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Wednesday, 10 December 2014


It seems that the poor old TMO is getting hit left right and centre...racism; corruption; bullying....what a mess.

Dear Councillor Paget Brown,

I am writing to you, on behalf of the Grenfell Action Group, in your role as Leader of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, to ask you to investigate the actions of the Council's Planning Dept and the TMO who are brazenly breaking the law by failing to consult with residents during the Grenfell Tower Improvement Works. 
I would like to lodge a formal complaint against the Council and ask that this matter be referred for immediate investigation to your Monitoring Officer, Leverne Parker, so that it can eventually be brought to the notice of the local Government Ombudsman. 

In particular we wish to highlight the fact that we believe the TMO have acted illegally by not consulting with residents with regards the latest type of windows they plan to install in our properties as part of the improvement works and we believe that the TMO and their building contractor, Rydon, are planning to replace their original choice of window with a inferior and cheaper aluminium model much to the detriment of residents long-term welfare. 

We believe that residents have a right to know what is really going on with regard to the proposed works to our properties and that the TMO and Rydons have a legal duty to consult and be open with us which they are patently failing to honour. 

As an example, our recent attempts under Freedom of Information legislation to obtain the minutes to the "end of month" meetings between the TMO, Rydons and the architect Studio E have been refused by Fola Kafiydia (Head of TMO Governance). 
The Grenfell Action Group believe that this refusal to share legitimate information with the residents of Grenfell Tower shows that the TMO and Rydon have something to hide from our community and they should be ashamed of their need for secrecy. We are tenants not terrorists! 

In addition, we believe that the latest attempt by the TMO to apply changes to the planning permission granted by the RBKC in January 2014 (Ref: PP/12/04097) are illegal, as they have been proposed without any consultation with residents, and we are asking you as the Leader of the Council to investigate these allegations as a matter of urgency. 

According to the TMO Tenancy Handbook, and in line with residents rights under Acts of Parliament and Government Regulations, tenants and leaseholders have a right to be consulted on any modernisation or improvement planned for our homes. 

We believe that the TMO have patently failed to abide by their obligation to follow the Law in this respect and, therefore, do not have the authority to apply for a change to their original planning permission. While most residents in Grenfell Tower welcome the improvement works we also believe that we should be properly consulted before we simply surrender our homes to the TMO's building contractor. 

We were originally promised by Paul Downton, the previous TMO Lead on the Grenfell Tower Improvement Works, that residents would be consulted and given the opportunity to view and comment on a variety of different windows. We were informed at the time that the TMO would be open to engaging with residents and taking on board their feedback. To date (and nearly two years later) these promises have been broken as no residents have ever been provided with an example of the proposed windows or been given a formal opportunity to submit comments on the type of window that will be used. This is illegal. 

Now we hear that residents will, in fact, never be given any opportunity to comment on the final choice of windows that we are to receive as they have already been chosen by the RBKC Planning Dept. Residents in Grenfell Tower that we have spoken with feel most aggrieved and believe that we should have been consulted before the final choice of windows was decided and  residents should have a say in the type of window that we receive. 

We have taken the liberty of copying this correspondence to our elected representative at Parliament, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and also to the local Press and can assure you that we will not let this matter drop until the Council, the Planning Dept and the TMO start treating residents with some respect and consult with us about the proposed improvements to our homes as you are required to do by Law. In the meantime, please can you assure our community that the current application with regard planning permission changes will not be sought by the Council without first properly considering the views of residents? 



  1. Disgraceful! Why is the TMO so high handed and authoritarian?. When will the people who work there realise that it does not have to be like this:conflict and strife. Seeking accommodations with tenants is not a weakenss, it is a strength and widely approved of in the social housing sector.

    Are there any leaseholders in Grenfell Tower, if there are, the TMO is under a duty to consult in accordance with Section 20 Notice procedure.

    The tenants of Grenfell Tower have my sympathy and support. I have recently corresponded with the head one in TMO Repairs and know how exasperating that can be.

    Most people have had enough of the charade of tenant management in the Royal Borough. .

  2. Grenfel Tower tenants should enlist support and representation from their Ward Councillors.Good luck

    1. Good idea. We could maybe try and enlist the support of Labour's Councillor Blakeman- the Holland Park Opera loving -Tory stooge who lives in a middle class gated community but refuses to allow social housing tenants in her own Ward the right to complain about their slum-like living conditions! Cllr Blakeman is very much part of the problem and not part of the solution.

    2. Blacklisted by the TMO.10 December 2014 at 18:48

      I am also very disappointed by Councillor Judith Blakeman's attitude to the TMO. I was astounded by an e-mail which she sent to me a while ago.

      She is an apologist for the TMO. She is definitely part of the problem every bit as much as the Tory Councillors who bury their heads in the sand. If Judith Blakeman put her head above the parapet and made a stand about the TMO, Tory Councillors would not be able to treat her with the same indifference that they treat us. She is now on the TMO Board - god help us all.

  3. I wouldn't trust the TMO to look after my wrist-watch for ten minutes and keep it safe. Yet the RBKC have given the TMO £10 Million as a budget for the Grenfell Tower Improvement Works.
    It appears, however, that the RBKC Council is not carrying out any scrutiny checks on how the TMO are spending this money and the TMO are not going to tell us as they are able to wriggle out of Freedom of Information requests because they are not a public body. Nice work if you can get it!

  4. The description of the approach taken by Mr Paul Downton of the TMO is the way the TMO should be doing things. Seeking accommodations with residents, considering everyone's view, and involving people in important decisions about their homes is resident centred; a participatory and democratic approach to providing housing services.

    The TMO has sunk to the depths of it worse private sector counterparts. I never thought I would live to see the day when a contractor of the Royal Borough would resort to being so authoritarian and nasty. Congratulations to the residents of Grenfell Tower for standing up to the TMO

    1. Shane Carter's suggestion.11 December 2014 at 12:10

      The residents of Grenfell Tower are very upset. If Mr Downton is still with the TMO, why not let him try and work this horrible situation through with the residents. Some good may come of it.

      People get very upset when matters connected with their housing go wrong. Homes are not just roofs or places of shelter. They are places which people want to enjoy, feel safe in, turn in to an expression of their lives, places from which community ties are developed and nurtured, places in which personal relationships are developed and places in which people are fulfilled. The TMO with its high handedness and lack of even handedness in dealing with people (most of whom are not in conflict with other Local Authority Services) makes a rod for its own back. The TMO's authoritarian approach turns decent people's lives in to a miserable existence. Time for a change?

    2. Blacklisted of Grenfell House12 December 2014 at 07:56

      Three cheers for Shane Carter's suggestion. Good old fashioned common sense.

    3. Proud to be blacklisted and treated badly12 December 2014 at 11:51

      Will the TMO please tell us if the Blacklist meets Diversity and Inclusion goals. Please tell us how many

      Single Parents, Gays, Irish, Asians, Blacks, Jews etc are on it with percentages if possible?

    4. I would be surprised if the TMO is able to do percentages. They overspent £ 9 million on Decent Homes and had to cancel kitchen and bathrrom upgrades to bring the budget back in line. Adding up is tough, percentages would be impossible for them.

  5. There is no reason why the TMO should not provide residents with copies of the minutes of meetings with contractors with any justifiably confidential information redacted. They key word is justifiable - details on how the TMO are paying the contractor may be considered justifiably confidential, details of problems with the works that do or impact on residents are not.

    When the Council managed its own major works the Council's project managers were more than happy for residents to attend site meetings and to receive copies of minutes. The Council clearly had nothing to hide and in many cases benefited greatly from knowledge and insight of residents. This helped the Council avoid serious issues during works on more than one occasion.

    But ever since the TMO took over the management of major works this has all changed - residents and Resident Associations are simply not informed that site meetings are even taking place, let alone invited to attend and contribute or provided with copies of minutes. As seems to be typical of the TMO, the change has not been for the better.

  6. Is there an active Residents Association on Lancaster West? Or has it been the victim of the TMO's Resident Enragement team?

    1. Pen without malice11 December 2014 at 13:17

      It is clear from everything mentioned by the good Dame that the TMO does not engage, on any level, with its residents. As the letter to the Leader of RBK&C says "we are tenants not terrorists" These residents are at the end of the line with the TMO and intensive engagement is required.

    2. Yes - but the AGM was hijacked by a bunch of middle aged white men who objected to the work that the RA committee - several hard-working West Indian women - had done. They disrupted the meeting so aggressively that it had to be abandoned. We found out subsequently that one of them didn't even live on the estate.

    3. Your reference to "middle aged white men being aggressive to West Indian women at an AGM suggests racism. If this were an RA AGM, a member of the TMO's staff would have been present and should have called the police.

      The TMO has powers to deal with residents who are being racist on estates or at AGM's. I don't suppose that the TMO knows this

  7. Can anyone tell the Dame about a Company which the TMO set up a while ago, with TMO money,called Grand Union Homes?

    Does anyone know what happened to the money or Grand Union Homes?.

    1. Full of Christmas Cheer.12 December 2014 at 16:27

      There may be something fishy about Grand Union Homes for no other reason than the TMO simply refuses to discuss it. Strange for a community led organisation? Thousands of pounds are said to have been involved and this really is the best kept secret in Housing .

  8. Michael Beverley was, apparently, involved In Grand Union Homes. It has been whispered that Brent Housing Partnership may have had something to do with it; may have had shares in it - or whatr not, I don't know.

    1. So that must have been when Helen Evans was CEO - rather a long time ago.

    2. Tis the season to be jolly12 December 2014 at 19:08

      No, Gordon Perry was Chief Executive when this mularkey went through Yes, it was a very long time ago. The TMO under Perry, Evans and now Black have not been upfront or forthcoming with any information on this most worrying use of money given to the TMO by the Council. The TMO makes a rod for its own back by trying to cover up.

      Felling festively jolly at the mo but not charitable to the spend thrift TMO.

    3. Juliet Rawlings knows all about the money being diverted in to Grand Union Homes.

  9. Stink to high heaven12 December 2014 at 21:12

    Th putrid smell emanating from that TMO is permeating every nook and cranny in Kensington Town Hall.

    1. Charles Trollope Smythe13 December 2014 at 07:52

      The stench from the TMO is ghastly

  10. The TMO has a "them and us" culture. I mentioned this to Maria Memoli back in 2008. Robert Black joined the TMO in 2008. He has not put a stop to "them and us" and has had plenty of time to do so. The "them and us' culture is exemplified by the plight of the Grenfell Tower tenants.

  11. I used to work at the TMO under Gordon Perry and remained there for a couple of years after Robert Black took over. I was told within a few days of starting work the names of tenants who were out of favour. On one occasion, I found myself in agreement with one of these difficult residents and when I indicated that I agreed with the person concerned, it was made clear what was expected of me. The people who work there are there because they keep these judgmental practices going.

    1. Black has been there for six years and done nothing about the them and us situation. He needs to stop working in a plush office in Kensington High Street and start working in the same office in which the majority of the staff do. He is so out of touch, indolent, obdurate and ineffectual.

  12. Not only have tenants been abandoned by Councillors, they have been deserted and abandoned by Black. Black does not even intervene when residents write to him when things are very bad.

  13. The lower orders are better educated nowadays. They no longer have to be deferential to TMO or to Mr Black or his side kick Mr Maddison. Mr Black and Mr Maddison can no longer tell them you are getting the windows that you are being given and you will like them. I would not normally show TMO managers up in public but the buck stops with this lack lustre less than inspiring pair

  14. Mr J Saunders
    16 Fieldfare Green
    Luton, LU4 0YB

    Grenfell Action Group


    I do not understand what is taking so long with the police enquiry. I am not legally trained but it appears obvious to me that.

    1. The cladding was defective, not only was it not fire resistant but it omitted a dangerous gas which could kill.
    2. The surface mounted gas pipes. Did anyone turn the gas off for the building? Gas and fire are a dangerous combination.
    3. Why did the fire escape fill up with smoke? Defective fire doors?
    4. When the gas was redone it is more than possible it breached fire protection between the floors.
    5. Why did they ignore warnings?

    Simple questions which should not take long to investigate. However what I do know and can prove, you cannot trust the police, council, courts or politicians in this country. You will get stitched up just like Hillsboro. If you require proof just look at my Facebook timeline, it is all there.


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