Thousands took part in a silent march to commemorate the fire at Grenfell Tower – but a tiny minority of bureaucrats seem intent on preventing the survivors from getting justice for the dead.
The latest wheeze is a bid to wind up the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation – the body responsible for the management of the tower at the time of the fire.
If this happens before the inquiry into the circumstances of the fire is able to report, there are fears that those who may have responsibility for the tragedy will escape justice.
According to the Grenfell Action Group:
“1) We understand that a motion calling for an adjournment of the vote on the resolutions was filed in time and in accordance with the relevant rules. It appears that it was nevertheless rejected by the KCTMO and was not sent out to members. We understand it will be proposed again on the day of the AGM
“2) We understand that the venue for the AGM may have changed but formal notice of this change hasn’t been sent out.
“3) If RBKC becomes sole member of the TMO there are concerns that:
- The TMO might cease to exist as an organisation and therefore might not be subject to prosecution for corporate manslaughter;
- If the TMO no longer exists liaison with the Inquiry, including on important matters of disclosure and witness participation and attendance, could be undermined.
- Additionally, the TMO might not exist as an entity capable of being sued in civil proceedings for its acts and omissions prior to the Grenfell Tower fire;
“Crucially, all of these matters could prevent or undermine (a) the TMO being held accountable in relation to the fire and (b) prevent or undermine the search for the truth through all available legal avenues.
“4) In any event, even if the TMO were not wound up, RBKC would have sole control over the manner in which the TMO interacts with the Public Inquiry and other criminal and civil justice processes including requests for disclosure.
“It is unclear why there is any need for haste in making a decision on this and a vote could be adjourned to allow for more information to be provided and further legal advice obtained.”
Clearly, the vote on Tuesday must be for the TMO to remain in operation. A future vote can demand that it is shut down – after the inquiry reports its findings and any further action, necessitated by that finding, is taken.
Any other course of action, it seems, would be an insult to this:
— Michael Walker (@michaeljswalker) October 14, 2017
Plans to formally disband the Kensington and Chelsea tenant management organisation (KCTMO), the body responsible for Grenfell Tower, are being fought by survivors of the fire who fear that the move will allow officials to escape blame and scrutiny for their part in the disaster.
The proposal was first discussed in August by acting chief executive of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), Barry Quirk.
But Grenfell survivors and other residents were alarmed when they received a letter from the tenant management organisation urging them to vote for it to be disbanded at its AGM on Tuesday 17 October.
Residents say that while they ultimately want the TMO to be dismantled, this must not happen before it has been scrutinised at the public inquiry.
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