Kensington and Chelsea council terminates contract with Grenfell Tower landlord

Kensington and Chelsea Council (RBKC) has voted unanimously to terminate its contract with the landlord of Grenfell Tower.

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.

Candlelit vigil marks 100 days since Grenfell tragedy

Deputy council leader Kim Taylor-Smith said at a council meeting on Wednesday night: “The TMO no longer has the trust of residents.”

The association had managed the properties since April 1996, although the council retains ownership of the buildings and responsibility for strategic housing policies.

Cllr Taylor-Smith said the council was working with the TMO to bring its contract to a close, citing a lack of confidence in its fire safety record and a unanimous vote of no confidence from 25 residents’ associations.

But he said RBKC was “drawing the contract to a close in an organised fashion”.

He added: “We are listening to residents and consulting on how they want their homes and neighbourhoods to be managed in the future.”

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.

Yet, speaking at a council meeting on Wednesday, leader Elizabeth Campbell insisted “this is not a time for haste, this is a time for getting it right”.

She said 20 families are now living in permanent accommodation, while another 52 households had accepted an offer in principle, adding: “We are working around the clock to do whatever we can to get people into new homes.”

Cllr Campbell said Kensington and Chelsea had bought 120 homes, while a further 20 purchases were in the hands of solicitors and 20 more under negotiation.

“I am confident the number of people moving in to new…

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