., Plencraig Ltd., Sailport Plc, Solemeasure Ltd. Director development Plymouth Theatre Royal.

Member Devon Food and Farming Committee. Board directors Plymouth Health Action Zone. Member Regional Flood Defense committee National Rifle Association.

Member advisory committee Plymouth Post Office and Telecomm. Chairman Seaton Area Residents Association, Crownhill Estates Ltd., Eko-Tek Power Ltd., Piers Ltd., Buckland Corporation Finance Ltd., AYS 2000 Ltd., Powerplus Marine Ltd., Millfields Estate Management Company Ltd. Board directors Somerset Estates Ltd., London and Westcountry Estates Ltd., Frog Construction Ltd., Hockin Dinamic Holdings Ltd., Enterprise Plymouth Ltd.

Chairman Plymouth Economic Development Group, Plymouth Employment Action Zone Board. Vice chairman Millfields Community Economic Development Trust. Chairman, member national council Consumer Council for Postal Services United Kingdom.

Fellow: Royal Inst Navigation, Nautical Institute, Faculty of Building, British Institute Management, Institute Directors, Royal Society Arts. Member: Board Trade, Younger Brother Trinity House, Liveryman Worshipful Company Shipwrights, Freeman of City of London.


Charles Howeson’s trial has started: 13 Nov 2017

http://www.thelawpages.com/court-hearings-lists/Bristol-Crown-Court.php

According to a BBC report Howeson will face trial at Bristol Crown Court on November 13. It is estimated the trial will take around five weeks.

The alleged offences are understood to have taken place at a number of locations in Plymouth, including Royal William Yard, Drakes Island and HMS Cleopatra.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/leading-plymouth-businessman-pleads-not-496647

18 Sept 2017

Charles Howeson, 67, of Craigie Drive, Stonehouse, Plymouth, appeared in court and denied sexually abuse charges while he was a Royal Navy officer. He has pleaded not guilty to 15 charges – 12 counts of indecent assault, two of buggery and one of attempted buggery, against 10 boys and men between December 1985 and September 1994.

According to a BBC report Howeson will face trial at Bristol Crown Court on November 13. It is estimated the trial will take around five weeks.

The alleged offences are understood to have taken place at a number of locations in Plymouth, including Royal William Yard, Drakes Island and HMS Cleopatra.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/leading-plymouth-businessman-pleads-not-496647

earlier:

 

He is set to enter pleas on a date to be fixed in Bristol and a trial likely to take four weeks may be listed by the end of the year.

Howeson was released on unconditional bail.

http://www.cornwalllive.com/leading-businessman-charles-howeson-faces-trial-on-sex-offences/story-30393629-detail/story.html


As of 14 Sept 2017 – no news updates on Charles Howeson, even though he was scheduled to be in court on 11 Sept 2017 for an interim hearing.

 

His next court date is on 13 Nov 2017


Former Naval officer Charles Howeson, aged 67, faces 12 counts of indecent assault, two of buggery and one of attempted buggery between December 1985 and September 1994.

The alleged offences relate to 10 different males and prosecutors claim the incidents took place at a number of locations in Plymouth, including Royal William Yard, Drakes Island and HMS Cleopatra.

Howeson has not been arraigned on any of the charges.

He appeared for the second time at Plymouth Crown Court, where his barrister applied for the case to be heard in Bristol – an application which was not opposed by the Crown.

Judge Ian Lawrie ruled that the trial should not be heard in the Plymouth because of Howeson’s high profile.

The resident judge in Bristol will now formally have to decide whether to take over the case.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/plymouth-businessman-looks-set-to-face-sex-abuse-trial-in-bristol/story-30392593-detail/story.html

June 23, 2017

The Resident Judge in Bristol has now formally accepted the case and a trial has been confirmed for November 13.

An interim hearing to organise the trial, to take four to five weeks, has been set for September 11.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/plymouth-businessman-accused-of-sex-abuse-to-face-bristol-trial-in-november/story-30406573-detail/story.html

Top Plymouth businessman Charles Howeson appears at Crown Court

May 08, 2017

A leading Plymouth businessman has appeared at Crown Court where he faces more than a dozen serious sexual abuse charges.

Former Naval officer Charles Howeson, 67, faces 12 counts of indecent assault, two of buggery and one of attempted buggerybetween December 1985 and September 1994.

Drake’s Island

The alleged offences relate to 10 different males and prosecutors claim the incidents took place at a number of locations in Plymouth, including Royal William Yard, Drakes Island and HMS Cleopatra.
Royal William Yard– The Ministry of Defence, which owned the site, closed it in 1985. Michael Heseltine was the presiding axeman.

Howeson was not arraigned and no charges were put to him.

Previously, Howeson, of Craigie Drive, Stonehouse, has refuted the allegations and said he had co-operated fully with the police investigation.

A trial was estimated to take between two and three weeks. A hearing to discuss legal arguments was set for June 16. Howeson was released on unconditional bail.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/top-plymouth-businessman-charles-howeson-appears-at-crown-court-on-15-sexual-abuse-charges/story-30319815-detail/story.html

The amended application has been welcomed by Charles Howeson, chairman of the Plymouth Area Business Council.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-25665633

The War Department stopped using Drake’s Island in 1956, and after a seven year period of dormancy, they leased it in 1963 to the Plymouth City Council.

For eight years Drake’s Island had an official status as a youth training base, until it was leased to the Mayflower Centre Trust in 1971.

 

The Mayflower Centre Trust ran Drake’s Island as an Adventure Centre, and opened it to the public in summer months. However, soon the island became dormant again and has been unoccupied since.

http://www.angelfire.com/in4/island_uk/drakesisland.html

Gary also said that there was evidence to suggest that the island is regularly visited. “In the first house, people had used chalk to write their names on a blackboard, and there were quite a few dated from 2010-2015,” he added.

 

The former chapel turned military base became an adventure centre in the 1960s before being closed and abandoned, then sold off.

Looking north from Drake's Island to include Plymouth Hoe

Looking north to include Plymouth Hoe

However, a city historian says there’s not enough proof a tunnel runs from Plymouth Hoe to Drake’s Island as records of it being built have never been discovered.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/the-secret-tunnels-of-plymouth-revealed/story-29855072-detail/story.html

Drake Island timeline

Drake’s Island 2014

PLANS to build a luxury hotel, spa and restaurant on Drake’s Island have been resurrected.

The £10million scheme to bring the derelict island back to life was thrown out by Plymouth city councillors in January last year.

Members of the council’s planning committee rejected the plans, saying there was not enough information on the risks to wildlife.

Charle’s Howeson  – Drake’s Island Jan 9 2014

Charles Howeson, the chairman of the Plymouth Area Business Council, said “For so many years we in Plymouth have looked forward to our waterfront mosaic being completed with the removal from the post war ‘dereliction inventory’ of arguably its most significant and certainly its most visible component, St Nicholas or Drake’s Island.

“At last we, as a city, have a champion willing, and in resource terms capable, of achieving this against very many odds, and we should all be very grateful and supportive of this, perhaps at the very eleventh hour of its being offered and so being available in this form.

“The comparatively past of a couple of decades of recent history has left neither the island nor us with anything to be particularly proud of, and yet there is a west country family who are now prepared to complete the mosaic for all of us, probably with a degree of  philanthropy and almost certainly bearing a degree of commercial risk which would frighten the most of us off, and which we can thus only therefore admire.

“So, let all of us in Plymouth now wholeheartedly, and without reservation, welcome the regeneration of ‘our island’, the very jewel in our waterfront crown, and the final component in our recovered and regenerated mush damaged waterfront, and thus, as our forefathers used to say so often after the last war during the great years of rebuild, let us just ‘get on with it and make it happen!’ – and, given the macro economic climate, and the growth challenges facing us all, let us do this, and with full enthusiasm, whilst the opportunity is still available to us, and so whilst we still can.”

A year ago the council’s planning committee was advised by officers to refuse the plans because environmental surveys of the island and surrounding sea were missing or incomplete.

The councillors were told that environmental surveys needed to be carried out in the summer.

But now revised plans have been submitted by owner Dan McCauley’s Rotolok (Holdings) Ltd.

They include a luxury hotel boasting 43 rooms, some with view of Plymouth Hoe and the city’s waterfront.

There would also be a spa, a restaurant and a revamped jetty.

The hotel, which would be built over 3,322 square metres, would create 50 full-time jobs, according to Rotolok.

In a statement this morning, the company said: “Rotolok (Holdings) Ltd are pleased to announce that they have resubmitted an amended planning application for the regeneration of Drakes Island.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/luxury-hotel-spa-plan-drake-s-island-resurrected/story-20422422-detail/story.html

Mar 3, 2017

Police say the charges are two counts of buggery, one of attempt buggery and 12 counts of indecent assault.

These matters relate to 10 alleged victims, all of whom are male.

At the time of the alleged offences one was aged 14/15,another was aged between 16 to 18 and eight were described as being in their early 20s.

Howeson was raised in Mevagissey in Cornwall, joined the Royal Navy in 1967 before making his fortune as a property developer and launching his long career in the public, private and voluntary sector.

Howeson is vice president for life of the Plymouth Drake Foundation, a charity he founded in 2008 to help communities in the city.

In creating the foundation, from which he stepped down in 2012, Howeson established a so-called “charity of charities” designed to support individuals and groups through grants.

The jewel in the foundation’s crown is a £10 annual trust membership for 10,000 Plymothians.


http://www.cornwalllive.com/leading-businessman-charles-howeson-charged-with-15-counts-of-sexually-abusing-boys/story-30175505-detail/story.html#G1j5UT8F31u57sdj.99

Howeson … shocked ANOTHER one bestowed with honours by the queen accused of abuse

Update:

Top Plymouth businessman Charles Howeson in court on 15 sexual abuse charges

April 13, 2017

After the brief hearing today his wife Emma released a statement in passionate defence of her husband

The wife of a former Coutts bank manager today vowed to stand by him as he appeared in court accused of sex offences against men and boys as young as 14.

Charles Howeson, 67, was regional head of the Queen’s bank after serving as a Royal Navy officer, where Queen Elizabeth appointed him as one of her Royal Navy Honorary Captains.

Today his wife Emma came with him to Plymouth Magistrates Court after he was charged with sex offences against 10 teenage boys and young men dating back 32 years.

Related image

HMS Cleopatra

Mr Howeson is accused of committing the offences between 1985 and 1994 including one alleged sex attack on board a Royal Navy ship – HMS Cleopatra.

He is accused of 12 counts of indecent assault, one of attempted buggery of a boy aged between 14 and 15 and two counts of buggery without consent on a male aged over 16.

Howeson who was raised in Mevagissey in Cornwall, joined the Royal Navy in 1967 before making his fortune as a property developer and launching his long career in the public, private and voluntary sector.

He is vice president for life of the Plymouth Drake Foundation, a charity he founded in 2008 to help communities in the city.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4408736/Wife-ex-Coutts-boss-accused-sex-abuse-stands-him.html

Service: 1967 – 1991

https://www.forcesreunited.co.uk/m/charles.howeson

Former Naval officer Charles Howeson, 67, is facing 12 counts of indecent assault, two of buggery and one of attempted buggery between December 1985 and September 1994.

Dressed in a smart blue suit and accompanied by his wife at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court today, Howeson spoke only to confirm his name and address and said “I understand, thank you” when the charges were read out.

He did not enter a plea and will next appear at crown court on May 15.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/top-plymouth-businessman-charles-howeson-in-court-on-15-sexual-abuse-charges/story-30268790-detail/story.html

HMS CLEOPATRA BACKGROUND:

In 1972, Cleopatra took part in escort duties during the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh‘s South East Asia tour.

The National Archives records that MOD has on file details of intelligence collection activities by Cleopatra in January–March 1978. The original document is still closed, but the bare fact of the activity itself is available.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C11447305

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Cleopatra_(F28)

Post subject: Re: Any Argyle fans aboard?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:44 pm
Trev501 wrote:
I had a great time in Bermuda right up until the First Lieutenant landed on me breaking a couple of ribs :-) HMS Montrose, 1998-2000!
Wasn’t that the irrepressible drunken loud eccentric BUT fantastic Charles Howeson. He was just something else :lol: My boss in Gib – had his mini-moke brought out on an RFA :thumbup:
Aaaggghh my Jimmy on the Cleopatra !
Yep, the very same. The most eccentric XO I ever served with :-)
Edited to add, having seen John’s post above it was indeed the Cleopatra not Montrose! I was DWEO from 86 to 88.
He left the RN to try and become an MP but didn’t quite make it. Its one of about 2 reasons the RN are obliged to let you back in again. He would have been huge in the Commons – and kept the bar afloat. :stout:
Cannot argue with that. Would like to have seen a Chief Whip who impose anything on him! He was there (Gib) towards the end of my time and certainly made the social arena and ONH a better place to be. Without ever being near the ship I had heard he was a legend during his time in Cleo.
Cleo was from 84 to 86 so it seems we served together John.

 

Leading businessman Charles Howeson charged with 15 counts of sexual abuse

The 67-year-old had been appointed by the Queen as a Royal Navy Honorary Captain

It is believed Mr Howeson, aged 61, is the only figure on the list who was actually a naval officer.

Ultimately it will involve me being an ambassador to the Royal Naval Reserves.

“I plan to conduct regular visits to Royal Naval units and sites in Plymouth as part of my role.

“I will also expect to be given up-to-date briefings on Royal Navy affairs.”
 http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/retired-commander-hugely-honoured-prestigious-title/story-11686027-detail/story.html#hxyb7g8CjTkoCgOI.99


Charles Howeson retains his links with the MOD and particularly with the Royal Navy where HM the Queen appointed him one to be of her small number of Honorary Captains in the RNR in 2009.

 

http://www.devonchamber.co.uk/News/news-story.cfm?story=1015


2015
Honorary Officers in the Maritime Reserves
Royal Navy Reserve
Vice Admiral HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO

Commodore Charles Howeson

Lieutenant Colonel Bear Grylls. (more on Grylls below)

Bear Grylls, Sir Michael Grylls, with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Commodore Charles Howeson:
He has been described as an eccentric
His father, ARTHUR COMINGHAM HOWESON, was the creator of the renowned Mevagissey model railway.

His father Arthur Howeson was a director of 2 businesses

MEVAGISSEY MODEL RAILWAY LIMITED
RAILTRONICS LIMITED

http://www.companydirectorcheck.com/arthur-comingham-howeson

Charles Howeson’s younger brother –

2002 Adam talks to EuroTalk chairman Richard Howeson (right)

RICHARD JOHN HOWESON is also a director at both those business

http://www.companydirectorcheck.com/richard-john-howeson

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/richard-howeson-2a516446

He is also a director at  – PROSPECT QUAY LIMITED

RICHARD JOHN HOWESON (current)

Director, COMPANY DIRECTOR, 2007.01.21
315-317 NEW KINGS ROAD , LONDON
SW6 4RF

MICHAEL MANSFIELD and Mohamed al-Fayed

Richard Howeson became a director there in Jan 2007 as did the barrister MICHAEL MANSFIELD Director at Prospect QUAY ltd – MICHAEL MANSFIELD (resigned),

Director, BARRISTER, 2007.01.25 – 2014.03.17
FLAT 2 PROSPECT QUAY 98 POINT PLEASANT , LONDON
SW18 1PR

https://www.companieslist.co.uk/05763211-prospect-quay-limited

PROSPECT QUAY 98 POINT PLEASANT , LONDON
SW18 1PR  PROSPECT QUAY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION LIMITED


More on Michael Mansfield and his links with VIP  CSA cases:
Richard Howeson is also a director at Eurotalk – a
British-based language learning company 

EuroTalk: a look back at 2013

It’s been another busy year at EuroTalk, with new products, new languages… and a new puppy. Throw in a royal encounter and a cake that looks like a Dalek, and you’ve got the makings of an interesting twelve months.

JLC Champion and runners-up with EuroTalk Chairman Richard Howeson

Cannes:
28 Feb 1998
Oui, Cannes Multimedia’s jetsetters go on an annual pilgramage – exposes computing’s beautiful people
Richard Howeson – his Eurotalk is making big waves in Europe – sailing his clients, in style, to his favourite islands offshore.
28 Feb 1998
Oui, Cannes Multimedia’s jet-setters go on an annual pilgramage – exposes computing’s beautiful people…bringing together the elite from the world’s new media content and games industries.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Saturday, February 28, 1998 – Page 204

A RETIRED Royal Navy Commander and prominent city business leader has been granted a rare title by the Queen.

Charles Howeson has been made an Honorary Captain in the Royal Naval Reserve by order of the Queen on the recommendation of the head of the Royal Navy, the First Sea Lord.

It is a rare privilege granted to just a handful of people in the UK.

To date only eight people have been presented honorary ranks in the armed forces by the Queen.

During his 25 years in the Royal Navy Mr Howeson commanded the minesweeper HMS Walkerton, and was Second-In-Command of HMS Cleopatra.
Aug 1, 1977After ” II escorting four Dartmouth picket boats to Spithead, the Walkerton (Lieut. Charles Howeson)  made four tours of the Fleet for the benefit of staff and cadets of Britannia Royal Naval
 
WRNS officer cadet Hilary Benyon took command of the minesweeper HMS Walkerton watched by commanding officer, Lieutenant Charles Howeson, and second officer Elizabeth McCombe

The Guardian

London, Greater London, England

Monday, November 15, 1976 – 6

A leading Plymouth businessman and captain of industry is to appear at court to face more than a dozen historic sexual abuse charges.

Former Naval officer Charles Howeson, 67, has been charged with 15 serious sexual offences – which allegedly date back to 1985.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1985-1994.

The 67-year-old, who lives in Stonehouse, was first questioned by detectives in March 2016 over the claims.

Howeson made his name at the helm of organisations including

First Great Western,

NHS South West and

Charles Howeson, 67, was a senior employee at Coutts

the regional arm of the Queen’s bank, Coutts and Co.

He is due to appear at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on April 13, 2017.”

link

A former Navy officer who held a leading role overseeing NHS spending in Bristol has been charged with historic sex offences against males as young as 14.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/former-navy-officer-bristol-nhs-5948

Charles Howeson, who chaired NHS Property Services 2012- 2014

NHS property company bailed out months after launch

https://www.ft.com/content/d0437c84-6bc7-11e3-a216-00144feabdc0

Charles will add strength and depth to DCBC’s strategic lobbying activities through his connectivity into London, Westminster and Whitehall.

In addition, Charles will play a key role in further strengthening DCBC’s position as the single voice for the business community across Devon and Cornwall, something which is more important now than ever before.

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=1037.10;imode

 

Image result for charles howeson and prince charle


Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with Plymouth businessman, Charles Howeson (centre), charged with sex abuse claims alleged to have taken place between 1985-1994.

Although his success in business and attention to detail has not always made him popular, for reasons he is reluctant to divulge.
“I have got lots and lots of friends in Plymouth. But I know there are one or two people who do not have me on their Christmas card list.


Companies – Charles Howeson

Fairbridge,

Charles Howeson stands next to the Duke of Edinburgh who addresses the crowd at the Mount Batten Centre in 1999

Charles Howeson stands next to the Duke of Edinburgh who addresses the crowd at the Mount Batten Centre in 1999

MOUNT BATTEN SAILING AND WATER SPORTS CENTRE,

MOUNT BATTEN PARK LIMITED,

DNA FACILITIES MANAGEMENT LIMITED

and many other companies:

https://companycheck.co.uk/director/901620109/COMMANDER-CHARLES-ARTHUR-HOWESON/companies


Previously….

January 24, 2017

A Plymouth businessman and captain of industry has been bailed for a fourth time while police investigate allegations of historic sexual abuse.

In March last year, former Naval officer Charles Howeson, 67, was questioned by detectives over claims which are thought to date back many years.

Mr Howeson was not charged and was released on police bail.

That was extended in September “pending further inquiries“, before being extended again until Monday, January 23.

link


Devon businessman Charles Howeson, rebailed over historical sex abuse allegations

December 07, 2016

charles-howeson

Charles Howeson (centre) with Prince Philip

Image result for Charles Howeson

A leading Devon businessman and captain of industry has been bailed for a third time while police investigate allegations of historical sexual abuse.

In March, former Naval officer Charles Howeson, 67, was questioned by detectives over the abuse claims.


It’s business as usual for Prince Andrew

  • Thursday 10 March 2011

Buckingham Palace today moved to shore up Prince Andrew’s image by announcing a series of engagements with British businesses.

Prince Andrew met the Queen on Tuesday following the controversy over his friendship with convicted child sex offender Jeffery Epstein. The Standard understands she gave her son her “full support”.

Charles Howeson, who will host a lunch for the Duke (Prince Andrew) at the Plymouth Business Area Association, said that he was a major asset to UK firms hoping to trade abroad. Mr Howeson added: “He has been doing this longer than civil servants and probably longer than many company chairmen, and he has built up a network of contacts that is incomparable.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/its-business-as-usual-for-prince-andrew-6576092.html

Prince Andrew, Duke of York commanded HMS Cottesmore from April 1993 until November 1994. photo andre_zps77c866a8.jpg

Final Fix:  Prince Andrew and Jimmy Savile 1994

 

Jim’ll Fix It & Princess Anne Daily Express 28-09-79


Prince Andrew, Duke of York commanded HMS Cottesmore from April 1993 until November 1994.

 

1990 Sir Jimmy Saville OBE DJ & TV Presenter stands to attention in a naval uniform saluting on board HMS Belfast in London with his Brother John.

Duke forced to miss city visit

March 02, 2010

Prince Andrew had been invited to the city by the Plymouth Area Business Council (PABC) and the University of Plymouth in his capacity as the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.

He was due to meet 100 leading Plymouth business figures and VIPs at the Commando Forces Officers’ Mess at the Royal Marines Barracks, in Stonehouse yesterday.

Charles Howeson, chairman of the Plymouth Area Business Council, said he spoke to the Duke by telephone after the lunch engagement, which went ahead in his absence.

Mr Howeson said the Duke was ‘mortified’ to have missed the event, and added: “He’s asked us to reschedule the whole visit, which we would be delighted to do.”

The Duke had been due to give a speech to invitees including Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress Cllrs Ken and Wendy Foster, council leader Cllr Vivien Pengelly, Plymouth City Development Company chief executive Gavin Carrier, Plymouth’s top police officer Chief Supt Andy Bickley, and many city business figures.

http://www.cornwalllive.com/duke-forced-miss-city-visit/story-11416758-detail/story.html#BfkxmiuqlLgVjy63.99

2010

Stonehouse Barracks is home to the headquarters of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines as well as a collection of its units including 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group … Location Stonehouse, Plymouth

A Devon-based Royal Marine unit has been renamed after a World War II intelligence unit formed by James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming.

Formerly known as the UK Landing Force Command Support Group (UK LFCSG), it carries out intelligence gathering and analysis.

In recent years it has been deployed on operations in Iraq and AfghanistaThe unit is part of 3 Commando Brigade.
Covert operations

Lt Col Matt Stovin-Bradford, the unit’s commanding officer, said: “A change of name hardens an already galvanised group of specialists.

“The role we perform can be traced back to the Second World War, a lineage of which we are immensely proud.”

Earlier a ceremonial inauguration parade was held to mark the name change at Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth, the unit’s headquarters.

The original 30 Commando Assault Unit was formed in 1942.

Bond author Ian Fleming, who worked in wartime intelligence, based the concept on similar units used by the Germans.

It gathered information from enemy positions using covert methods and operated in North Africa, the Greek Islands, Norway, Sicily, Italy, Corsica and North West Europe.

It was also involved in the D-Day landings.

The new 30 Commando IX Group will be based at Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-11980837

 


Parliamentarians’ Dinner.
December 3, 2013 ·

Last week’s Parliamentarians’ Dinner at Stonehouse Barracks was another fabulous event.

Members of Plymouth Area Business Council (http://pabc.co) attended this sell out event and here is Jonathan with Simon King and Charles Howeson, being greeted by David Coslett of Plymouth University, and with Major General David Hook of the Royal Marines.

More pictures of how the dinner unfolded can be seen by following the link (to http://netprinter.co.uk/pabc/).

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:EVlDol9qgA0J:https://www.facebook.com/FormediaMarketingPR/photos/a.670775492963347.1073741828.162621160445452/670782456295984/%3Ftype%3D3+&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-11980837

Howeson, of nearby Craigie Drive, Stonehouse

 

Jimmy Savile was always a great friend of the Royal Marines.

The year was 1969 and the Leeds legend was at the Royal Marine Commando School in Lympstone, Devon, to take on its famous assault course for a children’s documentary.

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/sir-jimmy-savile-s-commando-training-ordeal-exclusive-1-3936017

LYMPSTONE camp had a  Savile Room used for family functions
The serial paedophile DJ proudly maintained links with the corps, often attending their parades and ceremonies right up until his death.
Savile’s coffin was even carried by Royal Marine pallbearers.
JIMMY SAVILE carried out a string of sex assaults at a Royal Marines Commando base. He attacked at least four people at the elite special forces unit’s training centre.
Among those who trained at the site in Lympstone, Devon, was Prince Edward.  Edward joined as a cadet officer in 1986

FGW advisory board chairman Charles Howeson July 19 2014

Mr Howeson made his name at the helm of organisations including First Great Western, NHS South West and the regional arm of the Queen’s bank, Coutts and Co.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: “A 67-year-old man from Plymouth, arrested on suspicion of historical sexual offences, is on police bail until January 23, 2017.”

link

Howson served for nearly 25 years in the Royal Navy at home, overseas and afloat, which included secondment to other national governments.

This involved world wide travel and setting up house abroad on three occasions.https://issuu.com/navynews/docs/197503

He left the service at the age of 39 from the post of Chief of the Allied Staff in Gibraltar

1975 When H.M.S. Sirius was manning the guardboat she gave as many volunteers as possible the chance of duty in her – pictured at the Rock are Lieut C. A. Howeson and members of one of the crews who served in H. M. F. T. Ettrick.


He is a Member of the Establishment:

Fellow of the Institute of Directors
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Fellow of the Faculty of Building
Fellow of the Nautical Institute
Member of the Royal Institute of Navigation
Freeman of the City of London and Member of the Guild of Freemen
Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights
Younger Brother of Trinity House
Honorary PhD (Management) from the University of Plymouth
Honorary Captain in the Royal Naval Reserve

link

Nationally and Regionally

Amongst other appointments he is currently the

Chairman of First Great Western Trains Advisory Board,

Chairman National Health Service Property Services Ltd (National) and

leads DoH/MOD Nationally on veterans and reserves matters),

Chairman the Consumer Council for Water in the West,

The Social Networks of the Public Elite

howeson-council-water



Charles Howeson asked to become the Regional Chairman of Coutts and Co private bankers in the South West in Summer 2009
Coutts
…the bank could have been handling the proceeds of crime for a three-year period up to November 2010 after failing to properly deal with customers classified as “politically exposed persons“.[19]

Breaches of money laundering rules

In March 2012 Coutts was fined £8.75m for breaches of money laundering rules after three years of “serious” and “systemic” problems in handling the affairs of customers vulnerable to corruption because of their political links.[19] The Financial Services Authority (FSA) fined Coutts because of an “unacceptable risk” that the bank could have been handling the proceeds of crime for a three-year period up to November 2010 after failing to properly deal with customers classified as “politically exposed persons“.[19]


Charles Howeson:
Former Chief of the Allied Staff of Nato, and commander in Royal Navy; director of six companies; board member of Millfields Community Economic Development Trust, Plymouth Naval Base Museum, Seaton Area Residents Association and Theatre Royal – Portsmouth; patron of St Austell’s Royal Navy Association; vice-president of the charity Tomorrow’s People;
previously ran Groundwork Plymouth and a board member of
Postwatch.
Countess of Wessex is Patron of Tomorrow’s People

Whilst in the private sector Charles has just handed over the Chairmanship of the Rowe Group,one of the largest private company groups based in the South West.

He is the Chairman of SPS Ltd (Pathology) and Regional Chairman of Coutts and Co bankers and of Harvey Nash plc.

He is also a trustee of the Bermuda Institute of Oceanographic Sciences (BIOS) and trustee of the 19th Duke of Somerset.

(John Michael Edward Seymour, 19th Duke of Somerset, DLFRICS (born 30 December 1952), styled Lord Seymour between 1954 and 1984, is a British aristocratic landowner in Wiltshire and Devon, and a member of the House of Lords.)

He recently handed over the Chairmanship of the UK Seafish Industry Authority.

Howeson retains a range of senior voluntary and community sector appointments in Region, mostly now as President, including serving as

Life Vice president of the board of governors of the (Community) DRAKE Foundation for Plymouth, being a school Governor, and Community leader.

Image result for Charles Howeson

Charles Howeson and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

He remains (after 13 years) the annually elected Chairman of the Plymouth Area Business Council (PABC), comprising the City’s top 250 key sector leaders.

PABC Dinner HMS Ocean 2011

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/tributes-prominent-businessman-former-president-71

 

And off Duty

When not working, Charles is a keen family man (youngest daughter 22) who lives in Plymouth, and enjoys being a competent international cruising yachtsman
link

 

SPECIAL GUESTS: Anthony Payne, Lt Col Nick Bruce-Jones, Peter Reichwald, Senior Consultant Harvey Nash plc , Admiral Lord West, Councillor Vivien Pengelly, David Smith, Economics Editor of The Sunday Times, Charles Howeson and Nigel Theyer

A FORMER First Sea Lord was among the guests at a charity dinner in Plymouth last night.

Admiral Lord West of Spithead, who was also the former Minister of Homeland Security, joined 100 guests at the Lord Lieutenant’s charity dinner at the Royal Marines Barracks at Stonehouse.

The dinner was expected to raise well over £1,500 for the Plymouth Drake Foundation.

Organiser Charles Howeson, chairman of the Plymouth Area Business Council (PABC), said the charity had raised more than £1.3million in the past 24 months and distributed some £400,000 through about 150 local grants.


http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/sea-lord-charity-dinner/story-13490123-detail/story.html#x0cSKkowWBKu3iXk.99




Odd – a man of “his standing” doing a rug cleaning testimonial…

Charles Howeson director at Plymouth College and St Dunstans Abbey Schools Charity

howeson-plymouth-college

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05189426/officers

link


2010 Plymouth College report – lacking: The school does not meet all the requirements…and therefore it is required  to: implement appropriate safeguarding arrangements…

howeson-plymouth-college-review

plymouth-college-review


link

Charles Howeson who recently opened the new PwC offices in Plymouth has been appointed President of the Plymouth and Devon Chamber of Commerce


Shame Your Social Worker

We are ashamed to be British, who would have thought this goes on in our society?
howeson-snip
Anonymous said...

check out chamber of com, CHARLES HOWESON, DRAKE ISLAND, plymouth THE NAVY AND BOYS.

SIR GEOFF HOLLAND, JOHN STEVEN,
MIKE COLES AND SMALLIES.

link

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/video-drake-s-island-heyday-activity-centre-1960s/story-20471841-detail/story.html

 

SIR GEOFF HOLLAND and Prince Philip

geoff-holland-and-prince-philip

The Marine Biological Association’s Royal Charter. From left to right: MBA Deputy Director Dr Matt Frost, MBA President Sir Geoffrey Holland, The patron of the Marine Biological Association, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh,and MBA Director Professor Colin Brownlee.

link

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh meets Sir Geoffrey Holland, President of the Marine Biological Association

Sir Geoffrey Holland is a governor of a school with Elizabeth Butler Sloss

Butler-Sloss is a Devon resident.

Lady Butler-Sloss criticised for giving evidence for defence in child rape trial

Retired high court judge also gave character evidence in 2007 assault trial of Philip Chard, who was convicted this month of raping 13-year-old girl

Butler-Sloss said she had known Chard for 20 years because his mother, Valerie, was her cleaner at her home in east Devon. Chard, from Lympstone, near Exmouth in Devon, often took his mother to Butler-Sloss’s farmhouse home and sometimes stayed there for a couple of hours.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/24/lady-butler-sloss-criticised-for-giving-evidence-defence-child-rape-trial-philip-chard

howesons

Captain Charles and Emma Howeson representing the Royal Navy


Devon History Society: April 2010
www.devonhistorysociety.org.uk/2010_04_01_archive.html?m=0
The campaign, led by Charles Howeson, chairman of the Plymouth Area Business …. will lay the stone, and it is expected to be done with due masonic honours.

404

link

Sir Geoff Holland is a Governor (along with Baroness Butler-Sloss) and Chairman of the Merchant Taylors’ Company Educational Trust (MTET) which acts as steward of the affairs of both Merchant Taylors’ & St John’s Schools.

link

https://www.ukcorporations.org/merchant-taylors-school

Mountbatten Britannia Pitcairn – Earl Mountbatten and HRH Prince Phillip visited Pitcairn via the Royal Yacht Britannia during February 1971.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Lord Mountbatten wearing tropical white Admiral of the Fleet uniform with Rear Admiral Trowbridge with Britannia anchored at the Pitcairn Island on the 21st February , anchoring at Bounty Bay


Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09:

Lord Louis Mountbatten former chauffeur Norman Nield exposed him

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, there have been such newspaper headlines as, “‘Uncle Dickie’ the Sex Pervert” (N.Z. Truth, Sept.  8, 1987), since Mountbatten’s former chauffeur, Norman Nield, started revealing details of the late Lord Mountbatten’s alleged sexual exploitation of boys.

Paedophile Lord Louis Mountbatten

 


Image result for mountbatten on boat

Edward Prince of Wales and his cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten “relax” in a canvas swimming pool on board H. M. S. Renown during their 1920 Empire Tour.

Lord Louis was a great grandson of Queen Victoria and the uncle of Prince Philip (consort of Queen Elizabeth II). Mountbatten was also a promiscuous bisexual who was famously rumored to have had an affair with Edward VIII (who was Prince of Wales at the time) when he accompanied him on his Empire tours (see photo above).

link

Related image

Image result for mountbatten and queen elizabeth

The Queen. Like any human being, she is subject to the influence of those around her. While he lived, Lord Mountbatten was a persuasive counsellor, and he formulated the plan for Prince Charles’s unusually rigorous education.

http://www.nytimes.com/1981/07/26/magazine/an-informal-look-at-the-royal-family.html?pagewanted=all

 


Charles Howeson and Prince Charles:

The Charity

The Charity name is ‘The Britannia Association’.


Patron

His Royal Highness Admiral of the Fleet, Prince Charles The Prince of Wales KG GT GCB OM AL CD QSO PC

Deputy Vice Patron

Commodore Charles Howeson – Royal Naval Reserve, FIoD, FCMI, FNI, FFB, FRSA, Hon.D.Man

link

The ROYAL BRITANNIA

Howeson, Charles Arthur
Lt N3 – rank
1973-74 – served

CLARENCE HOUSE

September 4 2003 : The Prince of Wales, Patron, the Britannia Association, this morning received Admiral Sir John Brigstocke, Captain Sir Donald Gosling RNR and Commander Charles Howeson, RN (Retired).

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/court-circular-gj8tjtg8hdf

December 18 2004

LAUNCH

Britannia Association

Captain Sir Donald Gosling Vice Patron, together with the President Sir John Brigstocke, Chairman Rear Admiral Robin Shiffner and the Hon Secretary Commander Charles Howeson marked the publication of the Britannia Association Commissioning Book Bravo Zulu — Bravo Alpha with a presentation of the book to the Patron, Vice Admiral The Prince of Wales at Clarence House on Wednesday. They were joined by Admiral Sir Alan West, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Jock Slater, Chairman The White Ensign Association, Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham, Editor The Naval Review, Vice Admiral Sir Christopher Morgan Chairman RNBSO, the book Editor Captain David Wixon and Designer Mrs Alison Graham.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/announcements-88bd065zsck

Howeson’s commander:

 

Rear Admiral Sir Richard Trowbridge, KCVO  Royal Britanniaa 1970-1975

http://www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk/about-the-royal-yacht/life-below-decks/dedicated-crew/commanding-officers/

Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Trowbridge, who died on Sunday aged 83, was the first officer to rise from boy sailor to captain of the Royal Yacht Britannia and the last Briton to serve as Governor of Western Australia.

A personal friend of Prince Philip since they had served in the British Pacific Fleet at the end of the Second World War, he had an unusually long-serving and successful term as Flag Officer Royal Yachts from 1970 to 1975 when Britannia

Trowbridge was commissioned in 1940 and served at sea throughout the Second World War. He was in the destroyer Wakeful after the end of hostilities with Japan when she transported prisoners of war to Sydney; and Lady Mountbatten was in charge of repatriation. Trowbridge was mentioned in dispatches.

This was when he met Prince Philip, who was first lieutenant of another destroyer in the 27th Destroyer Flotilla. Together they were in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese signed their surrender after atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Trowbridge was appointed KCVO in 1983.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1429505/Rear-Admiral-Sir-Richard-Trowbridge.html


Crew enjoy a drink in the petty officers’ mess in August 1973. Each of Britannia’s 20 officers and 220 yachstmen, known as ‘Yotties’, were personally selected by the Commanding Officer to serve on the vessel. They wore soft-soled shoes to reduce noise and were given orders by hand signal to avoid disturbing The Queen. Duties included ensuring the slope of the royal gangway was never steeper than 12 degrees.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-22122763

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips

The Queen offered Britannia to her daughter, Princess Anne, for her honeymoon with Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.

http://www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk/about-the-royal-yacht/royal-residence/royal-honeymoons/

Royal Britannia 1973-74

... tour to the Pacific Islands and New Zealand in 1973 and the Far East Tour in 1974

https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/2317034/hmy-britannia-collection-work-book-32-1973-74

Mr Howeson left the post of Chief of the Allied Staff in Gibraltar aged 39 (1989) according to the Plymouth Area Business Council, of which he is chairman.


PLYMOUTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

some of the directors..

plymouth-chamber-of-commerce

Brian John Gerrish, Charles Howeson – Plymouth Chamber of Commerce

https://www.ukregistry.org/plymouth-chamber-of-commerce-and-i

BAILEY ENERGY MANAGEMENT LIMITED Company Directors

howeson-gerrish-bailey

BAILEY ENERGY MANAGEMENT LIMITED

BRIAN JOHN GERRISH was the first director of this company.

https://companycheck.co.uk/company/03057921/BAILEY-ENERGY-MANAGEMENT-LIMITED/companies-house-data

^ Brian Gerrish of UK Column was a co-director of Bailey Energy Management Limited and on the PLYMOUTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY with Charles Howeson

Brian Gerrish served on the HMS Cleopatra with Charles Howeson

 

Lieutenant Commander RN Brian Gerrish, rt: “I was in the Navy for 21 years and left in 1993.

Gerrish then went into business…

The business was energy management.  We looked after the energy accounts, electricity, gas,water for large commercial organisations

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-HEZXSA2u0

https://www.forcesreunited.co.uk/m/briangerrish#?activeTab=1

https://centurean2.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/cpexposed-is-back-up_-lt-cdr-brian-gerrish-royal-navy-rtd/

http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?17918-Scientologist-give-award-to-Brian-Gerrish

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-33674221

https://hoaxteadresearch.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/gerrish-and-stadler-facebook-friends/

 

John Hemming MP – Brian Gerrish had invited him to the conference

John Hemming and his Fathers Rights friends (one of whom is the convicted paedophile Nigel Oldfield)

http://revolutionharry.blogspot.com/2011/10/pied-pipers-of-truth-movement-how-about.html

You should ask John Hemming of his own involvement with paedophiles NIGEL OLDFIELD and BRIAN ROTHERY

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/paedophilia-how-one-piece-of-news-can-kill-a-novel/

You should also ask Hemming about why paedo COLIN TUCKER was allowed to run Birmingham childrens services, and adoption

 

John Alexander Melvin Hemming (born 16 March 1960) is a British Liberal Democrat politician and a businessman. He served as the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley from 2005 to 2015.

Your silence on the lampooning of Esther Baker by your friend Hewson is deafening. You seem to condone her behaviour!

Barbara Hewson, best known for ridiculing Esther Baker, is giving you plugs on her TL. Do you associate with her campaign?

John Hemming MP –

The mistress-loving maverick millionaire

AS his wife is found guilty of stealing his lover’s cat, why life is never dull around John Hemming – the politician accused of having 26 affairs during his marriage.

A former heavy-metal drummer who once put himself forward as a candidate for Britain’s first astronaut, he is a multi-millionaire who set up a company writing software for stockbrokers when he was only 23.

One fellow MP denouncing him as unfit for public office. And as of yesterday he is also the man who drove his long-suffering wife to criminality.

Hemming seems to relish his womaniser image; he once voted for himself in a national poll as Britain’s biggest love rat.

http://www.express.co.uk/expressyourself/274872/John-Hemming-MP-The-mistress-loving-maverick-millionaire

 Paedophile Nigel Oldfield/GhandhisOPhoenix

Gerrish was made a Lieutenant Cdr 1985

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/50080/supplement/4691/data.pdf

Brian Gerrish was awarded a Royal Navy Scholarship in 1972 and served until 1993, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After an early career in Minehunters and Frigates as a Bridge watch-keeper, Navigator and Principal Warfare Officer, he specialised as an anti-submarine warfare expert during the cold war period. He has extensive experience with RN, United States Navy and NATO forces in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Norwegian Sea, detecting and tracking Soviet Nuclear Submarines. Operations included protection of UK nuclear deterrent as well as joint US/UK anti SSBN (ballistic missile submarine) missions along the eastern seaboard of the USA.

His expertise included fixed, mobile and airborne active and passive sonar systems, electronic warfare, weapons systems, chemical, biological and nuclear protection, communications and COMSEC, oceanography, wide area and local intelligence picture analysis, and associated security matters. Brian also lectured at the Royal Netherlands Navy School of Warfare Den Helder for two years, and headed the Royal Navy’s anti-submarine warfare staff for Flag Officer Sea Training at Portland UK. His last appointment before leaving the service was in Command of HMS Orkney, an Offshore Protection Vessel, tasked with Fisheries Protection and security of North Sea Oil installations.

https://centurean2.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/cpexposed-is-back-up_-lt-cdr-brian-gerrish-royal-navy-rtd/


Charles Howeson – Chairmanship of the United Kingdom Sea Fish Industry Authority

fisheries-howeson

link

gerrish-fishery

Fishy Business for Orkney Captains Lieut – Cdr. Brian Gerrish (seated)

Former Cdr RN Charles Howson charged Man many talents business & high society connections up to Royalty. Plymouth Magistrates Court 13 Apr17

Puzzling to see Charles Howeson chosen by former @CommonPurpose Chief @DC_Police Maria Wallis


Directors at Radio Pymouth LTD

HOWESON, Charles Arthur, Commander 2004- 2005 and

2008-2012

SCHOFIELD, Phillip Bryan 2004-2005


Radio station ready to recruit for launch

Plymouth Radio’s board of principal shareholders is made up of leading Plymouth business figures including Charles Howeson, chair of the Consumer Council for Water’s Western committee, and Karen Stockdale, director of the Plymouth media partnership.

TV’s Philip Schofield – who began his career on Hospital Radio Plymouth – is also an investor and is expected to contribute to the on air-launch.

http://www.cornwalllive.com/radio-station-ready-recruit-launch/story-11464639-detail/story.html#6sXZcCrZMKDRCj2U.99

In February 2010, Schofield launched Radio Plymouth in Devon.

When he was 15, his first foray into media was a Sunday show onHospital Radio Plymouth.[2]

In 1985, Schofield returned to Britain, where he became the first in-vision continuity presenter for Children’s BBC on weekdays for two years from September 1985.[2] From 1988 to 1991, Schofield was the host of the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, a teen magazine awards show.


The television presenter showed a list of alleged paedophiles to David Cameron that included the name of Lord Alistair McAlpine

David Cameron warns against ‘witch-hunt’ amid paedophilia allegations

ITV presenter Phillip Schofield confronts prime minister with list of names of politicians possibly involved in child abuse claims

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2236867/Phillip-Schofield-ITV-pay-Lord-McAlpine-125k-damages-Tory-paedophile-list-blunder.html#ixzz4b7bdYAQw

Jimmy Savile tweets Paul Schofield 2009

https://web.archive.org/web/20121117234649/http://twitter.com/JimmySavile

RAILWAY HERITAGE TRUST
OFFICERS AND ADVISORY PANEL

EXECUTIVE BOARD

The Hon Sir William McAlpine Bt

sir-williamSir William (Bill) McAlpine is the Chairman of the Railway Heritage Trust, a post he has held since the Trust was formed in 1985. Sir William is the great-grandson of Sir Robert McAlpine, who founded the contracting company that bears his name to this day. Sir William spent his working career, apart from National Service, in the company, starting as an apprentice fitter, and spending many years as a Director.

Sir William has a life long interest in railways, and has one of Britain’s most interesting private railways in the grounds of his home. He is more well known for saving the locomotive ‘Flying Scotsman’ which was stranded in America in the early 1970s, repatriating it to the UK, and running it on the main line for many years. He has also been heavily involved in other locomotives and carriages, and retains a large private collection. In addition, he served on both the Southern and the Great Western Advisory Boards of British Rail, is Chairman of both Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company and the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Light Railway, is President of the Transport Trust and is involved with many other preservation organisations.

Charles Howeson

Advisory Panel Member since 2009

Amongst other appointments, Charles is currently the Chairman of First Great Western Trains Advisory Board, Chairman of the UK Seafish Industry Authority, and Chairman of the National Health Service (Strategic Board) for the South West and the Consumer Council for Water in the South West.  In the private sector Charles Chairs the Board of the Rowe Group, one of the largest private company groups based in the South West and is the Regional Chairman of Coutts and Co bankers. He is also a trustee of the Bermuda Institute of Oceanographic Sciences (BIOS) and of the 19th Duke of Somerset.

In the voluntary and community sector, he holds a wide range of honorary and elected appointments in the South West including, in Plymouth, being Chairman of the Plymouth Area Business Council and Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce. He is the founding Chairman of the City Regions (Community) Drake Foundation.  Charles is passionately interested in the UK Railway and has “Second Great Western” running around his garden in G Gauge.

http://railwayheritagetrust.co.uk/rht-people/



OU is the magazine for the Old Boys and Girls of Uppingham School.

howeson-mason

Charles Howeson (Fgh 63) – Old Uppinghamian – OU has Masonic Lodge

 http://www.olduppinghamian.co.uk/uploads/publications/A38703-Uppingham-OBAG-Magazine-GILL-P7-web.pdf.pdf

Charles Howeson – (Honorary) Doctor of Management
Charles Howeson served for 25 years in the Royal Navy, retiring in 1991 from the post of Chief of Allied Staff in Gibraltar. In the mid 1990s he established a successful property company, and followed that by founding a retail, wholesale and distribution company group that became a significant retained contractor to the government.
Charles has held a number of significant positions, including Chairman of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and Director and Vice Chairman of the Millfields Community Economic Development Trust. He is currently a Board member of the Local Strategic Partnership (2020), and Chairman of First Great Western Trains Advisory Board, the UK Seafish Industry Authority
and the Rowe Group. In the last month he has been appointed Chairman ofthe NHS in the South West.

 


howeson-ou

http://www.olduppinghamian.co.uk/uploads/publications/Magazine-Issue-40-2012-2013.pdf.pdf


Howeson’s daughter is an Old Uppingham alumna

Phillippa ‘Pip’ Menzel (nee Howeson) (Fd 98) is now running her own design

Make a Success of your Start-Up:  Interview with bespoke tailor, Pip Howeson

His daughter Pippa Howeson is a tailor to  Stephen Fry and she is married to Robin Rudolf Menzel (1966), m.2012 Phillippa Howeson

 

Doug Richard and Chris Ingram have invested in Pip Howeson

Dragons’ Den investor Doug Richard.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/11577324/Stephen-Frys-tailor-on-stitching-for-the-stars.html

pip-howeson-married

link

Pip Howeson’s husband is part of a dynasty –

Descendants of Duke Friedrich of Saxe-Altenburg

link

http://www.propertypilot.co.uk/pdf/1710+90.pdf

Father Sam Philpott – Party to celebrate Priest’s MBE

July 31, 2012

Father Sam Philpott was ‘overwhelmed’ that parishioners at St Peters Church in Wyndham Square threw a party for him inviting along many people he had worked with over the years.

Father Philpott has been at the forefront of pioneering projects including the Ship homeless hostel, Plymouth Mediation and The Millfields Economic Development Trust, which he chairs. He also worked with sex offenders to try to get them to face up to their offences and lay down roots so they weren’t constantly travelling round.

He has been involved in schemes including Wheels, which encouraged children to work on car repairs, and Stables, which taught children how to interact more effectively by teaching them activities such as theatre and rock climbing.

He is currently involved in the Widening Horizons project which encourages children’s aspirations.

And he has worked with business leader Charles Howeson on the Drake Foundation which is “raising sums for good things in the city”.

He also sent out a huge thanks to Charles Howeson.

Charles Howeson

Board Director

Millfields Trust

Official opening of the Genesis Building at The Millfields Trust by HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne
One of his most recent achievements was the official opening of the state-of-the-art Genesis building on Union Street by Princess Anne last week.

Father Sam Philpott  visits  Nigerian family(Helen and her six children)  in the Yarl’s Wood centre in Bedfordshire.http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/disp…entPK=19784499



CSA at Merchant Taylors’School/Stephen Freedman/the Royal Navy section of the school’s Combined Cadet Force

 FORMER TEACHER , HAD 8,000 IMAGES OF CHILD ABUSE; Jail for Sailing Coach Who Stalked the Net

He was investigated on suspicion of supplying indecent images of children.

arrested on suspicion of distributing indecent images of children

link

merchant-school-freedman

Stephen Freedman, who worked at Merchant Taylors’ in Crosby for more than 20 years, admitting 18 counts concerning thousands of sick images of children being abused, along with hundreds of videos, and images of people having sex with animals.

Biology teacher Freedman, 54, took early retirement from the school in 2008, but continued to be employed as a sailing teacher and was involved with the Royal Navy section of the school’s Combined Cadet Force up until his arrest in 2010.

Regarded as a pillar of the community he was honoured with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2000, the Cadet Force Medal in 2002, and a clasp for that medal in 2009.

link

stephen-frredman-pic-award

From left: Lt Cdr (SCC) Stephen Freedman RNR, Cdr Cedric Loughran RNR, Lt (SCC) Sidney Taylor and POC Christopher Pagett with their certificates

Dedication is rewarded

THERE was a strong Naval element at the annual Lord Lieutenant’s Reserve Forces and Cadets presentations for Merseyside. Not only was RN HQ Merseyside chosen as the venue, but Reserve Forces and Cadets Association Vice Chairman Cdr Cedric Loughran also deputised at the last moment to make the presentations. Three of the main recipients were shining examples of the best of Sea Cadet spirit. As well as teaching biology at the Merchant Taylors’ School in Crosby, Stephen Freedman (48) also dons the dark blue uniform of a lieutenant commander to lead the school’s Combined Cadet Force Naval Section. His citation for a Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate highlighted the fact that Stephen has filled this demanding role with great distinction, and is also second in command of the school’s cadet force.

For many years he has run the CCF RN Camp at HMS Bristol at Whale Island, founded the annual Cadet Forces Regatta, staffed a yacht crewed by cadets sailing from Scotland to Norway, and runs the Bridge Trainer for the RN Cadet Camp at Dartmouth each summer.

link

stephen-frredman-pic-award2

link

Mr Freedman, who has been decorated for his naval work in schools, also occasionally took activities at Liverpool College in Mossley Hill.

From 1991 to 2008, he ran the Royal Naval Section of the Combined Cadet Force at Merchant Taylors’.

His expertise includes dinghy and power boat instruction.

And, in 2006, he was awarded the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate given sparingly for military service beyond the call of duty. At the time, he said: “It has been the most rewarding part of my career and I like to think that my involvement has not only opened up opportunities for our cadets, but for myself as well.”

“Mr Freedman was an able and experienced member of the biology department who retired from teaching in July, 2008.

“The school has no further comment to make at this time, as the investigation is ongoing.”

The criminal investigation comes three months after a jury found 25-year-old Hannah McIntyre not guilty of having sex with a 16-year-old pupil while employed as a classics teacher at the school.

Dating back to 1620, the independent school is consistently among the country’s best performing.

Ex-Merchant Taylors’ Teacher Arrested over Indecent Images Daily Post (Liverpool, England), July 15, 2010

IN THE NAVY- GAYS AND SPOOKS


WHO’S WHO

Patron

Her Majesty the Queen

Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps

His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG GCVO

GCVO
GCVO

President

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB OBE ADC

Chairman

Captain Nigel Palmer OBE MNM

Chief Executive Officer

Martin Coles

Captain Sea Cadets

Captain Phil Russell RN

Trustees

Captain Nigel Palmer OBE, MNM (Chairman)
Mr Tony Allen
Dr Louise Bennett
Ms Liz Cassidy
Mr Andrew Davenall
Mr Simon Figgis
Dr Sheila Fitzpatrick MBE
Mr Alan Marsh FICS
Mr Alex Marsh
Mr Nick Mason
Vice Admiral Sir Alan Massey KCB, CBE
Mr John May
Captain Ian McNaught MNM
Vice Admiral Sir David Steel KBE, DL
Ms Kathryn Stone OBE, CDir, FloD
Commodore Bill Walworth CBE, RFA, MNM
Mr John Taylor
Mr Robert Woods CBE (Vice Chair)

http://www.ms-sc.org/whos-who

Sexual abuse of cadets ‘was covered up by officials who urged victims not to tell police’

Tony as a cadet

Tony was 14 when he joined Cheshunt Sea Cadets, in Hertfordshire, in 1979. Tony’s attacker was not suspended, he was promoted and moved to another division

He said he woke to find his commanding officer Alan Waters at his bedside while he was on a weekend trip away.

Terrified of returning, he told his parents – whose complaints were met with a home visit from two Sea Cadet officers, in full uniform.

Tony’s parents were dissuaded from approaching the police by the officers and in return for not taking matters further, they were promised that Waters would be moved from looking after children.

John Wesley and Alan Waters present decanters to Vice-Admiral Paul Boissier  and Ewan Steele

 Alan Waters held a title in a naval veterans’ organisation until March this year

But Panorama has discovered that he was not dismissed or even suspended – he was, in fact, promoted and moved to a division in North London where he was in charge of 10 Sea Cadet units.

What’s more, concerns by other members of the corps after this appointment were dismissed by the very top – the Captain of the Sea Cadets – who said the allegations were “thoroughly investigated” and “not proved”.

Waters was later convicted for separate child abuse offences in India in 2006 and placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Panorama has found out that despite this, until March 2017 he held a title in a naval veterans’ organisation – as honorary secretary of HMS President Retired Officers Association.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40457123

Duncan Alexander Grant – a Retired British Navy office

His grandmother – descendant of Earls of Coventry  and 7th Lord Seton

Page 69

Page 75

John Grant married Ruth Slade in 1935, and they have two married daughters, Tessa, born 1939, and Grizel, born 1941.

 

His father: Rear-Admiral John Grant CB DSO (13 October 1908 – 28 February 1996) was a senior Royal Navy officer who commanded the Reserve Fleet.

He went on to be commanding officer of the cruiser HMS Cleopatra in 1952 and after attending Imperial Defence College in 1954, became Commander of HMS Vernon in 1955.[1] He joined the staff of the Chief of the Defence Staff at the Ministry of Defence in 1957 and became Flag Officer commanding the Reserve Fleet in 1959 before retiring in 1960.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Grant_(Royal_Navy_officer)

Duncan Grant’s father taught by Mountbatten:

John Grant entered Dartmouth in 1922 and left as a midshipman in 1925 to join the battleship Queen Elizabeth. His time in her had a profound influence on his career. Mountbatten was the fleet assistant wireless officer and taught him wireless telegraphy and communications;

(In August 1931 Mountbatten became Fleet Signals Officer in the Mediterranean in the battleship Queen Elizabeth)

Among his postwar appointments was command of the destroyer HMS Fame which carried Princess Elizabeth on her first official visit alone to Northern Ireland in 1946.

After retirement Grant had ten years in the electronics industry, first in the Rank Organisation where he had responsibility for colour television, and secondly, as director and secretary of the Conference of the Electronics Industry.

He married in 1935 Ruth Slade. They had two daughters and two sons.

http://archive.is/WpAMS#selection-451.0-451.165


The trail of abuse

1995-98 Duncan Grant opens three Anchorage Shelters for Bombay street kids.

1999 February: A German schoolteacher is convicted of sexually abusing a boy who had stayed at the Anchorage Shelters. The boy tells the court that he lived at a shelter run by “Dunkel from London” for 18 months and had had sex with several foreign men during that period.

2000 Rumours about sexual and physical abuse at the Anchorage Shelters start to circulate among Bombay’s social-worker community.

2001 January: Childline India receives first telephone complaints by boys from the Anchorage Shelters.

August: Spot inspection of Anchorage Shelters by the Maharashtra State Monitoring Committee for Juvenile Justice reveals boys being regularly beaten and “allegations” of sexual abuse.

November: Five boys make a formal complaint to police against Grant and Alan Waters, alleging sexual and physical abused. Charges are filed. Grant and Waters, already in the UK, refuse to return to India on legal advice.

2002 April: Indian Police issue international warrants and Interpol “red corner” notices for the arrest of Grant and Waters.

May: Grant goes to Kenya to investigate setting up new Anchorage Shelters in Nairobi

June: Grant moves on to Tanzania where he opens new Anchorage Shelters in Dar Es Salaam.

November: Waters makes the first of three trips to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania where Duncan Grant has set up a new set of Anchorage Shelters for homeless children. He also travels to Malta and Canada over the next six months.

2003 July: Waters is arrested at New York’s JFK International Airport en route to Bermuda.

2004 August: Telegraph publishes articles and photographs revealing that Grant, Waters’s co-accused, is working with children in Tanzania.

September: Waters deported to India from USA. Grant arrested in Tanzania. India seeks Grant’s extradition.

2005 May: Extradition request fails for lack of India-Tanzania extradition treaty.

June: But … Grant is deported to Britain from Tanzania. British police fail to make arrest after Grant misses flight connection and arrives seven hours late. One week later, Grant is tracked down again by The Daily Telegraph, this time to his sister’s house in London.

July: Grant returns voluntarily to India and is arrested on arrival in Bombay.

2006 March: Grant and Waters convicted.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1513438/The-trail-of-abuse.html

1997  

Anchorage Shelter Foundation was known to CHILDLINE India Foundation since its inception. CHILDLINE team interacted with Duncan Grant, Director and Founder of Anchorage Shelter Foundation at a number of including CHILDLINE birthday parties. Mr. Duncan expressed interest in collaborating with the CHILDLINE service.

 

CHILDLINE team visited the shelter home at Colaba where Duncan Grant resided with the boys. CHILDLINE team members puzzled at close physical interaction that was observed between the boys and Duncan. Large amounts of money was given to the children to spent lavishly by Duncan

 

January 2000 Rumours about sexual and physical abuse at Anchorage circulates among city’s social workers community in Mumbai

 

 

http://www.childlineindia.org.in/anchorage-case-trail-of-abuse.htm

Allan Waters (L) and Duncan Grant (R)

Five boys came forward with sex assault allegations against Alan Waters and Duncan Grant

Image result for THE HMS PRESIDENT RNVR and RNR Retired Officers’ Association

HMS President Retired Officers’ Association PROA

PROA Honorary Secretary Lt Cdr Alan Waters Dip RSA RNR

Feb 2017

PROA

Image result for Commander Ian Dunkley RD RNR

President Commander Ian Dunkley RD RNR,

Chairman Peter Beauclark Dewar

https://view.publitas.com/proa/proa-log/page/2-3

Image result for Sea Cadet Chairman Ian Dunkley

President Commander Ian Dunkley RD RNR

The Sea Cadets – Chairman of the Unit Management Committee, Ian Dunkley is also the full-time manager of the Gravesend Lifeboat Station

http://www.gravesendreporter.co.uk/home/champion-sea-cadets-1-599186

https://i0.wp.com/gravesendsc.org.uk/gscweb/visual/newspost_images/cadetsigning_sm.jpg

Gravesend Sea Cadet Corps became affiliated members of Gravesend Sailing Club in April 2008.


Signing the Agreement
Although an informal arrangement had been in place for the past year, the arrangement was finally made official. In the photo, the cadets watch Commodore Penny Davies and Sea Cadet Chairman Ian Dunkley sign the agreement.

http://gravesendsc.org.uk/gscweb/news.php?extend.111.1

Gravesend Unit 159 Of The Sea Cadet Corps

Trustee – Commander Ian Dunkley (Chair)

http://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-details/?subid=0&regid=302755

http://www.seachangesailingtrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Gravesend-Sea-Cadets-2011.pdf

 

http://www.cfspencerandcoltd.com/people-2/

 

http://www.steppingforwardlondon.org/hms-president-royal-naval-reserve.html

HMS President Royal Navy Reserve Force

The historical fireplace inside HMS President

HMS President during the London 2012 Olympics

HMS President supported the national security operations throughout the Olympic Games:

Prince Charles and Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten 
Prince Charles and Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten on board HMS President the Royal Naval Reserve ship lying off the Victoria Embankment for the annual reunion at the weekend with survivors of the destroyer Kelly.


The Chiefs and Petty Officers Mess invited, Admiral of the Fleet, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, as the guest of Honour, for the Mess Dinner celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Royal Naval Reserves.

Image result for hMS PRESIDENT, the Royal Navy Reserve Unit in London

Al Simpson with Lord Louis Mountbatten,

Al has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his exchange duty and service time with the London Division RNR HMS President, he was the first candidate and laid the foundations for many more to follow to Royal Naval Reserve Units Worldwide.

HMS President holds regular open evenings for potential new recruits to meet serving Reserves and to find out more about joining the Reserve Unit. Entry is open to men and women aged 16-40.

HMS President also serves as the functional head office for the younger Sea Cadets.

Newly refurbished HMS President unveiled by HRH the Duke of York

08/04/2014

His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, was recently at the heart of HMS President’s re-dedication ceremony.

The London Royal Naval Reserve unit, home to more than 230 reservists

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2014/april/08/140408-hms-president-duke-of-york


Image result for Anchorage shelter in Colaba,

 

London man convicted in Indian paedophilia case

Allan Waters (L) and Duncan Grant (R)

Five boys came forward with sex assault allegations against Waters and Grant

Image result for Anchorage shelter in Colaba,

Duncan Grant – his father

1983:

John Grant  retired as a rearadmiral, having gained a D.S.O. during an action at sea with a Russian convoy. He was appointed a C.B. for his service with the Reserve Fleet. … They were followed by two sons, Duncan Alexander, born in 1943, and Andrew James, born in 1948. Duncan Alexander Grant is a lieutenant- commander, Royal Naval Reserve, Reserve Decoration, and in addition to seeing much …

Andrew James Grant after short service in the Royal Green Jackets married an American girl from Pennsylvania, and … He and his wife, Taveta, now have a son aged three, who is the youngest member of our branch of the Grants of …and having spent a period in the banking world of the U.S.A., as well as …

link


18 March 2011

India’s Supreme Court has convicted two Britons of sexually abusing boys at a children’s shelter in Mumbai.

Duncan Grant, of Hampstead, north London, and Allan Waters, of Hampshire, had been acquitted by the High Court in Mumbai in 2008 for lack of evidence.

But the Supreme Court overturned that decision and upheld guilty verdicts from the trial court in 2006 which sentenced the men to six years.

Charity Childline India Foundation said the case was a “real watershed moment”.

Campaign group Fair Trials Abroad, which represented the accused  Britons in court, is yet to comment on the case.

‘Culture of silence’

Grant, a charity worker, had set up Anchorage shelter in Colaba, Mumbai, in 1995. Waters, of Porchester, was a visitor to the home, Indian police said.

The pair were charged in 2001 with sexual assault after five boys complained to the police about repeated sexual and physical abuse by the men.

William D’souza, an Indian citizen who managed the shelter, was convicted of aiding and abetting the men and sentenced to three years. He had also earlier been cleared by the High Court, in 2006.

Childline India Foundation had appealed against the High Court’s decision to acquit the men.

Kajal Mennon, executive director of the charity, said: “This was a real watershed moment in child sexual abuse convictions (in India)… as laws are extremely opaque, plus there is a culture of silence.”

She added the case would go towards ensuring that people do not take advantage of India’s “laxity of laws” and the convictions highlighted the need of special legislation for child sexual offences in the country.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-12786203

HMS Cumberland and paedophile-run Anchorage Shelter

Paedophiles Grant Duncan and Alan Waters host parties for children aboard ships – Cumberland, Newcastle, and Sunderland

 

Navy News Apr 1, 2001

Image result for Anchorage shelter in Colaba,

Duncan Grant comes back to the UK during the spring and autumn from four to six weeks to give illustrated talks on the shelters to schools, churches, clubs and other organisations. The point of contact in the UK is LT Cdr Alan Waters who visits Mumbai three times a year to relieve Duncan.

We have had some people from very high up in the authorities who st and eat with the street children. A party from the HMS visited.

When former Naval Reserve officer Duncan Grant decided to put down roots he chose a penthouse property close to the tourist centre of Mumbai.

After a working life which ranged from selling domestic electrical components to helping develop marinas in Turkey and the caribbean, he worked for charities on the sub-continent.

When in 1995 he decided he wanted to help street children in Mumbai, there was a ready-made umbrella group in Rescue a Child set up by Catherine Douglas, and although there were no funds, his Anchorage Shelter Foundation became an outreach project of the main charity.

 

 

Children tour HMS Cumberland with Weapons Engineering Officer Lt Cdr Peter Coulson

Volunteers from HMS Cumberland had plenty of willing assistants when they decorated the Anchorage shelter

“We have had a tremendous response from Cumberland. The Zoo Mess (OMs) on board donated their stereo equipment. Lt Cdr Alan Waters did a round-robin of the Feet and Cumberland picked it up and said we are coming.”

They sent £300 before they got here and have brought £700 now and there’s the stereo and thry held a party on board.

Newcastle and Sunderland were here last year. Newcastle did a paint job at Anchorage 2 and hosted a ship’s visit on board.”

PO Neil Carleton, one of the ship’s party said: “There were 30 volunteers, but we couldn’t get them all in. We always get quite a lot of volunteers for this sort of thing.

The shelter patron is Felicty Kendal. Duncan has spoken at the school attended by Kendal’s son which prompted a fund-raising drive. She has nothing but praise for Duncan’s efforts. “He is doing an extraordinary job.-he is a wonderful man.”

“when I was approached by Duncan, I went to see the shelter. I did some research and spoke to people of note who said what a wonderful place it was.

“I agreed to become patron and I did a lot, everything I could, towards it. He [Grant] went to speak at my son’s school in Westminster, and they thought he was brilliant.

She had written to the Prime Minister to support an application for Grant to be made an OBE in recognition of his missionary work.

“His credentials are superb. He’s a wing commander.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/1469890/Why-I-had-to-resign-as-patron-by-Felicity-Kendal.html

Back home in England, Duncan Grant has rich and well-connected benefactors.

He gave an illustrated talk to the Holy Cross Catholic Church in London.

The son of a rear admiral, he was educated by the Jesuit fathers at Beaumont College, near Windsor.

Image result for Sir Philip Gordon Grant. 1869-1943

Grant is the grandson of Maj Gen Sir Philip Grant, who as the chief engineer of the Fifth Army in the First World War rallied the defence against the German offensive of March 1918.

His great-great-grandfather served in the 78th Highlanders and the King’s American Regiment in the American War of Independence.

The Bombay shelters received money through British schools and churches where Grant gave illustrated talks and from the British charity Rescue-a-Child.

They were never formally registered with the state authorities but by 1999 they had a full complement of some 50 to 60 boys aged from eight to 18. An official Indian report found the homes to be “ramshackle and filthy and the children were being beaten indiscriminately”.

Waters, who is said to know Grant through the Royal Naval Reserve and was a regular visitor to the Bombay shelters.

The British Jesuits said they immediately withdrew their gap year students when they learned of allegations about mistreatment of children.

Vicky Robertson, the chairman of Safe Havens-Tanzania, said she had not been involved with Grant in Bombay but started raising money when he went to Dar es Salaam.

“Duncan Grant was represented to me with impeccable references,” she said.

“When I started fund-raising for his work in Tanzania I did not know about the allegations in India. I was told and, because of the references and confidence I had in Duncan’s work, we decided these 240 children should not be deserted.”

Mrs Robertson, a retired lawyer from Norfolk, is about to visit the Dar es Salaam homes.

She said: “I have every confidence that there are absolutely no grounds for these abuse allegations. Street boys can be bought for five pence halfpenny and you are talking about evidence in a third world country where corruption is rife. Do you think I would support a charity where there is any suggestion of abuse? I have children myself.”

Aruna Buxton, a trustee of Rescue-a-Child, which gave grants to the Indian shelters, said no money had been sent to Tanzania.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/4193375/The-saviour-of-street-children-wanted-on-sex-abuse-charges.html

The engagement was announced 6 May, 2004 between Thomas F. Lacey, son of the late Mr Norman Lacey & Myra Fagon Bosley, & Sophie M.A. Bolton, elder daughter of Sir Frederic Bernard Bolton, Kt, MC (b. 1921), of Pudlicote, Oxfordshire, by his second wife, Lady Bolton (nee Vanessa Mary Anne Robarts b. 1939), daughter of Anthony Vere Cyprian Robarts b. 1910, of that landed family, by his wife Grizel Mary, daughter of Major Sir Philip Gordon Grant, KCB, CMG (1869-1943), by his wife, Annette, fourth daughter of John Coventry, of Burgate Manor, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, scion of the Earls of Coventry.

(Hilda Mary) Clare Talbot (b. 23 Feb 1913; d. 28 Nov 1995), mar. 1972 Lt Col Peter Coventry Grant (d. 1973), 2nd son of Maj Gen Sir Philip Gordon-Grant KCB CMG, by his wife Annette Emily Mary Coventry, 4th dau. of John Coventry JP

http://www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk/online/content/talbot1831.htm

http://www.thepeerage.com/p59104.htm


The shelters also received frequent foreign visitors – including Grant’s co-accused, Alan Waters, a very senior sea cadet officer and a long-time friend of Grant’s from their days as naval reservists.

One of the alleged victims told The Daily Telegraph that Anchorage boys frequently went to Goa “on holiday” with Grant’s friends where they were expected to perform sexual favours for money.

In August 1998 a 14-year-old street boy from an Anchorage shelter was discovered in a hotel in Goa having sex with a German schoolteacher who was later convicted and jailed for six years.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1513435/Hideous-price-of-a-roof-over-their-heads.html

 

As the Indian authorities searched unsuccessfully for him, he was living in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam, and had set up three shelters identical to his operation in India. The shelters have attracted gap year students from some of Britain’s leading schools.

British newspaper The Daily Telegraph traced Grant to Tanzania last week, as it emerged that the British Jesuits, who had sent volunteers from some of their schools, had suspended dealings with him.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/08/21/1092972821596.html?oneclick=true

Allan Waters and Duncan Grant had become quite a fixture in Colaba in Mumbai. The brooding Waters and loud talking Grant were regulars at the Mangalorean hole in the wall, New Martin, cockily giving their take to the press after the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai.

In 2006, Grant, a former British navyman, and Lieutenant Commander Waters, a former superintendent of the British Royal Navy’s National Sea Cadets Centre in Portsmouth in the UK, were ordered to serve the remainder of their six-year prison sentence, after being convicted by a sessions court in Mumbai. Grant was the sole operating trustee of the orphanage, set up by a British charity organisation.

https://www.telegraphindia.com/1110327/jsp/7days/story_13771509.jsp

PRESIDENTS OF THE INSTITUTION OF ROYAL ENGINEERS
Maj Gen Sir Philip Grant, KCB, CMG

The Royal Engineers Journal – Page 290

1943 – ‎Snippet view

MAJOR-GENERAL SIR PHILIP G. GRANT, K.C.B., C.M.G. Philip Gordon Grant, the younger son of Colonel J. M. Grant, late R.E., was born on the 10th December, 1869, and educated privately and at the R.M.A. He was gazetted int6 the Corps …


Paedophile who abused orphans in India is flown back to UK

Allan Waters

Allan Waters

A HAMPSHIRE paedophile who abused homeless boys in a Mumbai orphanage is back in the UK.

Allan Waters, 63, a retired Naval officer from Portchester, was deported after serving a six-year jail term in India.

He was met a Heathrow by police from Scotland Yard and made to sign the sex offenders register.

Waters, a highly respected Lieutenant Commander formerly of Cador Drive, was found guilty in 2006 of carrying out child abuse at the Anchorage shelter in Mumbai.

He was freed in 2008 by judges at the Indian High Court, who cited “lack of evidence provided by the prosecution’’.

But that decision was quashed by the country’s Supreme Court, which ordered Waters to serve the rest of his six-year jail term and pay damages and fines imposed.

Waters was arrested at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport in 2003 on the basis of an Interpol arrest warrant and was extradited to face charges in India following a complaint from a 15-year-old boy about repeated sexual and physical abuse.

Four other boys also made similar complaints.

http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/9771055.Paedophile_who_abused_orphans_in_India_is_flown_back_to_UK/

Duncan Grant/Allan Waters – Hampstead/Porchester

Posted by in Hampshire, London

Duncan Grant/Allan Waters – Hampstead/Porchester

June 2012

Back in UK: Paedo who abused slumdog children

A PAEDO who abused “Slumdog” street kids in India sneaked back into Britain yesterday — amid fears he could carry out more attacks.

Allan Waters, 63, was deported after serving a six-year term for molesting five boys at a Mumbai orphanage. The ex-Navy Commander was quizzed by Scotland Yard cops at Heathrow and made to sign the Sex Offenders Register.

But Waters was then released into the community despite serious concerns he will re-offend. A Whitehall source said: “Our hands are tied. Waters hasn’t committed an offence here and has served his time in India.

“He will be monitored round the clock to make sure he doesn’t abuse any kids. But it would be fair to say nobody wants him living next door.”

December 2011

Slumdog paedo is back in Britain

A CREEP who sexually abused street urchins at his Mumbai orphanage was freed early to Britain yesterday.

Duncan Grant, 68, (pictured above) was met by Met officers at Heathrow.

After being quizzed and signing the sex offenders register, the ex-Navy officer was let out into the community

Grant was freed from an Indian jail after serving four years for an “appalling violation of trust”. He and a fellow Brit — retired Lieutenant Commander Allan Waters — from Porchester sparked global disgust when it emerged they abused five homeless boys at the “children’s shelter” Grant set up using a Brit charity in Mumbai.

His three Anchorage Shelter Homes gave beds to boys from slums that featured in film Slumdog Millionaire. Good Life actress Felicity Kendal, 65, was persuaded to be a patron. She has cut all ties to the pervert.

As well as abusing the boys, Grant and Waters would hand them over to foreign sex tourists.

Grant, from Hampstead, North West London, and Waters, 63, from Hampshire, were convicted in 2006. In 2008, they were acquitted due to “lack of evidence”.

Abuse … Duncan Grant’s ‘shelter’ for orphans in Mumbai

 That was quashed this March. India’s Supreme Court ruled: “The street children having no roof over their heads became the prey of paedophiles.”

Waters remains in jail but is expected to be released shortly.

Scotland Yard said: “We work closely to monitor offenders to reduce the risk of offending

March 2011

London man convicted in Indian paedophilia case

India’s Supreme Court has convicted two Britons of sexually abusing boys at a children’s shelter in Mumbai.

Duncan Grant, of Hampstead, north London, and Allan Waters, of Hampshire, had been acquitted by the High Court in Mumbai in 2008 for lack of evidence.

But the Supreme Court overturned that decision and upheld guilty verdicts from the trial court in 2006 which sentenced the men to six years.

Charity Childline India Foundation said the case was a “real watershed moment”.

Campaign group Fair Trials Abroad, which represented the Britons in court, is yet to comment on the case.

Image result for anchorage shelters Colaba

Anchorage shelter at Colaba.Grant, a charity worker, had set up Anchorage shelter in Colaba, Mumbai, in 1995. Waters, of Porchester, was a visitor to the home, Indian police said.

The pair were charged in 2001 with sexual assault after five boys complained to the police about repeated sexual and physical abuse by the men.

William D’souza, an Indian citizen who managed the shelter, was convicted of aiding and abetting the men and sentenced to three years. He had also earlier been cleared by the High Court, in 2006.

https://theukdatabase.com/2012/03/09/duncan-grantallan-waters-hampsteadporchester/

Alan Waters – PROA Honorary secretary 2017

 

Abuse … Duncan Grant’s ‘shelter’ for orphans in Mumbai

 That was quashed this March. India’s Supreme Court ruled: “The street children having no roof over their heads became the prey of paedophiles.”

Waters remains in jail but is expected to be released shortly.

Scotland Yard said: “We work closely to monitor offenders to reduce the risk of offending

March 2011

London man convicted in Indian paedophilia case

India’s Supreme Court has convicted two Britons of sexually abusing boys at a children’s shelter in Mumbai.

Duncan Grant, of Hampstead, north London, and Allan Waters, of Hampshire, had been acquitted by the High Court in Mumbai in 2008 for lack of evidence.

But the Supreme Court overturned that decision and upheld guilty verdicts from the trial court in 2006 which sentenced the men to six years.

Charity Childline India Foundation said the case was a “real watershed moment”.

Campaign group Fair Trials Abroad, which represented the Britons in court, is yet to comment on the case.

Grant, a charity worker, had set up Anchorage shelter in Colaba, Mumbai, in 1995. Waters, of Porchester, was a visitor to the home, Indian police said.

The pair were charged in 2001 with sexual assault after five boys complained to the police about repeated sexual and physical abuse by the men.

William D’souza, an Indian citizen who managed the shelter, was convicted of aiding and abetting the men and sentenced to three years. He had also earlier been cleared by the High Court, in 2006.

Childline India Foundation had appealed against the High Court’s decision to acquit the men.

Kajal Mennon, executive director of the charity, said: “This was a real watershed moment in child sexual abuse convictions (in India)… as laws are extremely opaque, plus there is a culture of silence.”

She added the case would go towards ensuring that people do not take advantage of India’s “laxity of laws” and the convictions highlighted the need of special legislation for child sexual o

Call for Sea Cadet inquiry after sex abuse case

Child rights lawyers are demanding an immediate inquiry by the British Sea Cadets after one of its most senior officers was convicted of sexually abusing street children in Bombay.

Lt Cdr Allan Waters, 57, who has worked with the Sea Cadet Corps in Britain for more than 30 years, was jailed for six years and ordered to pay £20,000 compensation for having “unnatural sex” with street children.

A fellow former naval officer, Duncan Grant, 61, was also jailed for six years at the Bombay sessions court.

Grant, a Royal Naval Reserve officer from a distinguished military family, had set up the Anchorage shelters in Bombay, where the abuse took place. He was also ordered to pay £20,000 compensation to his victims.

The judge, P S Paranjape, said the sentence was intended to “wipe the name of India from the map of sexual tourism”.

The court heard that the street boys, aged from eight to 18, were used as objects of “sexual lust” by Grant, Waters and several other foreigners who frequently took boys with them “on holiday” to coastal resorts in Goa.

Boys were also subjected to a brutal regime of corporal punishment in which they were stripped naked and regularly caned by Jesuit-educated Grant and the local manager of his shelter.

Both Grant and Waters were convicted of “unnatural sex acts” and conspiring to “obtain minors for immoral purposes”.

Grant, the grandson of Maj-Gen Sir Philip Grant, who rallied the defence against the German offensive of March 1918 in the First World War, used a wealth of establishment contacts to raise funds for his Anchorage shelters.

His supporters, including the actress Felicity Kendal, two Tory MPs, high-ranking naval officers and the British Jesuits, were convinced that Grant had given up a comfortable life in the West to devote himself to India’s impoverished street children.

However, the court heard that while Grant painted a heart-warming picture of life at his shelters for his British donors an inspection in August 2001 revealed that the children suffered “repeated beatings” and were poorly looked after.

Waters, an old friend of Grant from the Royal Naval Reserve, was a regular visitor to the Anchorage shelters, bringing presents for the children before sexually abusing them, the court was told.

Both Grant and Waters, who intend to appeal against the judgment, claimed they were victims of a conspiracy by another paedophile who convinced the boys to make malicious complaints to social workers in Bombay.

The conviction of Waters raises serious questions about his conduct in Britain, where, The Daily Telegraph has learned, he was formerly accused by a fellow officer of sexually abusing a sea cadet.

Yug Chaudhry, a lawyer who represented the Indian Childline charity in the case, said the Sea Cadets had a “fundamental duty of care to their young members” to investigate whether Waters had abused cadets in Britain.

Information received by The Daily Telegraph said that Waters was caught in a compromising act with a young cadet while he was commanding the Clapton unit of the Sea Cadets in London in the early 1980s. Waters, the sources alleged, dismissed the allegations as “an initiation ceremony” and after a brief suspension was reassigned to another unit, where he continued to rise up the ranks of the organisation.

Waters, who also worked as an education social worker with the Inner London Education Authority in the 1980s, was appointed superintendent of the Sea Cadet training centre in Portsmouth in 1996.

Until his arrest at JFK international airport, in New York, in July 2003, Waters was a member of the Sea Cadet Council, the highest body of the corps.

Last night the Sea Cadets confirmed that it was aware “that a report was made by a Sea Cadet officer who had concerns about Waters” in the early 1980s but said that allegations had “not been substantiated”.

Colin Bonner, the Sea Cadets’ director of administration, said the organisation remained “unconvinced” that Waters was capable of sexual abuse.

“Since The Daily Telegraph reported to us certain allegations about alleged misconduct by Waters many years ago, when he was working for us at Clapton, we have made a great many inquiries into his past,” he said.

“We did find that a report was made by a Sea Cadet officer who had concerns about Waters. But he has been dead for many years and there was nothing to substantiate those allegations at the time and nothing since.

“I am not going to say that it is impossible that Alan could have done the things he has been accused off. Anything is possible. But, from the man I know, I do not think it is likely. I do not believe he would abuse children and we have no evidence that he did.”

However, Mr Chaudhry, who studied law at Cambridge, said it was “inconceivable and inexplicable” that the Sea Cadets would not investigate Waters further.

“They have a duty to vulnerable members to make an immediate and thorough investigation of Waters,” he said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4199412/Call-for-Sea-Cadet-inquiry-after-sex-abuse-case.html

A Sea Cadet lieutenant commander, who has worked with street children’s charities in India, has been detained for nearly two years on false charges of sexual abuse, according to his colleagues, friends and family.

Lt Cmdr Alan Waters, from Porchester in Hampshire, in his late 50s, awaits trial in Mumbai on charges which campaigners say are clearly bogus.

His case, and cases of others facing serious charges abroad, was highlighted yesterday by the organisation Fair Trials Abroad. Baroness Sarah Ludford, the Liberal Democrat MEP who attended the press conference, called for action to be taken in the growing number of similar cases when people are held in foreign jails on flimsy or nonexistent evidence.

 

Lt Cmdr Waters is a superintendent with the Sea Cadets centre. He and his wife, Gwen, have spent many holidays helping a friend, Duncan Grant, in his work with street children at the Anchorage Shelters in Mumbai. The shelters depended on volunteer workers, many from the UK.

Duncan Grant had set up the Anchorage Shelter Home at Colaba, Mumbai in 1995 which was frequently visited by Waters.

In 2001, Mr Grant asked two male volunteers, one British and one Indian, to discontinue hostel visits because he felt they were developing inappropriate relationships with boys there.

Shortly after the confrontation, Lt Cmdr Waters and Mr Grant were both back in England when they heard of allegations being made against them, including sexual abuse, to the Mumbai police by five boys from the shelters who had been befriended by one of the men asked to cease his visits. An investigation was carried out by police and charges were made against Lt Cmdr Waters, Mr Grant and the shelters’ Indian manager, William d’Souza.

In July 2003, Lt Cmdr Waters was travelling via New York to Bermuda in an official capacity with a group of naval cadets. He was detained at JFK airport by US immigration and eventually extradited to India in September last year.

In August 2003, defence lawyers obtained sworn statements from the boys retracting their allegations. They claimed they were offered money by the man barred from the shelters, and had signed statements at the police station written in English, which they would have been unable to understand. Lt Cmdr Waters is still in jail awaiting trial and Mr d’Souza is on bail. Mr Grant has not returned to India on legal advice. “I have been in custody since 2 July 2003,” Lt Cmdr Waters wrote in a recent letter. “How much longer before I get a fair and just trial?”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/may/20/duncancampbell

Image result for hemming and Sarah Ludford

Ludford was created a Life Peer as Baroness Ludford, of Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington on 30 September 1997,[2] after serving as a Councillor for the London Borough of Islington 1991-99.

Baroness Ludford is married to Steve Hitchins, Leader of Islington Borough Council (2000–06).[6][7]

Duncan Alexander Grant, a British national, in and around 1995 opened three shelters called the Anchorage Shelters for the welfare of street children in Mumbai and Colaba, Cuffe Parade and Murud.

Allan John Waters was a friend of Duncan Alexander Grant and used to visit the Shelters regularly. Another accused William D’Souza was the manager of the Anchorage Shelters.

link

Grant had been allowed to slip back in to the country despite being subject to an international arrest warrant.

 

Last night Benjamin Strickland, whose wife Tessa Strickland – a Conservative councillor for Wandsworth Council – is Grant’s sister, said he had not seen or spoken to his brother-in-law in recent weeks or days.

Despite being wanted on international arrest warrants, Grant and his colleague, Alan Waters, passed through British immigration on 10 occasions. Interpol “red corner” notices – which should be triggered whenever a suspect passes through immigration – were issued in February 2002 but were never enforced by Britain.

Between April 2002 and July 2003 Allan Waters made five foreign trips, but was never stopped. He also made three visits to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where his friend Duncan Grant – wanted for sexually abusing Indian street boys – was running homeless hostels for street children.

However, when Waters landed in New York’s JFK airport en route to Bermuda for a holiday on July 3, 2003 he was immediately arrested and later extradited to India.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1513437/Case-highlights-flaws-in-police-efforts-to-stop-child-sex-tourists.html


Councillor Tessa Strickland:
Tessa Strickland has lived within sight of Battersea Power Station since childhood. She became a Councillor in 1998 for neighbouring Fairfield, but enthusiastically accepted the opportunity to join her home ward of St Mary’s Park in 2006.She is also a trustee of two local charities, organises an RNLI appeal team, fund-raises for the Red Cross and is a member of a Sheltered Housing Trust.The education and welfare of the borough’s children has been an uninterrupted commitment, chairing the Children and Young Person’s Services committee for six years and now serving as deputy. She is also chair of governors at a local primary school (

Governors | Falconbrook Primary School)

and governor of a large secondary school.

A British charity worker accused of paedophile offences against street children in Bombay has been found by The Daily Telegraph after police allowed him to walk freely back into this country last month.

Duncan Grant,  who is wanted on an international arrest warrant and an Interpol red notice, arrived in Britain on June 1 after being deported from Tanzania.

Despite being notified of his imminent arrival by the Foreign Office, police failed to arrest Mr Grant after his flight was delayed, causing him to miss his anticipated connection in Dubai.

Yesterday, however, 19 days after Mr Grant re-entered Britain, The Daily Telegraph found Mr Grant who, it is understood, has still not been contacted by the police.

Since returning, he has been living with his sister, who is a Conservative councillor in London.

She refused to answer the door at her neat Victorian terraced house in south London yesterday, but through the intercom, she claimed she had neither seen nor spoken to her brother since his return to this country.

“I haven’t seen him and he hasn’t been staying here,” she said. Asked if he planned to turn himself in to the police, she said: “I don’t know because I haven’t spoken to him.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1492418/These-men-are-accused-of-paedophilia.-One-is-on-trial-in-India-the-other-is-free-in-Britain.html

A large number of foreign paedophiles were regularly visiting the Shelters and taking the children to Goa where the children were also being sexually abused.

http://www.childlineindia.org.in/anchorage-case-history-updated.htm

On 12 September John Wesley together with the PROA Hon Sec  Alan Waters and his wife Gwen visited the RNLI HQ

 

John Wesley and Alan Waters present decanters to Vice-Admiral Paul Boissier  and Ewan Steele

link

Sir Jimmy Savile, OBE pictured in Mumbai, India in 1992. The disc jockey and radio and TV personality was “Running Stock Photo

Jimmy Savile in Mumbai 1992

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-sir-jimmy-savile-obe-pictured-in-mumbai-india-in-1992-the-disc-jockey-51324649.html

 

Troy‏ @snowfaked

200: HAPC 20th Anniversity guest speaker/patron Keith Vaz

 HAPC patron, Keith Vaz MP, addressing the 1500 guests

Help A Poor Child charity was founded by paedophile Derek Slade


Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

Keith Vaz’s links to Varley are significant as they bring together Goa, Leicester and Islington.

Troy‏ @snowfaked

Raymond Varley was an international trafficker. That’s why his phony dementia claim keeps him safe from extradition.

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

And what of his buddy Derek Slade?

Troy‏ @snowfaked

Varley was connected to Freddy Peats who ran an orphanage in GOA. No evidence found yet linking Varley with Slade.

Real Stories Gallery‏ @RealStoriesGF

Anchorage Shelters… Waters/Grant also worked the mumbai-goa coast.

Azra‏ @PeaceOnEarth222
’97 ChildLine India team ‘puzzled’ by close phys. interaction with boys.

Childline India oversees world child helplines.

“A serial social entrepreneur who’s founded 6 orgs incl. Aflatoun.”

Aflatoun funders, partners, pro bono supporters.

SEXUAL ABUSE OF CADETS

Julian Hankinson – seated fifth from left – while at Kelvinside Academy in Glasgow. He was Headmaster of Queen Victoria School at its chief time of crisis.

Reportedly, a powerful child abuse ring has operated at Queen Victoria School (QVS), in Dunblane in Scotland.
“Big fancy cars (sometimes chauffeur driven and displaying pennants, and badges of office) would arrive with well known faces of politicians, judges and other celebrities …

“These people were ‘Friends of QVS’ who were taking certain boys out for a treat.”

Sir Fixed it for Jim


Dunblane Primary School. In 1996, ’16 children from this class were shot dead.’

Thomas Hamilton was held responsible for the 1996 school shooting in Dunblane.

He was a friend of QVS.

George Robertson was a friend of QVS.

Lord Robertson (left)
The UK’s George Robertson was Secretary General of NATO.

“Lord Robertson was the referee on Thomas Hamilton’s shotgun licence.” (‘Blair covering up paedophile scandal?’)

Thomas Hamilton ran clubs and camps for boys and had access to the Queen Victoria School, in Dunblane, a boarding school run by the Ministry of Defence.

The unofficial story is that Thomas Hamilton was supplying pornography, and young boys, to top people including policemen and politicians; and Thomas Hamilton may have been murdered, to shut him up.

It has been suggested that Thomas Hamilton was a patsy and that the real shooters were working for the security services.

In the Dunblane shootings, “none of the survivors would have been able to obtain a good viewing of the gunman.”

The Murder of Thomas Hamilton | Dunblane Exposed / dailytelegraph.news.com.au/

Lord Cullen led inquiries into the Dunblane shootings, and in March 2002 led the five-judge tribunal which heard the failed appeal of the alleged Lockerbie bomber.

A former senior judge / aangirfan: Dunblane / aangirfan: Lockerbie – who were the key players in the trial?

Lord Cullen … physically walked Thomas Hamilton to the massacre.”

If those names get out even now after 12 years, there will be a riot and the press will have a field day!   Lives and careers will be ruined!   Is this why Hamilton‘s file went missing only hours after the killings?  Is this why Lord Cullen, who I believe was a QVS Commissioner, was appointed to preside over the Hamilton investigations?   This is how Masons operate.  They control everything and their allegiance is to each other.  No wonder they want a 100-year embargo on the Hamilton case!

http://dunblane.site/gh_qvs_story.htm


via Wildcat:

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Queen Victoria School, Dunblane

Hamilton was a friend of Ben Philip, the senior housemaster at Queen Victoria School.

Ben Philip died in December 1993, aged 46, ‘when he fell from a ladder while hanging decorations’.

Malcolm Rifkind‘s close friend Robert Bell sold guns and ammunition to Thomas Hamilton only a few weeks before the Dunblane massacre, according to the Edinburgh Evening News on 23 March 1996.

Cached

Malcolm Rifkind is the cousin of Sir Leon Brittan.


Headmaster Hankinson.

Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Forsyth was on the Board of Directors of QVS, and was also responsible for the appointment of Cullen to conduct the school shooting Inquiry.

Prince Philip, a Freemason, is the patron of the Board of Directors of QVS.

Lord Donald Ross, the then Lord Justice-Clerk and Cullen’s superior in the judiciary, was also on the Board of Directors.

StolenKids-Dunblane: 29-Oct-03 – Cullen Inquiry Whitewash

Glenn Harrison, a former housemaster at the boarding school, first raised the alarm about QVS in 1991.

The police told him that the school was covered by the Official Secrets Act and therefore out of their jurisdiction.

Top Scots school in abuse claims

Harrison referred to the ‘Friends of QVS’, which included top people who would often take boys away for the weekend, with the pupils returning “distressed but flush with cash”.

Harrison said: “They had to take their kilts and clean underwear and I was not given a contact address. What may have gone on at these parties was secret but some boys were very disturbed.

“I became disturbed, too, by screams in the dorm at night, empty beds, rituals in dark places and used, warm, filled condoms hurriedly abandoned. There was fear throughout every age group and the teachers knew about it.”

Harrison and his wife refused to sit next to Prince Andrew at a school dinner “in protest at the many unheard voices and suffering of young boys”.

Top Scots school in abuse claims


QVS

The police responded to Harrison’s whistleblowing.

They broke down the door to his flat and removed many of his personal papers.

He was escorted from the school premises and interviewed by detectives.

Harrison moved to Shetland.

The UK parliament’s Hansard recorded a written response from QVS headmaster Julian Hankinson to say that police had “concluded there was no cause for further action on their part”.In November 1996, Harrison wrote to The Shetland Times to say: “I believe that, had my allegations in 1991 been properly investigated, there is a strong possibility that Hamilton would have been discovered.”

QVS
QVS is open to children of those who have served or are serving in the Army, Navy or RAF.

Among the top Scottish private schools hit by child abuse allegations are Fettes, Merchiston Castle School, Fort Augustus Abbey School and Gordonstoun.

Detective Chief Inspector Elaine Galbraith, of the Police Scotland Public Protection Unit, said there were no current investigations into any persons connected with Queen Victoria School.

Top Scots school in abuse claims

Lt Cdr Allan Waters, 57, worked with the Sea Cadet Corps in Britain for more than 30 years

In 2006, in India, Waters was jailed for child sex abuse.

Boys had been stripped naked and regularly caned.

“Information received by The Daily Telegraph ( Call for Sea Cadet inquiry after sex abuse case – Telegraph) said that Waters was caught in a compromising act with a young cadet while he was commanding the Clapton unit of the Sea Cadets in London in the early 1980s.

Reportedly, Waters was reassigned to another unit, and continued to rise up the ranks of the organisation.

Waters was appointed superintendent of the Sea Cadet training centre in Portsmouth in 1996.

Waters was a member of the Sea Cadet Council, the highest body of the corps.
The Sea Cadets confirmed that it was aware “that a report was made by a Sea Cadet officer who had concerns about Waters” in the early 1980s but said that allegations had “not been substantiated”.

In 2006, Jersey Police, in the UK, were investigating child abuse by ‘carers’.

The commanding officer of the Jersey Sea Cadets was arrested for downloading pornographic images including some involving sea cadets.

The attitude of the Sea Cadet authorities of that time ’caused great concern’. (Cached)

There were several convictions for sexual offences involving officers of Jersey Sea Cadets.

Police began noticing links between the victims in those cases and other institutions on the island, including Haut de la Garenne.

Police call off Sea Cadets abuse inquiry

It was announced, in September 2008, that the police investigation of alleged child abuse at the Jersey Sea Cadets has been abandoned.

The Jersey police claim there is insufficient evidence.

The Sea Cadet force used Haut de la Garenne (child brothel).

The third scandalous Jersey case had happened Victoria College to whom the Haut de la Garenne was supplying young recruits.

The maths teacher, Andrew Jervis-Dykes, was jailed in 1999 for indecently assaulting six pupils who he plied with alcohol then abused in their beds during Naval Combined Cadet Force yachting.

He had pleaded guilt and was condemned to four years prison, as an isolated predator, as are all the members of the Zandvoort network, which includes Marc Dutroux.

https://belgianjustice.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/child-abuse-jersey-stinks-of-zandvoort/

A trapdoor leading down to a windowless room holding a single chair, and shackles were discovered during the refurbishment of the care home at the centre of the Jersey child abuse scandal, it has been claimed.

The sinister findings were allegedly uncovered four years ago when the property Haut de la Garenne in the east of the island was converted into a youth hostel after lying empty for 18 years.

The building, where a human skull was unearthed on Saturday, is the subject of an intense police search operation amid fears that the bodies of up to seven children could be buried there.

Two builders working on the site spoke of the alleged finds but the shackle claim was strenuously denied by a Jersey government source.

Robert Boutillier, one of the builders working at the home said: “We found some things that would send a chill down your spine.

“We found some shackles lying around the grounds.

“I picked them up. They were heavy shackles mounted on a wooden block. It was gruesome.

“We also found a pile of about five large canes. They had been removed from inside the building.”

Another builder from Houze Construction, who did not want to be named, said: “It was spooky, I felt like the place was haunted.

“There were shackles lying around. God knows what else was in there, I shudder to think.

“In one room there was a trapdoor leading down to this room which was pitch black. Inside was just this chair. I felt sick.”

But a government source insisted: “Nothing of that nature at all was found at the site.”

Police teams have focused on the home’s bricked-up cellar but were forced to suspend work over fears the structure may collapse. But forensic specialists will return to the scene on Wednesday.

News of the alleged findings came as child abuse offences – and claims that they were covered up – were linked to the island’s top public school and another Jersey care home.

Image result for maths teacher, Andrew Jervis-Dykes

Maths teacher Andrew Jervis-Dykes was jailed in April 1999 for indecently assaulting six pupils at Victoria College who he plied with alcohol then abused in their beds during Naval Combined Cadet Force yachting trips between 1984 and 1993.

According to an independent report into the case, allegations about Jervis-Dykes surfaced in 1992 then again in 1994. Both times, the school’s headmaster Jack Hydes failed to notify the police or investigate further, the report said.

Former chief education officer of Buckinghamshire, Stephen Sharp, who conducted the inquiry, said Mr Hydes instructed his staff not to discuss the allegations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He accused Mr Hydes and his deputy Piers Bakers – who was in charge of pupils alongside Jervis-Dykes on one yachting trip – of putting the interests of the college and supporting a colleague above protecting its pupils. The pair subsequently resigned from the school.

“If the correct procedure had been followed, it is most likely that Jervis-Dykes would have been suspended and perhaps arrested in 1992,” Mr Sharp said.

Senator Stuart Syvret, who is highly critical of the Jersey government’s record on child protection, accused officials of sweeping the issue under the carpet and demanded to know why the report had been kept secret.

“The reaction of the political establishment was to sweep this under the carpet and keep the veneer of respectability.

“This is just another example of concealment and cover up. They did the bare minimum, prosecuted one perpetrator.”

The Education Minister Senator Mike Verbert said the headteacher and deputy had been punished by dismissal. He defended keeping the report private: “The decision not to publish the report was taken to protect those children.”

Mr Syvret said he would write to Justice Minister Jack Straw later this week to ask for independent judges to oversee any possible prosecution in relation to Haut de la Garenne.

“I am going to ask him – in relation to the current child protection controversy – to appoint independent judges and prosecution,” he said.

Mr Syvret claimed there was evidence of abuse at schools and care homes across the island.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1579886/Jersey-care-home-had-shackles-and-trapdoor.html


 

STATES police officers tried to cover up abuse allegations against an ex-Victoria College teacher, a former detective has claimed.

Speaking at the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, Anton Cornelissen said he began investigating claims into abuse by former teacher Andrew Jervis-Dykes in 1996 but that he was hampered as several members of the force attempted to hide the abuse allegations.

Mr Cornelissen claimed that crucial evidence went missing and was subsequently found in a colleague’s locker.

He also alleged that a former deputy head of the school, John Le Breton, who had left the college and become a Jurat, intervened by complaining to the Law Officers’ Department when an arrest warrant was issued.

The panel heard that Jurat Le Breton allegedly questioned the facts of the case and asked the Law Officers not to issue a warrant.

DSC_0065
It was claimed that former Victoria College deputy head John Le Breton, later a Jurat, asked the Law Officers not to issue an arrest warrant against teacher Andrew Jervis-Dykes

Mr Cornelissen said: ‘He had sight of it [the warrant] and he disputed the facts. I think he complained to the Attorney General or the Bailiff over the facts of the case to try to get the warrant stopped.’

Mr Cornelissen also claimed that when Mr Le Breton was still deputy head, he had been told about alleged abuse by a pupil but had not done anything and had ‘in effect bullied at least one pupil to not make a complaint against Andrew Jervis-Dykes’.

The inquiry yesterday entered a new phase in which it will examine the handling of the 2008 police investigation into historical sexual abuse, named Operation Rectangle.

Mr Cornelissen, who is originally from the UK, moved to Jersey in 1993 and was seconded to the Child Protection Team in 1996.

He began investigating claims that Jervis-Dykes had abused several pupils, but said that the only person who supported the investigation was Barry Faudemer, the then head of the Child Protection Team.

He added that many of his colleagues in the force were ex-Victoria College pupils who did not want their school ‘dragged through the mud’ and therefore did not offer any support to the investigation.

Mr Cornelissen said that a short-time later, his secondment was ended when he refused to pass on confidential information about the Victoria College investigation to another colleague – Derek Upton – who was not part of the inquiry.

The case was dropped shortly after Detective Sergeant Roger Pryke took over the Child Protection Team.

However, Mr Cornelissen, who has since retired, and Mr Faudemer began reinvestigating the case about a year later, but claimed that many of the problems remained.

He said: ‘It harped back to the old thing that “we don’t want Victoria College investigated”.’

He added that he was ‘mortified’ to think that potential victims had not been contacted in a year after he was taken off the initial investigation.

During the second stage of the Victoria College inquiry, Mr Cornelissen claimed that evidence went missing from his desk, including pictures, slides and an index box containing vital witness information. He said that the index box was later found in Roger Pryke’s locker.

Mr Cornelissen said: ‘The index box was very important because up to that point there was nowhere else that had the victim witness details, and I had made a summary.

‘It was a crucial bit of evidence and of course it went missing.

‘I don’t know how it ended up in Roger Pryke’s locker – it was in a large brown evidence sack.’

Jervis-Dykes was jailed for four years in 1999.


http://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2015/12/03/abuse-inquiry-latest-police-in-cover-up-bid-over-abuse-claims-against-teacher/#CZxeTRvJ5j4MWb8Z.99


Sexual abuse of cadets ‘was covered up by officials who urged victims not to tell police’

The Ministry of Defence has reportedly paid out more than £2m to victims of abuse in the cadets

Almost 100 cadet force instructors have been dismissed in the past five years after allegations of sex abuse and leaders repeatedly tried to cover up past allegations, an investigation has found.

Parents of cadets who had been abused were encouraged not to go to the police as cadet organisations tried to hush up the accusations, it is alleged.

A total of 363 sexual abuse allegations, both current and historic, have been made across the Army, Air and Sea cadet forces since 2012, according to a seven-month BBC Panorama investigation.

Lawyers representing victims of the abuse claimed the scale was likely to rival scandals in the Catholic Church and the Jimmy Savile case.

The Army, Air and Sea Cadets are between them one of Britain’s largest youth groups and are responsible for nearly 130,000 children in more than 3,000 clubs across the country.

Former cadets who said they had been abused in the 1980s told the programme that when their parents or loved ones raised concerns, they were urged not to tell the police.

To date the Ministry of Defence has paid out over £2 million to victims of the abuse.

David McClenaghan, head of law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp’s abuse department representing victims said: “I have absolutely no doubts that the abuse in the cadets will mirror the other scandals like the Jimmy Savile case, like the abuse in the Scouts, like abuse in the Catholic Church.”

One victim identified only as Martin said he was 12 when he was “systematically abused and raped repeatedly over many years” by his commanding officer Brian Leonard, at Tennal Grange cadet base in Birmingham.

He told the programme: “You are trained to follow orders and you are trained to respect the officers and do as they tell you.

“That includes having to lie on the floor on a dirty blanket and just lie there and… take it like a man.”

The programme spoke to 10 men who were abused by Leonard in the 1980s.

Martin said: “The thing was it was so blatantly obvious, it was almost as if it was hidden in full sight.”

A girlfriend of one of the victims threatened to report Leonard to the police in 1987, but cadet officers pressured her to keep quiet.

The sergeant said he would take a statement from her, but warned her not to approach the police. No investigation into Leonard was ever carried out. He died in 1996, having never faced justice.

Another victim, identified only as Tony’ was 14 when he joined Cheshunt Sea Cadets, in Hertfordshire, in 1979. He alleged he was abused by his commanding officer Alan Waters on a weekend trip away.

Terrified of returning, he told his parents, whose complaints led to a home visit from two Sea Cadet officers, in full uniform.

Tony’s parents were dissuaded from approaching the police by the officers, as this could lead to the closure of the groups. In return for not taking matters further, they were promised that Waters would be moved from looking after children.

But Waters was just moved to another division of sea cadets in North London, where another instructor raised concern. The Royal Navy captain in charge of all the sea cadet corps responded that the allegations against Waters were “thoroughly investigated – and not proved.”

In 2006 Waters was found guilty in Mumbai of raping and abusing boys at an orphanage run by his naval friend, Duncan Grant. Two years later they won an appeal, which was later quashed.

Waters returned to the UK in 2012 and made to sign the sex offenders register. Despite this until March 2017 he still held a position in a naval veteran’s organisation – Honorary Secretary of HMS President Retired Officers Association.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed police have investigated 282 allegations of abuse in the past five years and 99 instructors have been dismissed.

An MOD spokesman said: “Child sexual abuse is an abhorrent crime, and we have robust procedures in place to protect cadets. This includes all adults who work with children undergoing mandatory security and background checks, rigorous disclosure procedures and regular safeguarding training. We encourage anyone who has been a victim, or knows someone who has, to report it to the police.”

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/04/sexual-abuse-cadets-covered-officials-urged-victims-not-tell/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw

Prince Andrew, Duke of York commanded HMS Cottesmore from April 1993 until November 1994. photo andre_zps77c866a8.jpg

Final Fix:  Prince Andrew and Jimmy Savile 1994

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles are the patrons of the Sea Cadet Corps, while Prince Andrew is the Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps.

Image result for sea cadet corps and prince charles


HC Deb 22 June 1984 vol 62 cc659-66

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Archie Hamilton.]

While I am extolling the virtues of the ATC, I should say that it is just one of the many cadet forces which exist; in all, the ATC, the Army Cadet Force, the Sea Cadet Corps and the Combined Cadet Force offer places for over 140,000 young people. I believe both my hon. Friend and I were members of CCF at school. My comments about the ATC apply to all these bodies.

The ATC has a long list of people who have passed through its squadrons and go on to make a distinguished career for themselves in adult life. Many are senior RAF officers, including the present Chief of Air Staff. Others have come to prominence in all walks of civilian life, among them John Conteh, Richard Burton, Jimmy Savile and my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths).None of this work or achievement would be possible without the many thousands of hours which the volunteer instructors devote to the corps. Although there is a small staff at HQ air cadets and the Ministry of Defence directs policy, the success of the whole scheme rests on the largely unpaid work of people such as Warrant Officer Moss. The instruction and week-by-week work with the cadets is borne by 6,500 commissioned and warrant officers and civilian instructors who are, for the most part, unpaid.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1984/jun/22/warrant-officer-j-e-moss

Sir Jimmy Savile was a member of the Air Training Corps before being conscripted as a Bevin Boy.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7312004.stm

 

The cadets of 208 (North Leeds) Squadron

The squadron, based at Towerhurst, on Oakwood Lane, were one of hundreds of Air Training Corps set up on February 5, 1941, with King George VI as Air Commodore-in-Chief. Among the early recruits was Leeds’s own Sir Jimmy Savile.

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/leeds-air-cadets-squadron-flies-high-1-3058421

BBC Panorama has uncovered evidence of repeated cover-ups of historical sex abuse in Britain’s cadet forces.

Victims have spoken for the first time of senior cadet leaders covering up complaints, and pressurising families against going to the police.

Overseen by the Ministry of Defence, the cadets is one of the UK’s largest youth bodies with 130,000 members.

The MoD has paid more than £2m to cadet abuse victims, and says it has “robust procedures in place to protect cadets”.

According to Freedom of Information requests, in the last five years 363 sexual abuse allegations – both historical and current – have been made across the UK for the Army, Air and Sea Cadets.