So, the Council inspected and yet it’s still neoliberalism to blame, eh?

Grenfell Tower renovation works were inspected 16 times by Kensington and Chelsea council, but these checks failed to prevent the use of the flammable cladding being blamed for spreading the fire that killed at least 79 people.

Inspections were spread over almost two years during the £10m refurbishment project between 2014 and 2016, but these appear not to have spotted that the building was being clad in a material effectively banned on tall buildings by the government.

Conservative-run Kensington and Chelsea council told the Guardian that the first inspection took place on 29 August 2014 and the last was on 7 July 2016, at which point a completion certificate was issued. It added that building inspectors working for the council undertook the work.

Because The State failed therefore more must be done by The State.

28 comments on “So, the Council inspected and yet it’s still neoliberalism to blame, eh?

  1. How incompetent do you have to be to as a council CEO to get sacked?

    They should also be looking at those who recruited and oversaw Holgate. This doesn’t like like a case of being promoted to the first level of incompetence, it looks like he got much higher than that.

  2. Ah, but it’s a Tory council. Also, its council tax rates are about half those in most other boroughs. A Labour council would have charged the full whack, and therefore would have been able to pay for twice as many Building Control officers, as well as free puppies and ice cream for every resident. Thirty-two officers would certainly have spotted that which sixteen didn’t spot.

  3. When will peak Grenfell have been reached? Please let it be soon.

    If the cladding used was as specified and approved then 160 inspections wouldn’t have helped – or have I got the wrong end of the gnarled and well-chewed stick?

  4. again we see here the relentless narrative that it’s the evil elected Tories (boo hiss) who are to blame for not catching the illegal acts, and not the noble brave selfless civil servants (hurrah!) who actually made the illegal decisions in the first place

  5. Neo-liberalism has managed to get its filthy tax avoiding tentacles into council building inspection departments and independent tenant management bodies.

    Tory scum!

  6. What are the odds not one council employee who inspected this building’s works will find him or herself in the dock? Indeed that not one person employed by the State that owned and managed this building will be prosecuted, and that if anyone finds themselves before a court it will be someone from the private sector, the building contractor for example?

  7. Rob

    It should read “in effect banned”.

    If it reads “effectively banned” it means it would not have been possible to have used it at all so should have read “ineffectively banned”.

    A pendant

  8. Apparently, the State (as represented by Cressida Dick, the miserable Common Purpose drone at the head of the Met) now plans to look into ‘regulating van hire companies’ to combat the menace of people hiring vehicles to run others over with.

    YCMIU

  9. JuliaM: Cressida Dick (the miserable Common Purpose drone at the head of the Met) now plans to look into ‘regulating van hire companies’ to combat the menace of people hiring vehicles to run others over with.

    Has Troilus Twat given any indication of the measures she is looking into? With her imaginative intervention in the matter of Brazilian electricians, one can rely on her implicitly to come up with something career-enhancing.

  10. Apparently, the State (as represented by Cressida Dick, the miserable Common Purpose drone at the head of the Met) now plans to look into ‘regulating van hire companies’ to combat the menace of people hiring vehicles to run others over with.

    Van Hire companies in South Wales having to do background checks on everyone hiring their vans, possibly with an armed policeman patrolling the street outside, BUT REMEMBER – LIFE GOES ON AS NORMAL.

  11. > regulating van hire companies

    You can buy a second-hand van for under £500. I’m reminded of how the 9/11 terrorists took flying lessons, but weren’t interested in learning to land the plane.

    “I’d like to buy your van.”
    “Ok, I should warn you that the brakes don’t work and the MOT is due tomorrow.”
    “That’s ok, we don’t need brakes and there won’t be a tomorrow.”

  12. Found this from The Times

    “Ms Dick, speaking at the London Assembly, said that companies which hired vans were being asked to be careful and vigilant about their customers.”

    Let me get this straight. You want us to be “vigilant” because of 45 year old man with no criminal record hiring a van? That’s 99% of everyone that hires a van, you vapid fucking twat.

    I’m sick of hearing “stay vigilant”. Other than packages left, or making sure I’m outside the blast radius of a Muslim, what am I supposed to be vigilant about? White van men driving like cunts? Again, that doesn’t narrow things down.

  13. Gamecock,

    > “Inspection is too late.”

    At least some of Grenfell’s 16 inspections must have been during the course of the installation; they weren’t all at the end.

    I had some structural work done not so long ago. The council’s Building Control officer came to inspect when the beams were exposed and the jacks were still in place – i.e. the point at which it wasn’t too late to change course.

  14. Making alu panels is highly energy intensive. Polyurethane doesn’t grow on trees either.
    So, given that heat rises more than it goes sideways, what is the energy pay back tie for this type of cladding when all energy costs are factored in?
    1 year. you’re joking
    10 years. you’re an optimist
    100 years. maybe in the ballpark
    1000 years. you’re a pessimist
    Does anyone know? Was the calculation ever done?

  15. Channel Four News had a live discussion last night, and Jon Snow kept refering to “TMO” as though it was some distant anonymous corporation, instead of “*the* TMO”, ie one of thousands of such organsations and specifically the *TENANT* management organisation that *MANAGED* this building.

    The participants kept trying to correct him, but he didn’t notice, or did and ignored them.

  16. @ Flatcap army
    The Grauniad states that someone says that the cladding is NOW not permitted. Was it permitted when the new Labour MP for North Kensington was voting on the proposal?

  17. @bloke in france

    A common failing of ecoloons is to believe that anything that delivers a gross reduction in CO2 must also deliver a net reduction – in other words, they include the benefits but neglect the costs. A similar calculation in respect of PV would ban their installation anywhere north of the 45th parallel. See also converting Drax to wood burning.

    They’re not even contributing to delivering their own objective, even if you agree that objective is a sensible one.

  18. “…was being clad in a material effectively banned on tall buildings by the government.”

    What does this mean? It’s not clear from the article:

    ” Part B of the building regulations, which deals with fire risk, states: “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.” ”

    Doesn’t say anything about such materials being banned.

    Anyway according to Labour, it was Tories wot dunnit.

  19. I’m sick of hearing “stay vigilant”

    We are required to be more vigilant than the Met, who were unable to spot someone waving a large ISIS flag at a demo the Met were policing, nor did they notice the numerous complaints about this or the Muslim inciting hatred against Jews. Bear in mind that they are the professionals who are meant to be vigilant and we aren’t.

    Of course, any van hire company which IS vigilant and declines to hire a van to a Muslim acting suspiciously WILL be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, because meh diversity n stuff.

    Anyway, on a similar theme our railway stations are covered with the “See it, say it, sorted” posters about reporting suspicious activity. Given that every Islamist attacker this year has been known to the police and reported by the public, it seems the slogan should be the less ‘edgy’ “see it, say it, we’ll ignore it”.

  20. Was the cladding banned?

    Well, not exactly. The relevant Building Regulations Fire Safety Document specifies that “In a building with a storey 18m or more above ground level any insulation product…should be of limited combustibility (see Appendix A)”. And Appendix A defines “limited combustibility” in this context as class A2 or better. Reynobond makes aluminium panels with a non-combustible core to meet that requirement, but the polyethylene ones unsurprisingly do not.

    But “The Approved Documents are intended to provide guidance for some of the more common building situations. However, there may well be alternative ways of achieving compliance with the requirements.”

  21. @jgh, June 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm
    “Channel Four News had a live discussion last night, and Jon Snow kept refering to “TMO” as though it was some distant anonymous corporation, instead of “*the* TMO” ”

    I noticed that too. imho deliberate omission of “KC” prefix to fit his & C4’s agenda. Switch off after a few minutes listening to moonhowlers’ rants.

    C4 news still mostly Greenfail Tower again tonight with no truthful explanation of Green laws killing people.

  22. Approved Documents are not the Building Regulations. Building Regulations are the law, Approved Documents are: “if you do it this recommended way then you will most likely be doing it right, but we could still prosecute you if if we decided it was wrong”.

  23. @ chris miller
    yes it’s a scam, but surely it’s something that can be costed energy-wise. Energy used to produce & install insulation (or for that matter windmills) vs savings on energy consumption over X time scale.

    Doesn’t look an impossible calculation to me. we did equations at primary school, maybe they don’t any more.

  24. Published financial payback times for external insulation are of the order of 10 years. Energy payback will be shorter.

    The cladding decision wasn’t all about energy saving. Various benefits were touted during the planning phase, including visual appearance, a cooler building in summer, and better sound insulation.

  25. Pingback: Risk perceptions – wmconnolley: scienceblogs.com/stoat archive

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